Often what we need can be found in our own backyard!
I had the pleasure of learning about the use of bush flower essences in pregnancy and birth from a Bush Flower essences practitioner, Karin Gisler, recently. These are some of the main remedies that we talked about, a broad overview of their use in pregnancy and birthing.
Bottlebrush is the main bonding remedy. If bonding between mother and baby is interrupted for any reason Bottlebrush can be used. This can be as simple as separation between mother and babe at birth; or may be due to interventions that interrupt the bonding hormone oxytocin – drugs in labour, caesarean, induction or augmentation of labour using synthetic oxytocin (synthetic oxytocin doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, so while it acts similarly physically, it inhibits the emotional bonding response). To balance the hormones you could add Sheoak to Bottlebrush.
It is useful for anyone that doesn’t have a natural birth, to heal any bonding that wasn’t fully activated. Can also be used for postnatal depression - another symptom of interrupted bonding hormones.
Sit under a bottlebrush tree with your baby to improve bonding. If you don’t have the essence, you can sit with the tree. Don’t limit yourself to the essences! In a city, the essences may be your only option, but out here you can get what you need by going for a wander and tuning in, seeing where you’re drawn, what you need.
Bottlebrush can also be used to break habits, to help with weaning and help babe transition. You can put a few drops on your nipples before the end of a feed to help with weaning.
For freeing babe from ancestral patterns, inherited fears or issues. Boab helps free the patterns so can start the life afresh. In Aboriginal culture, a bed of Boab flowers was prepared for the babe to birth onto. Its first touch was by the Boab spirit, thus releasing all the negative karma and old family stories so the newborn could start its life fresh and free of ancestral baggage. You can put a drop or two of Boab on top of baby’s head after birth to do this.
This is the main flower for all things woman. It balances hormones so can be used for issues at menarche, menopause, and for infertility issues – may help with conception. Interrupted hormones from birth interventions is another valuable use of Sheoak, to rebalance the hormones again.
Bush Flowers in Pregnancy
For those that are oversensitive, those easily affected by others, for the frayed edges of the aura. Great for protecting self from the horror stories of birth or from other peoples fears and negativity around birth.
Gets us in touch with our intuition again, so can hear what’s best for baby and for mother.
Connects you with the heavens and the earth. For those that have stressful disconnected lives, helps to really connect in and enjoy the downloads that are stronger in pregnancy, opening the heart for this to happen. Helps you embrace pregnancy and this time of heightened intuition, while still grounding it.
Black eyed Susan
For those who have difficulty relaxing, difficulty sinking into the oxytocin state of pregnancy. They are always on the go, rushing, impatient and non stop and struggle to relax. Helps embrace the inward nature of pregnancy, the slowing down that is required.
Also for those who are so impatient they want to induce labour early, have the baby before it is ready.
You could also add Crowea to help with relaxing and calming down.
Dog Rose of the Wild Forces
If feeling totally swept away and overwhelmed, no grounding anymore. May be due to an unexpected pregnancy.
When pregnancy takes people into a really dark space of total overwhelm and cant cope. Very powerful remedy.
Peach flowered Tea tree
Sugar cravings and mood swings in pregnancy.
Wild Potato Bush
When feel trapped in own body, can’t break out. Can often feel like this at end of pregnancy – no longer feels like your body.
For grounding. For anyone that had drugs, brings you back to earth.
Wild Potato Bush
Cleaning out heavy toxins, also useful if had drugs in labour or birth.
There are so many beautiful gifts that nature can help us with.
Spending undirected time in nature, allowing ourselves to wander and rest where we feel to, can lead us to the medicine that we need for ourselves.
To delve more into the bush flower essences you can check them out here
or for a private session you can contact Karin via email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to a journal article I wrote on the use of Homeopathy in Birthing.
By Heidi Wedd
Some people eat it, some people make pills from it, some bury it and plant a tree over the top, while others throw it in the bin. What many don’t know is that you can also make a homeopathic remedy out of placenta and have it as a little constitutional back up for the rest of you and your babe’s life.
Homeopathics are potentised substances. Little of the original substance is left in most of the commonly used potencies (30c, 200c etc.). However because of the dilution and potentisation process that is carried out, what is known in homeopathy as ‘the vital force’ (or in other modalities, the qi, chi, prana, life force etc.) is released from the substance. This makes it not only more potent, but also safer, especially in the case of toxic substances (remedies such as Aconite and Belladonna which are deadly poisons in material doses, are safe to use in homeopathic potency). For more information on how this process works you can enroll in our short Introduction to Homeopathy course (this introductory unit is also included free with all of our other courses).
Having a homeopathic dose of placenta is like getting to the essence of it. While substances can be useful nutritionally (i.e. placenta encapsulation), having a homeopathic dose of placenta will go deeper, treating not only the physical realm, but also the emotional, spiritual and soul levels of a being.
More information on how to use Placenta as a remedy below, but first….
What is the essence of placenta?
I invite you to take a little journey now, back to being in the womb, back into that soft, dark, warm watery land where you are held gently, safely protected, where the sounds of the outer world are muffled and come more as feelings through the watery realm you float in. Here you are a curled up fetus, safe, together with your placenta close beside you like a cosy blanket. Here you are a unity, all is one, everything is provided to you through this magical placenta. There is no sense of separation or need. It is like the Garden of Eden where all is provided. The placenta is the source of all your needs and everything is unified and perfect, nothing is wanting.
Then you are born. Suddenly the placenta is quite often cut off when the umbilical cord is clamped and severed. This is a natural and necessary progression in becoming part of this world, although sometimes done more hastily than the soul is quite ready for. The separation of you from your placenta is like the banishment from Eden. Suddenly all is not automatically provided and you become aware of needs, of hunger and discomfort. Suddenly there is a duality. You are no longer one with the mother, with the placenta, now you must find ways to get your needs met by relating, by interacting. This disconnection from source forces us on a journey, the long journey of life, the journey to come back to ourselves, to find oneness within again.
How was your experience of separating from your placenta?
Maybe it was fast and early so that all of your blood supply didn’t even get returned to you, but instead drained wastefully away or collected for research or storage. (Early cord clamping is still practiced in many places – get informed about this before your birth and make sure you note in your birth plan your choices around this, see references below).
Maybe it was more delayed and natural – in which there was patient waiting for the cord to stop pulsing fully, giving you time to reabsorb the last of your blood from the placenta - this process can take up to ten minutes as blood shunts back and forth. Or maybe you had a lotus birth, where the cord was allowed to dry and fall off in its own time cycle.
One third of the blood supply can be lost with early clamping of the umbilical cord. This is part of our life force, our vitality that is lost from us. While the physical detriments of this practice are well known (see references), what about the more ethereal?
The experience we have of this separation of our placenta and our response to it can set up lifetime pathways. Neural pathways are getting formed in the early days, so every experience we have then creates an imprint that will effect us for the rest of our lives (for more information on limbic imprinting read this article, and this one on epigenetics While single traumas can be easily healed with good emotional support and presence, repeated traumas can create lifelong effects on our mental health.
I wonder if a placenta separation that is experienced as rough, sudden and traumatic, or too early, when we are not quite ready for this shift may leave us searching the rest of our lives for our beloved placenta. Just like having a meal taken away from us before we feel satiated, being cut off before we feel ready can leave a feeling of emptiness, of incompleteness and separation.
In doing my own journey with this I had the song come into my head “desperate to connect”. I saw toddlers with their comfort ‘blanky’ or their beloved toy that they have to take everywhere with them, this comfort thing, as a manifestation of trying to replace the placenta. And later in life it may be the desperate search for a ‘soulmate’ or partner, something that will bring ‘wholeness’ again. Or maybe it is seen in the difficulty to let go of things – material objects, relationships, a compensation for having had things taken away before we were ready in our first few moments of life. I’m sure there are many other manifestations of this sense of loss too.
The differences may be so subtle and most of us may be somewhere in between, but lets make it polar to get clear.
First, lets look at what is known as a lotus birth. This is letting the placenta and cord come off in their own time, where the cord dries up and falls off on its own. Here, I imagine the experience may be one of knowing there is no longer a need for the placenta and so letting it fall away, it has ceased to be useful and the source of nurturing. There is a healthy letting go of what is no longer needed. Here there is a feeling of unity, of wholeness, there is no sense of lack or separation induced in the first few minutes of life, so no neural pathway is set up repeating these patterns. Maybe there is a sense of wholeness, of trust, knowing that all their needs will always be met (as they always have been until now). It is a calm relaxed baby who attracts all it needs by being cute and endearing and invoking this in those who interact with it. Of course this may change with experience, and at some point, like every being it will experience trauma and challenge. And challenge is a chance to grow and live. However, the later this experience of challenge and trauma, the more chance that healthy neural pathways of support and connection have been built and there will be more strength to deal with them.
On the other hand is the experience of feeling cut off from the placenta, the source of all our needs before we feel ready (as may happen with early cord clamping). Whatever the reason for this early loss of part of our vital force and blood – whether it be plain ignorance, research purposes, or even the paradoxical collecting of stem cells just in case you need them later in life (aren’t you more likely to need them later in life if you have them taken from you at birth?) the experience may be one of separation, disconnection and emptiness. There is not the same sense of wholeness (there can be no sense of need if there is no sense of separation or division). Here the experience is one of lack, of need, of not having our needs met all the time, and so we are coming always from a place of emptiness, of trying to fill up a hole.
The differences on a soul level are subtle but incredibly profound and formative to our experience and interaction with life. Are we always coming from a place of lack, trying to fill up a hole? Or are we coming from a place of wholeness? In both cases our needs are the same, but the way we get them met is coming from a completely different place.
How to use homeopathic Placenta?
The homeopathic proving of Placenta humanum can be read here.
Summarised, it is a remedy to connect you back with source, back to a place of safety and protection when you are feeling separated and detached. It can bring you back to the original source/self and your original rhythm. It helps you feel at one again, connected to the nourishment of life, to being sustained, supported and provided for and to trust in life. It has:
The remedy Placenta humanum can be obtained from homeopaths or homeopathic pharmacies. But you can also make a remedy of your own placenta (see below for details), which will have the same healing qualities but be slightly more specific to you and your babe.
Your own placenta remedy
You can use this as a constitutional remedy, giving a dose to your child whenever they become a bit run down and start to get sick. When they need a bit of help to come back to wholeness and health, to come back to source – that complete place of wholeness and nutrition that is our ultimate blueprint. (Health is not just the absence of disease, it is wholeness – having all parts of us working together in harmony – not just the body, but the spirit and soul also). A dose of their own placenta can help boost the immune system, help them feel safe and protected once again and give them the strength to grow through whatever challenge or transition is occurring.
As a mother, you can take a dose of your placenta for the above reasons. It can also be used when there is exhaustion from over caring for others. It can help when there are unhealthy attachments and over-dependence. It can balance out relationships so that they are healthier, not based on codependency but on true relating, whether this is with your child, parents or partner. It helps cut unhealthy ties and bonds.
Making a remedy from your own placenta.
After birth, you need to collect a small portion of your placenta – tune in to which part feels right for you. Tear it off and place it in some alcohol (brandy is a good choice). This will preserve it and serve as the base to make the remedy from. Use a dark coloured, sterilised bottle. The ratio should be about 1 part placenta to 9 parts brandy. Once in this brandy solution, it can wait until you have time to complete the process.
If you plan to make a remedy from your own placenta you can contact me for further instructions. Alternatively, I am happy to make up the remedy for you.
Email me at email@example.com for more information or details on how to do it yourself.
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Learn how to help your babe incarnate well, to work through breastfeeding problems and to heal well on all levels after birth in the Postnatal Homeopathy course.
Have some tools available for creating a smooth birthing journey in the Homeopathy for Birth course, giving you simple remedy indications for labour and beyond.
Resources and links:
Hastie C, Fahy KM. (2009). Optimising psychophysiology in third stage of labour: Theory applied to practice, Women Birth.
Journal articles with evidence for delaying cord clamping.
Bond, S. (2007). Journal reviews: Late cord clamping improves anemia and iron stores in term infants up to 6 months, but practice remains controversial. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 52(5), 521-522.
Cernadas, J., Carroli, G., Pellegrini, L., Otano, L., Ferreira, M., & Ricci, C. (2006). The effect of timing of cord clamping on neonatal venous hematocrit values and clinical outcome at term: A randomized controlled trial. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 61, 564–565.
Eichenbaum-Pikser, G., & Zasloff, J.S. (2009). Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord: A review with implications for practice. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 54(4), 321-326.
Van Rheenen, P., & Brabin, B.J. (2004). Late umbilical cord clamping as an intervention for reducing iron deficiency anaemia in term infants in developing and industrialised countries: A systematic review. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics 24 (3), 3-16.
Weckert, R., & Hancock, H. (2008). The importance of delayed cord clamping for Aboriginal babies: A life enhancing advantage. Women and Birth 21, 165-70.
Zaramella, P., Freato, F., Quaresima, V., Secchieri, S., Grisafi, D., & Chiandetti, L. (2008). Early versus late cord clamping: Effects on peripheral blood flow and cardiac function in term infants. Early Human Development 84, 195-200.
Disclaimer: Any application of the recommendations set forth in this article are at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. Please take full responsibility for your actions and trust your own intuition. This article is not prescriptive, please see a qualified homeopath if you need further guidance.
Empowering women and birth.
It is a sad fact, that in this day and age, women need to be well informed before birth about the decisions they may face along the way. While women have a right to informed and un-coerced choice in every aspect of their labour and birth, in practice this is not always fully given. One sided information is common and fear can play a large part for a woman in what may be very unknown territory for her. Being in the intellect and needing to think to make decisions can take a woman out of her labour, as can fear and the release of adrenalin.
Knowing how to use some basic remedies for labour and birth is an act of empowerment, of taking control and responsibility for your own and your baby’s health. Even better is to have your birth support people know how to use remedies so they can support you.
Having homeopathic first aid remedies on hand and knowing how to use them can be a great way to avoid more drastic intervention and pharmaceutical drugs with their well known long term side effects. Homeopathy can be a turning point, shifting things back into balance gently when there appears to be no other option. It offers an alternative when things don’t go as planned and may prevent the cascade of intervention and medicalisation of birth. By learning remedies and being able to choose which to use when there is a delay or mishap, empowers women and their birth partners to be more in charge of their own birthing journey.
Homeopathics can be taken quickly as a first line of action while on the way to seek professional help in an emergency, and in less acute situations they may avoid the need for help altogether. (Obviously common sense needs to be used.) And if they don’t happen to work, then there is no harm done! They are completely non-toxic.
To learn how to use homeopathy for birth see: (www.openlearning.com/courses/homeopathyforbirth
) or visit our course page.
· Homeopathy has been shown to be at least as effective as conventional medicine1.
· Every year in Australia 14,000 people die from medical errors in hospitals.2 Homeopathy is non toxic and has less and much milder side effects than pharmaceutical drugs.1
· Homeopathy is the second most used medical system in the world (WHO, 2009).
Homeopathy In Pregnancy…
Homeopathy is non toxic with only miniscule amounts of a substance left in a remedy. Conventional medicines on the other hand, are generally not recommended during pregnancy as they cross the placenta and can be harmful to a baby.3
Homeopathy can be used for a wide range of conditions both acute and chronic, ranging from morning sickness, headaches and varicose veins to preparing the body for birth.4
Homeopathy in Labour and Birth
Many studies have shown the beneficial use of homeopathics during labour. Taking Arnica and Bellis at the start of labour has been shown to keep haemoglobin levels higher after birth (i.e. reduces amount of blood lost) than in those people not using homeopathics10.
A study in the UK showed that having a homeopathic kit to self administer remedies with during labour and birth helped those who used it5.
Midwives who use homeopathy in labour, say that it generally helps women have gentle, uncomplicated births with quick recoveries6.
Remedies can be used to help emotionally through transition, to cope with pain, to keep labour progressing, as well as to help the physical body7. Postnatally, homeopathy can be used for healing perineal trauma, preventing infection, mastitis, and many other emotional and physical situations.
A homeopathic first aid kit is also a vital additive to the cupboard for childhood fevers, teething, earaches, colds, diarrhea, cuts and bruises, and bites and stings and many more small ailments.
Check out our online course on basic first aid remedies for birth here: ww.openlearning.com/courses/homeopathyforbirth
So what is Homeopathy?
By its very nature, homeopathy is empowering to women and birth. Rather than enforcing a synthetic action in a woman’s body, homeopathy aims to get the person’s own vital force responding in a more balanced way. It does not induce an effect, rather stimulates the body’s own strength and vitality to adapt itself to the situation and respond accordingly.
Homeopathy is a system of healing based on the principle that ‘like cures like’, i.e. substances that cause certain symptoms in a healthy person, are capable of treating those same symptoms in the sick.
For example, cutting an onion creates symptoms of runny eyes, stinging eyes and runny nose. Therefore it can be used to treat these same symptoms pathologically; i.e. Onion (Allium Cepa) is a remedy beneficial for certain types of hayfever and common colds8.
Developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist, homeopathy has been used worldwide for the last 200 years and so has a broad clinical basis4.
Homeopathy works on treating what is known as the ‘vital force’, the intelligent, invisible part of us that animates and gives life to the body. By strengthening the vitality of a person, the body is enabled to free itself from infection and susceptibility to diseases, which in turn strengthens its ability to resist these in the future.4 Where conventional medicine aims to rid the organisms seen to be causing the disease, homeopathy aims to strengthen the person so that they themselves may throw off the dis-ease. Homeopathy treats the person first, using symptoms as a guide.
Written by Heidi Wedd
1. Riley, D., Fischer, M., Singh, B, Haidvogl, M., & Heger, M. (2001). Homeopathy and conventional medicine: An outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 7(2), 149-159.
2. The Australian, March 15, 1999,17.
3. Therapeutic Goods Administration Australian Drug Evaluation Committee(1999). Prescribing medicines in pregnancy: An Australian categorization of risk of drug use. Canberra, Australia: TGA Publications.
4. Castro, M. (1999). Homeopathy: A theoretical framework and clinical application. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery 44(3), 280-290.
5. Steen, M., & Calvert, J., (2007). Homeopathic remedies for self – administration during childbirth. British Journal of Midwifery 15(3), 159-165.
6. Raisler, J., (2009). Alternative Healing in Nurse-Midwifery Practice, Journal of Nurse-Midwifery 44(3), 310 – 319.
7. Martin, P. (2002). Homeopathic induction: beyond cimicifuga and caulophyllum (natural labor induction). Midwifery Today 28.
8. Baxter, J., & Perrin, C. (2006). Homeopathy as a choice: The new holistic antenatal clinic. British Journal of Midwifery 14 (12), 718-721.
9. Steen, M., & Calvert, J. (2006). Homeopathy for childbirth: Remedies and research. Midwives: The official journal of the Royal College of Midwives 9(11), 438-440.
10. Oberbaum, M., Galoyan, N., Lerner-Geva, L., Singer, S.R., Grisaru, S., Shashar, D., & Samueloff, A. (2005). The effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on mild post-partum bleeding: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Preliminary results. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 13, 87-90.
Written by Heidi Wedd