USE OF ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES IN PREGNANCY AND LABOUR
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which was founded in the 19th century by Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathic remedies use microscopic doses of a substance which produces symptoms in a healthy body to cure these same symptoms in a sick body. The medicine then stimulates the persons immune system to heal itself. e.g. Homeopathic onion may be prescribed to a person who is exhibiting symptoms of running eyes and nose such as you get when slicing an onion.
Homeopathic medicines are safe to use in pregnancy and birth as they cause no side effects. Homeopathic therapy treats the individual not the condition or disease. So a remedy that helps Morning sickness in one mother will not necessarily help her friend.
To maximise the full potential of a homeopathic treatment it is advised that you visit a registered homeopath for a constitutional remedy. However there are some remedies that are useful in pregnancy and labour.
Arnica 200C is used for the physical exhaustion of long labours and for the aching bruised feelings. It may be taken as often as once per hour. It can also be taken in the days following the birth to help the soft tissues heal. Routine use during labour may prevent hemorrhage and minimise normal blood loss.
Rescue Remedy If a mother or anyone else is anxious, upset, frightened or shocked at any time try this remedy. If liquid take a few drops under the tongue or add to juice / water. If pillules, suck 2-3 as often as needed. Take at 5-10 minute intervals as required.
Hypercal comes as a gel or tincture. The gel is easily applied to a pad and placed on any cuts or tears. It promotes healing of the skin and other tissue and is naturally antiseptic.
Homeopathic remedies are antidoted by strong tastes and smells such as coffee, toothpaste, tobacco, and aromatherapy.
Natropharm make homeopathic remedy combinations that are able to be taken in the last few weeks of pregnancy to help with labour and birth and healing afterwards.
Cell Salts are harmless, non-drug remedies which can enable the body to heal itself. This system is closely related to homeopathy but relies on only twelve basic remedies. They were isolated in the late 19th century by Dr W. H. Schuessler, who considered that sickness and symptoms are due to deficiencies and imbalances of these cell salts.
There is a pregnancy cell salt programme (ask you midwife for a copy if you are interested) and occasionally a remedy is recommended to treat a symptom you may be having.
Red Raspberry Tea is one of the most renowned and proven herbs for women, especially during pregnancy. It contains nutrients to strengthen the uterus wall. It may help nausea, prevent hemorrhage, and reduce pain and ease of childbirth. It may also help reduce false labour pains so common in some pregnancies. Drinking the tea after birth will help decrease uterine swelling and cut down on postpartum bleeding. It contains vitamins A,C, D, E, G, and B. It is rich in iron and contains phosphorus, manganese and a high amount of calcium. Red raspberry tea may be taken from 30 weeks gestation.
5W or Red Raspberry Combination Capsules contain a combination of herbs including red raspberry leaf, that are particularly directed to the smooth muscle of the uterus and help to tone the uterus and co-ordinate uterine contractions during birth. They are to be taken in the last five weeks of pregnancy at their separate prescribed rates. They are almost the same except that the Raspberry Combination capsules contain Blessed Thistle which assists in the production and stimulation of breast milk.
Can be used in pregnancy and labour for a number of different reasons from morning sickness, turning breech babies, labour preparation and pain relief in labour. You need to find a registered acupuncturist to assist you. Your midwife may be able to suggest one.
Acupressure uses the points used in acupuncture but pressure is applied to them rather than needles. It is easily applied by your partner and is best started early in the labour. It assists your body to work more efficiently and can promote the release of endorphins, dilation of the cervix, and increasing the efficiency of the contractions.
Aromatherapy is the application of pure, natural essential oils with the purpose of enhancing your general well being. Molecules of essential oils are absorbed into the body by penetrating the skin and entering the blood stream, by smell which is analyzed by receptors in the brain or by entering the blood system through the lungs.
Residue of essential oil molecules can be measured in the bloodstream for several days after application. There are some aromatherapy oils which should not be used in pregnancy.
In pregnancy it is recommended that:
(1) if you are not using a blend that is specifically made for pregnancy, it is advised that you use half the recommended dose
(2) It is also recommended that you use medicinal quality aromatherapy products.
Aromatherapy and homeopathy should not be used in conjunction with one another as the strong smells of aromatherapy would antidote the homeopathic remedy
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