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