Contractions feel violent and intense, producing a state of fear and anxiety. Restless, agitated and fearful that may die. Baby appears shocked and frightened after birth.
Arnica montana (Arn) Feel bruised, sore, as if beaten during labour. Don’t want people to touch. To relieve soft tissue damage (perineum or abdomen) following birth or caesarian section – reduces swelling, bruising, and risk of infection, and promotes healing. Caput or cephalohaematoma of newborn.
Arsenicum album (Ars)
Anxious restlessness leading to physical exhaustion. Chilly with anxiety. Perineal infections following childbirth.
Bellis perennis (Bell-p)
For bruised, sore pelvic or abdominal tissues following birth or Caesarean section. Bellis often follows well after Arnica, or when Arnica has failed to relieve the discomfort or pain.
False labour where pains fly about the abdomen. Rigid cervix with pricking pains – cervix fails to dilate. Contractions become irregular and cease.
Cimicifuga racemosa (Cimic)
Cervix spasms and becomes rigid on examination. Uterus ascends high into the abdomen during contraction. Pains fly from side to side of the abdomen. Irregular but painful contractions. (Note: Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga can be alternated 15 minutes apart when contractions are irregular and it is hard to determine which remedy is needed. Cease upon contractions becoming established and regular).
The pains feel unbearable, even early in the labour. Extremely irritable or angry. No matter what is offered or done, it is not right. Hands and feet cold.
Gelsemium sempervirens (Gels)
Weakness and exhaustion – difficult to support weight. Muscles tremble with the effort of movement. Contractions weaken and cease.
Hypericum perforatum (Hyper)
Shooting nerve pains following perineal damage or caesarian section.
Irregular contractions. Pain of contractions felt mainly in the back (ie – with posterior postion babies). Feels as if back may break, much better for firm pressure. Fearful of dying.
Physical exhaustion either during or after labour where few other symptoms may be present.
Pulsatilla pratensis (Puls)
Changeable and erratic contractions. Very restless. Weepy and wanting support and comfort from others. Happy to be held (also useful to turn baby prior to c- section).
Not likely to be needed but very important remedy if a post-partum infection in the uterus develops following childbirth. Works much better and more rapidly than antibiotics. Can be used for protective effects against infection of mother or baby if the membranes have been ruptured for a long time before the onset of labour, especially if a temperature develops.
Useful following incision, penetration, or stretching of muscle fibres, as happens with a Caesarean sections or dilatation and curettage (d&c). It encourages the quick healing of incisional or lacerated wounds. Relieves the feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment, and emotional upset that may follow a Caesarean birth.
Guidelines for Use
- While all remedies can be given as pills, there are advantages to dissolving them in water so they can be given in a liquid form by dissolving it into a spoonful of water and delivering orally.
- Not every symptom has to be present for the remedy to help – use the remedy that is the best match.
- Commence with a 30C potency, only progressing to a 200C potency if the 30C potency is no longer helping.
- During labour remedies can be given as often as every 10 – 15 minutes, if needed. If there has been no improvement in symptoms at all by three doses, stop and change to a better-indicated remedy. Once there is improvement redose only if symptoms returns.
- If using remedies for discomfort or pain following labour, take a dose every hour until discomfort is relieved. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, stop and change to a better-indicated remedy. Once there is improvement redose only if the discomfort or pain returns.