Homeopathy is a system of medicine that can be used safely and effectively by a pregnant woman from the early weeks of gestation through the birth process and the postpartum period. The realization of a pregnancy often motivates women to make significant changes in their lives. Homeopathic remedies can assist women in making this transition. These changes may be mental, emotional or physical and all can be supported and encouraged through the use of homeopathic medicine. Some of the key issues for a woman as her pregnancy evolves are outlined below. Remedy suggestions are non-specific because like any other homeopathic case, the right remedy is different for each individual.
This is the birth story of my son Nicholas Antonio. He’s my third child, my second VBAC and my first successful full natural birth. I hope my story inspires doulas and midwives to continue their work helping women in all situations to have safe and positive birth experiences that don’t use unnecessary medical interventions. I weathered a “bully”-type experience in a hospital that changed its birthing policy for VBACs the day before I went into labor. I was the first woman to labor under their new policies and stand up to them and tell them “NO.”
I remember the day my midwife told me about placenta medicine, I cried. I loved that birth had so many blessings to offer our family, and this was completely new to me. I was so excited when Patricia told me she would gladly encapsulate my placenta for me and that taking it would ease the symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) after the birth. Patricia Couch is an amazing midwife. With five kids and a demanding position at the birth center, she still finds time to help mamas like me honor our amazing placentas, and this is our story.
Madeleine Grace, my posterior-, brow-, left asynclitic-presenting baby, turns two years old next week. After another year of reflection on that life-changing event, I’m more ready than ever to invite healing to my memories of that 70- hour labor and the difficult postpartum that ensued. It took 13 months of sitz baths, heat lamps, obstetrician/gynecologist visits and two trips to a proctologist to heal my jagged third-degree tear and 70+ stitches, but my perineum and anus finally healed. This year, I look forward to continued emotional healing from posttraumatic stress around the anniversary of Madeleine’s birth.
Modern obstetrical practice is to employ a variety of fetal testing options followed by induction, in some cases as early as 38 weeks. For midwifery care at home, where interventions are kept to a minimum, midwives and their clients strive to find a less invasive and safe approach for postdate pregnancies. This paper explores the possibility that induction and fetal surveillance methods are not the answer; that a more intuitive and multi-tiered approach should be employed for each particular woman and birth.
ME?! Gonna be a DADDY?! I kept staring at the pregnancy test strip with that very solid “+”…thus began the journey. We celebrated!
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 88, Winter 2008. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine “There’s the heart; everything looks okay. The placenta is over here; up here is the head.” The ultrasound probe zigzagged over my nicely rounded abdomen. It was the first time we realized that our baby was breech. It was only the 23rd week and the doctor assured us the baby was still flip-flopping around in my uterus and it had plenty of time to turn itself around before delivery. Knowing it was breech, however, got the wheels of my brain turning. I had assisted with quite a number of deliveries over a period of seven years and knew I did not want to have a breech baby. I’d witnessed ten breech births and knew it was something I hoped never to have to do. Furthermore, I was sure I knew way too much about the risks of a breech delivery to ever go into labor with confidence. With these misgivings I asked my midwife, Mary Hostetler, who’s also my grandmother, to check the baby’s position. It was breech. Oh, bother. I took it upon myself to do the slant lie. I lay
In July and August of 2008 I was an intern at Mercy Maternity Center in Davao, Philippines, where I completed all of my clinical requirements or “numbers” towards my CPM. I learned a great deal from the midwives enrolled in NewLife International School of Midwifery (midwifeschool.org).
Midwives work with a vast array of interesting, creative, amazing and thought-provoking women; it’s one gift of our work. We were drawn to the work to serve, support and be with childbearing women. Consequently, when we find ourselves inclined to ignore, admonish or run away from a particular client, we may experience conflicted feelings of guilt and inadequacy. In the worst circumstances we may develop a belief that the client is an adversary instead of a sincere person seeking our assistance.