Homoepathy for Pregnancy and Childbirth: An Introduction

Homeopath Abi Briant-Smith came to Bradford Choices last Tuesday and kindly wrote up her talk so everyone can enjoy her introduction to homeopathy for childbirth.  Here it is:

It was great to meet up with the group last Tuesday. We covered quite a lot of information so here’s a summary of what we covered with some links to useful online resources.

Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of medicine that uses highly dilute substances to trigger the body’s own healing process. It is based on the principle of “like cures like”, so a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it was taken in large amounts.

Homeopathy is used by over 200 million people worldwide, with around 6 million users in the UK. It is evidence based and is safe to use for babies, during pregnancy and whilst breast feeding.

During pregnancy is a great time to discover the benefits of homeopathy. Anxiety, irregular contractions, labour pains, exhaustion and post birth healing are just some of the issues that women use homeopathy for during and after their labour.

As homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine the best results are experienced when a remedy matches what the person is experiencing both emotionally and physically. If using remedies during labour I would recommend a birth partner gets involved as a labouring mum to be will be too busy to think about which remedy she might need!

In terms of taking a remedy – find one that best matches the symptoms, take one remedy and notice what happens. If symptoms have improved or are still improving don’t repeat the remedy. If the same symptoms as before start to return another dose of the same remedy can be given. If new or symptoms start to appear a different remedy may be needed that matches the new symptoms. Some remedies may need to be repeated frequently and symptoms may change as labour progresses so a change in remedy may be needed at different stages. For long term or recurring symptoms I would recommend seeking advice from a qualified homeopath. Expert medical advice should always be sought in serious situations or if complications arise.

My top recommendation would be to have Arnica as part of a childbirth kit as most women will benefit from a dose of Arnica after giving birth. It can really help relieve sore muscles, swelling, bruising and after pains, particularly when the abdomen/womb feels really achey.

Arnica 30c is available from many pharmacies and health food shops. I recommend taking 1 dose of Arnica 30c three times a day over 3 days, or 1 dose of Arnica 200c each day for 3 days. This remedy can also be crushed and given to the baby if labour was long, they are bruised or have had forceps delivery.

If you would like more information about using homeopathy during childbirth I run childbirth consultations for expectant mums and their birth partner. I also run workshops for doulas and midwives. Please get in touch if you would like more details.

The link below covers some of the remedies commonly during labour:

http://homeopathyplus.com.au/labour-and-birthing-remedies/

For other issues such as morning sickness, haemorrhoids, constipation and post-natal care the link below has some useful remedy suggestions:

http://www.homeopathycenter.org/pregnancy

Abi Briant-Smith RSHom

abibriant_smith@hotmail.com

Facebook: Abi Briant-Smith Homeopath

07970 067049

You have the right to choose where you give birth!

Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser at the NCT shared this with me recently after a case where a GP was apparently choosing the place of birth for the women in their care!

“It was confirmed in Parliament this year that Maternity Matters™ (2007) remains maternity policy for the current government. It says:

The national choice guarantees four national choice guarantees will be available to all women and their partners. By having these guarantees, women and their partners are given the opportunity to make informed choices throughout pregnancy, birth and during the postnatal period:

  1. Choice of how to access maternity care. When they first learn that they are pregnant, women and their partners will be able to go straight to a midwife if they wish, or to their General Practitioner. Self-referral into the local midwifery service is a choice that will speed up and enable earlier access to maternity services.
  2. Choice of type of antenatal care. Depending on their circumstances, women and their partners will be able to choose between midwifery care or care provided by a team of maternity health professionals including midwives and obstetricians. For some women, team care will be the safest option.
  3. Choice of place of birth. Depending on their circumstances, women and their partners will be able to choose where they wish to give birth. In making their decision, women will need to understand that their choice of place of birth will affect the choice of pain relief available to them. For example, epidural anaesthesia will only be available in hospitals where there is a 24 hour obstetric anaesthetic service.

The options for place of birth are:

  • birth supported by a midwife at home
  • birth supported by a midwife in a local midwifery facility such as a designated local midwifery unit or birth centre. The unit might be based in the community, or in a hospital; patterns of care vary across the country to reflect different local needs. These units promote a philosophy of normal and natural labour and childbirth. Women will be able to choose any other available midwifery unit in England.
  • birth supported by a maternity team in a hospital. The team may include midwives, obstetricians, paediatricians and anaesthetists. For some women, this type of care will be the safest option but they too should have a choice of hospital. All women will be able to choose any available hospital in England.”

If you have to stand up to get your rights respected, there’s also a Birthrights fact sheet that might help you prove your point.