Homeopathic remedies have a 200 year history of use during pregnancy and childbirth and are rendered safe, gentle, non-toxic, FDA approved and and when correctly chosen, energetically stimulates the body’s natural defenses to heal itself. Homeopathy can help tremendously leading up to the birth of a baby, avoiding or reducing some of the problems associated with labor and in dealing with post-natal symptoms.
Homeopathy uses ultra dilute “micro” doses in which the original substance (usually derived from a plant or mineral) is diluted in liquid repeatedly and vigorously shaken with each dilution. Homeopathic remedies don’t contain any molecules of the original substance, yet medicinal qualities are retained. Even though the doses are small, they are very effective, yet safe and gentle. It works on the principle of “like cures like” – that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is used to cure those same symptoms in illness. For example, one remedy which might be used in a person suffering from insomnia is coffea, a remedy made from coffee beans.
Homeopathy is not just a useful companion for pregnancy and childbirth, it also helps with common breastfeeding issues and baby’s first year of life. If you are in the process of either starting or expanding your family, a good home-use book on homeopathy such as Family Guide to Homeopathy: Symptoms and Natural Solutions is a worthwhile investment to make.
The below list contains some of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies for pregnancy and childbirth.
1) Aconite. Contractions feel violent and intense, producing a state of fear, panic and anxiety. This is a major remedy for a precipitous labor where contractions come on very suddenly. Woman fears she will not make it through childbirth and/or is convinced that she will die. Emotional shock and trauma of the infant after a difficult birth when baby appears shocked and frightened. A dose of Arnica is usually followed 30 minutes later if there has been physical trauma. Useful for newborns with ophthalmia, jaundice, retention of urine, neonatal asphyxia and post-circumcision.
2) Arnica. Common anti-inflammatory remedy given at the beginning of and hourly throughout the labor. A dose of 200C can be given to mother immediately after birth to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, after surgical births (C-sections, forceps or vaccuum extractions) to promote healing and reduce swelling, bruising, risk of infection, soft tissue damage (perineum or abdomen) and to baby with swelling or bruising.
3) Arsenicum. Indicated for anxious restlessness leading to physical exhaustion and insonia. Women who are compulsive and can’t let go. Perineal infections following childbirth. Newborn resuscitation in severely depressed baby with little or no color or respiratory effort.
4) Bellis Perennis. After a miscarriage, a dose of Arnica is given followed by a few doses of Bellis Perennis, spaced 30 minutes apart. Soreness of abdominal wall and sciatica caused by position of baby during pregnancy. Wonderful remedy for tears in the perineum or periurethral area after birth (including episiotomy), helps control the bleeding as well. Also indicated for bruised, sore pelvic or abdominal tissues following birth or Caesarean section.
5) Calendula. Use after perineal lacerations, episiotomy and Caesarean sections to help heal the tissues and prevent infection. Apply the ointment topically and wash with Calendula tincture diluted with water. Extensive tearing or episiotomy wounds benefit greatly when Calendula tincture is added to sitz bath water. Also use the homeopathic remedy (alternate with Staphysagria or Bellis Per). Calendula ointment is helpful after circumcision applied topically several times a day to help heal the wound. Also useful umbilical cord care and diaper rash.
6) Carbo Vegetabilis. This remedy can be helpful to a woman who feels weak and faint during pregnancy, with poor circulation, a general feeling of coldness and a craving for fresh or moving air. A woman who is deeply tired from overwork, many pregnancies close together, or a previous illness may regain some strength. Also useful for frequent digestive upsets with wind trapped with excruciating pain.
7) Caulophyllum. Commonly used at the beginning of a labor that is not progressing and the cervix will not dilate. Contractions become irregular and cease. Once labour is well established, switch to Cimicifuga 200C to complete dilation. Women needing this remedy are thirsty, sensitive to cold, fretful and weak. Also the most frequently indicated remedy for premature labor due to weakness of the cervix and in women who are weak and nervous. Never use during early pregnancy, as it can bring on contractions. It can also cause labor to be more vigorous or painful in ‘sensitive’ people if remedies are given when not needed.
8) Chamomilla. Frequently indicated remedy for hypersensitivity to the pain (even in early labor), violent anger and extreme irritability. Hands and feet cold. Also a common remedy for painful breasts and insufficient flow of breastmilk.
9) Cimicifuga. Frequently indicated for irregular but painful contractions or non-progressive labor. The contractions are felt in the thighs, hips, back and side to side of the abdomen instead of the uterus. This remedy helps to dilate the cervix. She may have terrible apprehension, paranoia and confusion. She is sensitive to noise and worse from cold. Cervix spasms and becomes rigid on examination. Uterus ascends high into the abdomen during contraction. Never use during early pregnancy, as it can bring on contractions. It can also cause labor to be more vigorous or painful in ‘sensitive’ people if remedies are given when not needed.
10) Gelsemium. Useful in the last few days before labor, for women who have extreme anxiety anticipating labor and birth. She may start behaving hysterically or will become very weak, sleepy, apathetic and indifferent. Can also be used prophylactically with women who have had a history of painful, traumatic or ineffectual labors. Given when labor has been in progress for many hours but there is absolutely no progress with dilation or when contractions weaken and cease. She is extremely exhausted, weak and drowsy. Difficult to support weight. Muscles tremble with the effort of movement. She does not really want to participate in the labor. Also helpful when women gets the flu just before her guess date.
11) Hypericum. Shooting nerve pains from back, neck or spinal trauma. Used following perineal damage or Caesarian section.
12) Ipecacuanha. One of the most common remedies for nausea during pregnancy. Women needing this remedy have persistent nausea that lasts all day, and nothing relieves the nausea, even vomiting. Taken before rising in the morning as a preventative. Also one of the main remedies for postpartum hemorrhage when the woman is faint, gasping for breath, with persistent nausea and bleeding that is worse when lying down.
13) Kali Carbonicum. Used for threatened miscarriage in the early months, irregular labors, non-progressive labors, postpartum hemorrhage and afterpains. Very helpful for women with lower back pain and back labor (often with posterior presentation). It has helped many women intent on natural birth to manage persistent lower back pain and maintain their ability to cope in labor. Also a common remedy for postpartum depression where there is a lot of irritability and physical sensitivity to pain, noise and touch.
14) Kali Phosphoricum. Physical, mental and emotional exhaustion either during or after labor where few other symptoms may be present.
15) Nux Vomica. This remedy may be useful for nausea, indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, constipation, hemorrhoids and varicose veins during pregnancy. The main remedy from fainting during labour due to severe pain. The pains cause a frequent urge to urinate and defecate. She is irritable, impatient, critical, sensitive to odors, light and noise and chilly. Often indicated for women who have led a sedentary or indulgent lifestyle (with past use of stimulants and/or alcohol).
16) Pulsatilla. The most commonly indicated remedy for turning a malpositioned baby. Another common remedy for constipation, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. A useful remedy for anxious mother who needs a lot of emotional support and is worried about the baby. She wants cool air, is better walking about and is not thirsty. Pulsatilla may not be a good choice if there is a low lying placenta in case the softening of the lower uterine segment adds to a tendency to retain the low lying placenta or the increased chance of excessive bleeding.
17) Pyrogenium. Not likely to be needed but an important remedy if a postpartum infection in the uterus develops following childbirth. Rapidly resolves sepsis. May be used for its protective effect against infection of mother or baby if the membranes have been ruptured for a long time before the onset of labor, especially if a fever develops.
18) Secale. Prolonged bearing down pains without results. Hemorrhage, passive flow of dark thin blood from low lying placenta. Tremendous burning and heat that is improved from cold and uncovering, though skin feels cold to the touch.
19) Sepia. Think of this remedy for nausea, hair loss and/or constipation during pregnancy. Also for various problems during labor, retained placenta, and afterpains. #1 remedy for postpartum depression. Violent bearing-down pains as if everything would come out. A woman needing this remedy feels indifferent to the baby and/or never wanted the pregnancy. Most useful for women who have had many babies and/or have had their children close together. She is irritable, sad, and easily offended.
20) Staphysagria. Obstructed labor in abused women with suppressed anger. Woman does not want to be touched in labor. Helps surgical wounds and lacerations heal. Relieves the feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment, and emotional upset that may follow an abusive birth or Caesarean birth.
- Homeopathy is simple to take, but does require some care. Be sure not to touch the remedy with your hands. Place it in a clean, taste-free mouth and dissolve under the tongue. Avoid mint, menthol, tea-tree oil and coffee until after you achieve the effect you want
- There is a number followed by a “C” beside the remedy name denoting the potency or strength of the homeopathic remedy. The higher the number beside the remedy, the higher the strength. Strength usually matches with how acute the situation is, as well as with the energy of the person taking the remedy. A common dose is in pregnancy is 30C, however a 200C potency is usually indicated in childbirth because it is a particularly intense experience.
- If there has been no improvement in symptoms, stop and change to the next best-matching remedy. Once there is improvement, re-dose only if symptoms return. In other words, don’t take the remedy if it is not needed.
The information about the use of homeopathy contained in this site is not meant to be a substitute for seeking the advice of a qualified homeopath. Always consult a certified classical homeopath before administering or taking homeopathic remedies.
Image used with permission by Nirrimi Firebrace.