Homeopathic: Case study.
Pregnancy is a time when many women will first start to use homeopathy. Often this is because “mum to be” wants to minimise using medicines that may be toxic to the developing baby. This is especially important in the first 3 months.
There are no toxic effects from homeopathic medicines and as such pregnancy is a great time to start to use homeopathy if you have not already done so. Because homeopathic medicines stimulate the body to heal itself this can only be beneficial to the baby. Many midwives have a working knowledge of homeopathic medicines and will refer woman on to a homeopath for pregnancy care. It is my preference to see woman as early on in pregnancy as possible so that we have the opportunity to work in a preventative way right form the start of the pregnancy. In this way, woman are often able to avoid more harmful medications Our work is seen as complementary and we prefer to work closely each woman’s primary health care provider to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby.
This article will cover the main health issues woman present with up to delivery. Labour issues and post birth care will be covered in a future article.
Pregnancy related conditions that are often treated in the first trimester include:
Nausea and vomiting
There are a large number of remedies that can be used successfully to assist woman’s body in the process of adjusting to being pregnant.
The remedy given will be matched to each individual woman’s symptoms e.g one woman may have nausea symptoms that include: nausea better for eating, worse in the morning, and 4pm, feels better lying down, thirsty whilst another woman may have symptoms that are: worse for eating, worse in the evening, better fresh air, irritable etc.
The number of doses of a homeopathic remedy will vary – I have treated some woman where the nausea and vomiting responded to 1 dose while other woman I have treated have required a few doses daily for say 10 days repeating when the nausea starts to return.
It is common to have frequency of urination due to the force of the pregnancy against the bladder. This usually requires no treatment. Urinary tract infections however can also occur and require treatment. This condition will respond very effectively to homeopathic remedies. Treatment should always be sought straight away.
Growth starts to exert upward pressure against the contents of the abdomen, diaphragm and respiratory muscles this may lead to shortness of breath, heartburn and indigestion in the 4th and 5th months. Increasing pressure on the rectum and congestion in the pelvis may lead to constipation and hemorrhoids.
Digestive and Bowel Complaints
Heart-burn and constipation are two very common pregnancy related health issues. Constipation in pregnancy may be accompanied by hemorrhoids. These conditions are often usually quickly relieved with the use homeopathic remedies. Again the remedy used to treat 1 woman’s heartburn may be different to another woman depending on their individual symptoms. After a good response the remedy only needs to be repeated on return of symptoms (refer case below).
Thrush and conditions such as genital herpes and many others are not confined to pregnancy, however, pregnancy is a time when they can become more frequent and of greater concern. It is also the time when it is preferable to treat with medicines that are not going to be toxic for mother or baby.
The treatment of these conditions homeopathically works again by treating the “whole person” by using homeopathically medicines to stimulate your body to heal itself. This form of treatment will benefit not only mother but baby also. Generally the remedy that helps to address these issues will also benefit other health issues that a pregnant woman may be facing. This is because the remedy helps you to restore balance.
Rapid growth in the last trimester is accompanied by up to a 30% increase in maternal blood volume and cardiac output. The bones in the pelvis are widened and loosened. The baby drops back down into the pelvis increasing pressure on the bladder, rectum and legs.
All varices will have an increased tendency to worsen as the pregnancy advances. Some woman can suffer greatly with leg (varicose veins), anal (hemorrhoids) and or vulval varices. There are many very good homeopathic remedies that can match the worst cases and provide considerable relief to the sufferer.
Muscular and Joint Pains
Pains will occur to a greater or lesser degree from aches to twinges to pain. Pains may occur anywhere and anyone with an existing tendency will find their aches and pains exacerbated in pregnancy. Osteopathic treatment is very advisable with homeopathic remedies given to complement this treatment.
Fluid retention, high blood pressure, toxemia, skin rashes, abnormal presentation and so on are possible in the late stages of pregnancy. These conditions require careful monitoring and may lead to hospitilisation in the worst cases.
Emotional problems can often re-surface during pregnancy after being tucked away safely for maybe years. These may be old fears, previous grief’s and/or traumas and so on. Starting a family is such a huge life changing step that it makes absolute sense that the past may present itself to be looked at. Pregnancy therefore provides an opportunity for personal growth and development. Homoeopathy has helped many woman, pregnant or non pregnant to overcome a wide range of mental and emotional issues from fears to depression.
I had a case early this year where a patient of mine rang to say that an old fear had resurfaced and both she and her midwife felt that she was not going to go into natural labour while the fear was so prominent. She was due to be induced the next day. I took her case by phone and prescribed the same remedy I had prescribed 2 years earlier for the same fear (which she had responded to very well – at that time the fear resulted in insomnia). The following morning I had a call to say that the extreme anxiety was gone and she felt that she could now go into labour and that’s exactly what happened with the birth of a healthy wee girl.
Mrs J presented at 20 weeks with a number of health issues:
- Constipation from early in pregnancy.
- History of pyelonephritis with 2 previous pregnancies at 40 weeks and 30 weeks respectively. Treated previously by IV and oral antibiotics.
- History of heartburn in previous pregnancies previously treated with Gavascon
- Restless legs worse at night
- Previously uterine infections post birth
Follow up 4 weeks later at 24 weeks
- No constipation at all after 3 doses of her remedy.
- Plan – repeat remedy in next potency up only on return of symptoms.
Phone Call 28 weeks
- Itching all over worse between 6 and 8pm in the evening
- Heartburn worse between 6 and 8pm at night with regurgitation up into throat, worse lying down in bed
- Fidgety legs worse in bed
- Plan repeat same remedy in the higher dose previously recommended
Follow up at 30 Weeks
Repeated remedy for restless legs, heartburn and itching skin. All symptoms went after a further dose of the remedy.
- Mrs J had also started to develop right sided kidney – pain worse for coughing, sneezing, sharp pains. No fever. Drinking plenty of fluid. Had repeated her remedy and feeling like she is doing well.
- Plan – kidney support given in low homeopathic dose (not in herbal form as this would not be advisable in pregnancy) and a higher dose of the same remedy to take only if needed.
Follow up a few days later by phone
- All niggles in the kidney region cleared.
Follow up 35 weeks – Labour and Post Birth advice
- Pregnancy 100% better emotionally and physically over previous 2 pregnancies.
- Looked at previous 2 labours and post labour issues of cracked nipples and mastitis
- Plan – Homeopathic remedies for birth and post birth given.
She would like to add the following:
- Delivered a health baby girl weighing in at 8 pounds 13oz on 6 July 2002.
Mrs J advised that she delivered a healthy baby girl weighing in at 8 pounds 13oz on 6 July 2002. Labour was excellent and a quick labour, no complications no problems at all. For the first time Mrs J experienced no post labour infection and said she was back on her feet much quicker than with her previous 2 pregnancies.