Nine Homeopathic Months: Pregnancy
By Susy Parker Goins
So the news is back: The line showed up pink (I had to do the test three times just to convince myself), or the rabbit died (is that still politically correct?) or however you found out. You’re pregnant! What a grand adventure you’re embarking on!
So now what?
First off, find some support. A midwife and/or doula are indispensable. Please don’t listen to the women who would have you think it’s all hell. When I was first pregnant, every woman I knew felt the need to tell me how dreadful it all was. To hear them tell it, there is no redeeming quality about pregnancy. (So why do women keep getting knocked up?)
Second, educate yourself on healthy pregnancy. Read books, check out the internet, talk to women you trust (enter knowledgeable midwife and doula).
Third, let homeopathy support you in your pregnancy. With the changes your body will go through over the next several months, homeopathy is a gentle and effective means of supporting a healthy pregnancy. Herbal and nutritional protocols may be used, in addition.
What about morning sickness?
If you’ve been pregnant before, you know “morning sickness” can be a misnomer. I got sick any time, anywhere. The reasons morning sickness happens are as varied as the times of day it can happen. Your body is adjusting to the new hormones, purging itself of toxins to create a healthier environment for your baby, and on and on ad nauseum. (“Nauseum” -- oops.)
So what will help? Ipecac in homeopathic form works best for incessant nausea that is not relieved by vomiting. If your stomach is queasy and you’re irritable and peevish, maybe even feeling resentful, then Ipecac is your remedy.
Pulsatilla is the “weepy” remedy. If you cry at the drop of a hat, your moods change, you want sympathy but are cranky about it, Pulsatilla is your best bet. If you’re vomiting in the evening, especially after eating rich fat food or you crave diary but it doesn’t agree with you, it’s Pulsatilla time! Also, consider Pulsatilla if you’re sensitive to heat, better with fresh air and like open windows.
The race for the bathroom
Any time I was pregnant, I made sure I knew where every bathroom was wherever I went -- even the men’s. But you can rest a little easier with these remedies.
Cystitis (urinary tract infection), if treated early enough, can be resolved with homeopathy. Take Cantharis 30C three times a day for three days for a burning feeling or pain. Sarsaparilla is helpful for burning pain, too, but toss in severe pain at the end of urination and a constant urge to this remedy’s symptoms. Involuntary urination from coughing or sneezing will benefit from Causticum.
As if urinating every hour isn’t bad enough, what about diarrhea? Oy! If your runs have been caused by eating tainted food, get out the Arsenicum album. Mercurius is effective for the “not done” feeling with diarrhea. Mercurius’ diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting that leaves you exhausted. Sulphur is your remedy for explosive diarrhea that gets you up at 5:00 a.m. and at night. You’ll be weepy, irritable and indifferent about your appearance.
When things are moving more slowly
At the other end of the spectrum, use these remedies for constipation:
Bryonia alba works for constipation accompanied by a splitting headache and dry mouth. You feel thirsty, irritable and all you want to do is to keep still.
Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal) is best for constipation without the urge to go or that is accompanied by hemorrhoids that hurt and bleed.
Nux vomica works is effective after eating a lot of spiced rich food or drink coffee and you feel lazy and irritable. Take the 30th potency three times a day for up to three days if you have frequent urges to go but can’t. Like Bryonia, Nux vomica’s symptom picture includes headache but also includes hemorrhoids, back ache or a feeling of “I’m not quite done” after a bowel movement.
Sepia shares the symptom picture with Nux vomica, but it is specifically for women.
And the beat goes on …
And to top off the whole “nether region” drama, what if you develop a yeast infection? Don’t lose heart. Find your Candida 30C and take it until you see signs of improvement.
“ Oh, my aching back!” Take Arnica Montana 30C every three hours when your back hurts from overexertion. Bellis perennis 30C (lawn daisy) will help when you can’t walk because of the pressure exerted by your baby. When you feel that your back is weak, take one tablet/pellet of Kali carbonicum 6C every six hours.
Rhus toxicodendron 30C is great for ligament and sciatic pain that eases with movement or is better at night. Take one pellet every three hours for muscular stiffness from overexertion or exposure to cold or wet.
Get a leg up
Leg cramps keeping you awake? Keeping up with your water intake may help reduce the incidence of leg cramps. You can also try Nux vomica or Magnesia phosphorica. Dissolve the remedy, in this case, in warm water and sip while you have the cramp. (See? Increasing water intake at the same time.)
Swollen ankles? One thing swollen ankles tells you is to get off your feet. Take a break! Supplement that break with Natrum muriaticum 30C – hee, hee, that’s salt! Who’d-a thunk it?
Varicose veins could happen to you. Homeopathic witch hazel, Hamamelis 30C, is great for venous congestion that is worse from warm, moist air.
Bellis perennis 30C is best for venous congestion due to fetal pressure. That kid could get big and press down on you in such a way that your legs will show strain and protest. And the warm baths and snuggly bed don’t help either.
More little joys of pregnancy
Heartburn: I tried sipping gallons of water to put the fire out. Sometimes water helped, but I am the champion Charcoal in capsule form user. No, it’s not homeopathic -- but Magnesia phosphorica and Carbo vegetabilis are. Again, dissolve the Mag Phos in water and sip.
As you get closer to your delivery date, your pubic arch (and every other part of your body, it seems) hurts from the ligaments softening up to let your baby’s head come through. Calcarea phosphorica helps relieve that pain. Rhus toxicodendron works great for the “rusty gate” feeling – once you get up and moving, you feel better.
And through it all, there’s sleeplessness. My thoughts would churn for hours after I went to bed. I found that Coffea cruda 30C would put me out like a light on those nights. Cocculus 30C is great for the nights when you just can’t get back to sleep. Keep a tube/bottle of it on hand for those nights when you’re nursing your baby in bed with you.
As a newly pregnant woman, you are faced with a myriad of choices. With homeopathy, some choices are not so apparent. You will know you have picked the correct remedy if your symptoms get worse, but then you see steady improvement. I know that’s not a comforting idea at first, but it’s how homeopathy works to nudge your body into healing mode.
Good luck with your pregnancy, and may your labor and delivery be easy.
© Susy Parker Goins
An informal student of natural health for years, NFO Bookshelf Editor Susy Goins is currently completing her studies in homeopathy with the American College of Health Sciences. See more about Susy.