Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 24, Spring 1993.
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The science of homeopathy is a perfect complement to the midwife’s art. Symptoms, in any part of the mind or body, are seen as part of a symptom-picture involving the whole person. The gentle action of homeopathic remedies can be used preventively or in acute situations to address any symptom-picture, weakness, or recurring tendency that is less than optimal.
While breech presentations are considered one variation of normal, many midwives are prevented by law from attending vaginal breech deliveries. Midwives who do attend breech births often say their hearts beat a little faster from worrying about possible complications.
In addition to breech, babies in posterior position are among the most challenging. It seems prudent to employ every gentle means available to get these babies to turn prenatally.
The windflower is one of the great homeopathic polychrests (drug of many uses). This herb has long been used to change unfavorable presentations prior to the onset of labor. The remedy is most effective when administered before the presenting occiput is deeply engaged in the pelvis and before the bag of waters ruptures.
How does it work? Pulsatilla is essentially soft and changeable. On the physical plane, the uterus grows asymmetrically, and the baby fits in there any way it can. Given in potency (a pharmaceutical process which progressively dilutes natural substances and then vigorously shakes them, thereby releasing dormant energy), pulsatilla stimulates the uterine muscle to grow more evenly. In response to a change in shape, the baby willingly and naturally assumes the most advantageous position—a gentle intervention.
Pulsatilla is always worth a try. Because you are giving the woman a non-material (dynamic) dose, you can cause no harm. The worst that can happen is that she simply will not respond to, or resonate with, the remedy. If the baby needs to remain in his present position for mechanical reasons, such as the location of the placenta or a tight cord wrap, the remedy will have no effect. The timing of the homeopathic intervention can coincide with other efforts you employ to turn babies. Usually you’ll try this at or near 35 weeks, or perhaps earlier if mom is small and the baby is persistent. Try one dose of the 200c potency. If there is no response in a few days, you can repeat it, or go to a 1M. If all you have on hand is 30c or lower, then try one or two doses a day for three days. There are no firm rules regarding dosage, but as a general guideline, do not repeat the high potencies (200c and above) more than twice or continue the lower potencies for more than two weeks. And stop all interventions once you have obtained results.