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Labor and Delivery (Birth)
Giving birth to a child is a difference and unique experience for each new mom. And homeopathy can be very easily incorporated into any birth plan (or lack thereof). The following are some of the most common remedies that can provide assistance and relief during labor and delivery:
- Aconite: Everything is happening too fast. Contractions are running into each other without a break. There's tremendous anxiety and fear, especially fear of death. After the birth, this is the best remedy for shock for mother, baby, and/or partner (look for “big eyes"—that is, who looks and feels shocked, like they've been through quite an experience).
- Arnica: If you had to choose only one remedy to using during labor, this would be it. Take it throughout labor to prevent bruising—every 4 hours, or more frequently if it provides relief from pain. Typically, it will be more effective for those contractions that feel sore, bruised, aching—but manageable. After labor, take 3--6 times daily for up to a week to speed the healing of bruised muscles and to help with after pains.
- Chamomilla: Backache labor with intense, unbearable pains. The cervix is slow to dilate. The birthing woman is very angry—she screams with pain and demands relief but nothing is right.
- Cocculus: After the birth, there may be tremendous tiredness because of breastfeeding and the nights of broken sleep. Exhaustion is accompanied by dizziness, trembling, and/or a mild headache.
- Kali carbonicum: Backache labor with chilliness and exhaustion. Pains in the lower back radiate down into the legs and are better for very hard pressure. Contractions slow down or stop. The birthing woman is anxious and irritable, bossing everyone around.
- Kali phosphoricum: For simple exhaustion during or after the birth. In labor, one dose can be taken between each contraction until energy starts to return. After the birth, it will help if there's exhaustion with insomnia from the excitement of the birth itself.
- Pulsatilla: The cervix doesn't dilate, and the contractions stop and start. The birthing woman feels pathetic, weepy, and clingy—like she "can't do it" and she says so. She wants company and reassurance, and she feels better when she gets
it. She doesn't want anything to drink. She craves fresh air, feels much better from it, and much worse in a stuffy, hot room. After the birth, she feels depressed with all of the above general symptoms only more so and says "I want my mommy," either literally, or in the way of wanting someone to take care of her.
- Sepia: The birthing woman gives up, becomes completely exhausted, and sags on every level. She is miserable and irritable—wanting to be alone but tending to snap only at loved ones. After the birth, she feels depressed— "burnt out," irritable, and just wanting to be alone. The after-pains are severe.
- Sulphur: During labor, the contractions become very weak or stop. The birthing woman becomes very restless and feels hot, sweaty, thirsty, and irritable (unlike with Pulsatilla). She wants fresh air (like with Pulsatilla).
Labor and Delivery: Special Guidelines for Prescribing
- Select a potency that matches the intensity of the symptoms; 200C often works well during and after labor, the only exception being Kali phosphoricum which works best in a 6X potency.
- You'll want to repeat more often than you would for an acute illness:
- every 5 to 15 minutes or even between contractions if symptoms are very strong;
- less often (i.e., every half hour to hour) if the symptoms are not very strong.
- Don't worry if you jump from one remedy to another during the birth. Different remedies may be needed at different points in the process.
- Just as you would in using homeopathy in other situations, remember to:
- Stop the remedy once it "works," i.e., once you see an improvement.
- Repeat the same remedy if the same symptoms return.
- Change the remedy if you've taken 6 doses and it hasn't helped.