The safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for both mother and baby are as useful after pregnancy as they are during. Once a new mother has overcome the challenge of teaching her newborn to nurse, many women temporarily endure painful nipples (babies have a mighty grasp). One easy cure is to squeeze out a little extra milk after baby's done eating and smear its healing ingredients over the affected nipple. Your local La Leche League or lactation expert can teach you different feeding positions and determine if baby is latching on correctly. For sore and cracking nipples, Sepia is a logical choice. Chamomilla helps inflamed and very sensitive nipples.
Feeding your baby on demand will usually keep your milk supply up. Occasionally fatigue, skimping on fluids or not eating well reduce milk production. A day in bed with baby, without the worry of household duties, often remedies this problem as well as giving you much needed rest and a chance to enjoy your infant. Pulsatilla also encourages milk production, as well as treating leaky breasts. If you're one of the odd cases where your milk overflows, then try Belladonna.
On top of the exhausting tasks of nursing and caring for a new baby, a new mother must recover from the ordeal of labor. If you've had a Caesarean section or other procedure, or lost a great deal of blood, fatigue is even more pronounced. China helps restore energy, particularly due to blood loss. When nausea and headache are part of fatigue, Cocculus may work. For overwhelming post-partum depression, Aurum met might help. Sepia or Phosphorus may perk you up during times of indifference. Depression after pregnancy is often due to declining hormones.
Frye often administers Arnica to her patients to promote healing from the trauma of childbirth. "A few drops of homeopathic Calendula added to a sitz bath," says Frye, "also assists in post-partum recovery."
If you've lost a baby before the sixth month of pregnancy, this is called a miscarriage. For some this unhappy experience is a one time occurrence; for others it's an ongoing problem. Continual miscarriages should be investigated by a health care professional so hormones (necessary for sustaining a pregnancy), nutritional status and other underlying problems can be assessed. Natural therapies may or may not help depending on the cause. For cases where conventional treatments are indicated, natural methods are often beneficial adjuncts. If you desire homeopathic treatment, see a trained homeopath for a constitutional remedy prior to getting pregnant.
Even for an impending miscarriage, Joyce Frye, DO recommends using homeopathic remedies cautiously. While severe physical shock, uterine abnormalities or infection of the mother may interrupt a pregnancy, a sick or deformed baby may miscarry no matter the treatment. "If you take the right remedy and the baby is viable, many times this along with bedrest and good nutrition can save baby," says Amy Rothenberg, ND. "If the baby is not viable, a woman will miscarry no matter what. However, a miscarrying woman who has taken a homeopathic remedy tends to have an easier time and can often avoid a D & C (dilation and curettage, a procedure where the cervix is dilated and the uterus is scraped out)."
See your doctor if you're experiencing signs of impending miscarriage like vaginal bleeding and intermittent pain, even for homeopathic care. Many doctors also use homeopathic remedies after a miscarriage has occurred, particularly for incomplete miscarriages.