Comparing Homeopathy To Allopathy In Midwifery Practice
The medical and pharmaceutical disciplines have had a definite influence on a pregnant woman’s perception that she needs help over and above what her mind and body are innately capable of. This translates into medical practitioners and their patients buying somewhat too eagerly into the idea that almost all pregnant and birthing women will need some form of intervention or medication over the course of pregnancy, birth and/or the postnatal period.
Although the consensus is that as little medication as possible should be taken during pregnancy, over-supplementation, progesterone, antibiotics, antifungals and mild painkillers are often prescribed in pregnancy. A ‘fear-induced’ oxytocin induction is common despite potentially significant adverse effects. Medical labour pain relief, anti-emetics and postnatal anti-depressants add to the pharmaceutical risks, which should be carefully weighed up before use.
Instead, women should be empowered and educated, to reinforce their innate ability to bear children naturally. Both allopathic/pharmaceutical practitioners and medications, as well as holistic healers using natural remedies (both herbal and homeopathic) have a role to play in emergency and complicated situations and balanced wisely, will result in the best outcomes.
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Homeopathy in a nutshell
Homeopathic remedies have been tried and tested over many years and can be used safely for adults, children, and babies during illness, health, and pregnancy without counteracting conventional medicines. Few people, however, know how homeopathic remedies actually work. Basically, homeopathy extracts the therapeutic essence of the medicinal substance and then enhances the medicinal value and removes any possibility of adverse effects through a process of dilution and potentisation (a vigorous mechanical shaking).
Many people worry about how different the dosage for homeopathic remedies is compared to conventional medicine. Homeopathic remedies work very differently to conventional medicine, so you can’t really compare them. For acute conditions like tonsillitis, ear infections, and tummy bugs which start rapidly and get worse quickly:
- Give doses of the relevant remedy frequently – even hourly
- Reduce the dosage gradually as the symptoms improve
- Stop completely once all the symptoms have disappeared
Chronic conditions in older children and adults – such as sinus congestion – or conditions which are ongoing or have been present for a long time can be treated by following the dosage instructions on the pack for a long period or until the condition is no longer a problem.
Unlike homeopathic remedies, herbal products can cause a build-up and need to be used cautiously. This is especially true in pregnancy and lactation, and with small children. Before using any medication during pregnancy, it’s usually a good idea to contact the manufacturing company for more specific information. Keep in mind that:
- Some vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t suitable for use during pregnancy
- Topical products applied to the skin can cause allergies, so check on a small patch of skin first
- Most herbal or aromatherapeutic cream, lotion, and oil products contain very diluted quantities and are not dangerous in pregnancy and with little ones, although you should always check
- Some herbal products can be used safely for small children and during pregnancy, just make sure you get advice from an expert in the field
- There are usually safe homeopathic alternatives for use with babies and during pregnancy
- It’s vital to stick to dosage instructions and only use herbal products for limited periods before taking a break
Homeopathy is a safe and effective complementary modality throughout pregnancy and perinatal care. Homeopathy brings homeostasis to the mind and body, leading to balance and optimal functionality. Remedies will only initiate an appropriate healing response as needed, without side effects, and are directed at healing the cause of problems, not only symptoms!
While serious pregnancy and labour conditions can be treated with homeopathy, they require the training and experience of a classical homeopath, and the insight to know when to refer the woman for obstetric intervention. However, many homeopathic remedies can be used in clinical practice, like:
Caulophyllum: Tones the cervix and myometrium; aids efficient labour progress; and can help a breech baby to engage. It is useful when the mom is exhausted and the pushing urge is deficient; when contractions are short, irregular, feeble, feel sharp, are felt low in the pelvic region, or are accompanied by shaking, trembling and irritation. Use too if the woman feels chilly but wants fresh air.
Pulsatilla: Aids in turning a breech or posterior lie baby, and when limbs are obstructed. Observe for ‘changeability’ in the mom as well as her symptoms when considering using pulsatilla. It is useful to ‘kick-start’ slow labour initiation; for a ‘stop-start’ labour; and for weak contractions with little cervical dilation. Use it for clingy and apologetic women who want sympathy, and who experience dry mouth, yet no thirst.
Arnica: Indicated post-birth to relieve non-pathological pain, bruising, and a tender abdomen or hips.
Bellis perennis: Helps relieve pubis symphysis and groin pain; a feeling of a deep bruised, tender abdomen; and for pain in the hips and feet.
Hypericum: Use to relieve coccyx pain.
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