Homeopathic Remedies for Back Labour and Posterior Presentation
by Piper Martin, DS Hom. Med.
© 2001 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 58, Summer 2001.]
Homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective means of treating a woman experiencing
back labour. Homeopathic medicine along with comfort measures such as counterpressure,
hydrotherapy and positioning are very positive means of assisting the baby to move
into the most desirable position for birth and result in more effective contractions
with a shorter and a less painful labour for the mother. Homeopathic remedies are
easy to administer and act quickly and dynamically to alleviate back pain. They should
be given in the following manner:
There are several remedies that can be quite effective in alleviating the pain
of back labour. They may cause the baby to shift positions or even turn from a posterior
presentation.* Following are several remedies that present with pain in the back
and the differential diagnosis for each:
- Use a 200C potency of the appropriate remedy.
- Tip the remedy pellets into the lid of the container and place directly into
the woman's mouth; avoid touching with your hands.
- Use a 1:10 time frame to assess the effectiveness of your remedy. If the woman
has been experiencing back labour for three hours you should begin to see a change
in the location of the pain within 18-20 minutes. If the remedy does not seem to
be reacting in your time frame you may want to continue observing and talking to
your client until another remedy picture is clear to you.
- Administering an incorrect remedy will do no harm; the result will be that there
is no effect.
Case: "Charlotte" was in labour for four hours. She was experiencing
most of the contractions in her lower back. The midwife told me that the baby had
been posterior for the entire pregnancy. I gave Charlotte a single dose of Kali
Carbonicum 200C. The midwife checked Charlotte's dilation at this point and she
was six centimeters. After two contractions the baby had turned and Charlotte began
experiencing contractions in her abdomen. One hour later she delivered her daughter.
Kali Carbonicum (potash)
- Pains experienced in the lumbar region
- Very severe pains in the back, as if her back would break
- Desires constant pressure on her back
- Pain may pass from the back through the gluteal muscles with cutting pain in
- Extremely chilly to the point of trembling
- Touchy, both mentally and physically—is worse from being touched
- Worse 2-4 a.m.
- Posterior presentations
Gelsemium (yellow jasmine)
This is a remedy used for a woman who is about to begin pushing but the baby appears
to ascend rather than descend with each contraction.
- Pains from the uterus up the back or extending to the back and hips
- Nervous chills up the back
- Baby appears to ascend rather than descend with each contraction
- May lose her dilation during a pelvic exam
- Dullness—heavy eyelids, flushed and puffy face
- Drowsy and listless—sleepy when she should be pushing
- Performance anxiety—this woman may be feeling pressured to perform
Cimicifuga (black cohosh)
Cimicifuga is an excellent remedy when there is lack of progress at any stage
of labour. The labour pains of Cimicifuga are present but they are not effective.
Cimicifuga will help dilate the cervix.
- Misplaced labour pains felt in the back, hips and thighs instead of the uterus
- Pains may shoot up and down the thighs or across the pelvis from hip to hip
- Cramping in the large muscles
- Fear that something bad will happen
- Talks incessantly to relieve her fear
- Sensitive to noise
- Worse from cold
- May become hysterical with the pain
Coffea Cruda (unroasted coffee)
- Faints due to pain and hyper-excitement of the nervous system
- Oversensitivity to pain, despair from pain
- All senses more acute
- Sleeplessness after delivery (great for midwives and doulas after too much coffee
and excitement from attending a birth)
- Only pain experienced is in the small of her back
- May cry out or scream with extreme fear
Nux Vomica (poison nut)
- Irregular pains when the labour does not progress
- Ineffectual labour pains extend to the back and rectum
- Desire to move the bowels and to urinate—she will comment on this feeling often
- Major remedy for fainting during labour
- Inflammation or fever after labour with a desire to have a bowel movement
- Irritable and impatient
- Oversensitive to all external impressions
- Very chilly
A woman who has experienced severe back labour or an epidural may have residual
pain after delivery. I would strongly recommend that Hypericum 200C and
Arnica 200C be given for three days following labour for women who are experiencing
back or neck pain or headaches. They should take the remedies twice a day in alternating
doses, to alleviate the discomfort and assist with the healing process. I would also
recommend chiropractic adjustments to help the mother recover fully.
Piper Martin, B.Ed., DS Hom. Med., is a classical homeopath who specializes in
pregnancy and newborn care and is a consultant for doulas, midwives and naturopaths.
She practices in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada at The Equinox Center for Natural Health.
She is the mother of Gabriel, a four-year-old boy. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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