It has been almost 5 months since my 4th baby was born! Time has flown but I’m ready to get back in to some writing, and I thought I’d start by sharing my birth story from a homeopathic perspective. I’ll admit it’s a little weird sharing this publicly, but it was so helpful for me to read positive birth stories and I wanted to show others how I used homeopathy along the way.
I am not a fan of inducing labor, even with natural modalities. But, I know as well as any other pregnant mom that when the end is in sight and your back and hips are sore, trying something to move things along becomes much more appealing.
There is a protocol I found several years ago that suggests taking Caulophyllum 30C, Cimicifuga 30C, and Arnica 30C once a week starting at 36 weeks. I like to wait until 37-38 weeks to start any labor prep remedies and herbs, just to make sure I go to term, so I had still not taken any remedies for labor when I reached the 38-week mark.
Now, my previous 3 labors all started right at 38 weeks, so when contractions started a couple days before the 38 week mark I was excited and ready! But when they stopped suddenly I decided it was time for me to pick some remedies.
I started by taking Pulsatilla 30C, two doses in one day. There was no change, but I could tell baby was moving and trying to get into a good position. My midwife had recently told me that baby was on my right side and I felt like baby was really trying to position herself well. So, partly out of desperation and partly to help baby position, I decided to take Caulophyllum 6C and Cimicifuga 6C in one day, about 4 hours apart. That night I had contractions all night long and didn’t sleep at all. The next day I was very disappointed that all action had stopped.
A few days later I decided to try Pulsatilla 30C again, as I had been having contractions off and on and baby was still on my right side. After 3 doses in one day I had several effective contractions and a few during the night. I woke up and did some baby mapping and discovered that baby had flipped to the left side! I was excited because this was where I believe she needed to be in order for labor to start.
Well, the next day I woke up and baby had flipped back to the right side. Needless to say, I was getting very discouraged and I stopped taking remedies to make sure I could rest and catch up on sleep before things really took off. I want to note here that my midwife helped me discover later that I have some pelvic misalignment that was preventing the baby from staying in the correct position. I’m not surprised to learn this because of some hip and back issues I’ve had since my 3rd pregnancy.
I also want to share that I suspected some alignment issues early because of previous experiences, so I spent most of the pregnancy doing prenatal yoga, Spinning Babies techniques, T-Tapp for pregnancy, Thai massage, and working on Hypnobabies to help relax and prepare.
FINALLY, one night some contractions woke me up about 12:30 a.m. and I had some bloody show! The contractions came nice and steady every 10 minutes for about an hour before I called my doula and midwife and decided it was time to go to our birthing place. I woke up my husband and we loaded our oldest daughter in the car with us and took off.
I didn’t take any remedies on the hour drive to our birthing place because my previous labors were fairly quick and I really wanted to make it there before the baby came!
As soon as we got to our birthing place, I took Arnica 200C and Mag phos 6C to help with contraction pain. My contractions had increased in intensity and had gone from every 8 minutes to 2 1/2 minutes during the one hour drive. I was excited! It had taken only 2 hours to go from the start of labor to getting close to transition!
My doula was helping me with Spinning Babies techniques to help get baby in a good position (baby still didn’t like staying on the right side) while we waited for the midwife to get there. After about 3 more hours of the labor growing in intensity, I decided to get in the birthing pool. I hadn’t taken many remedies up until now because I felt like things were moving along well.
After an hour in the tub, it really started to feel like labor had all but stopped. I was still having contractions but they were only “effective” every other time. This was a good sign for me to try Pulsatilla. I took a 200C in two doses about 15 minutes apart with no results.
My midwife asked me to check to see where baby’s head was at. It was right there and I couldn’t feel any cervix, so we started to consider options for getting the pushing phase going. I decided to consider my emotional state and took Cimicifuga 200C because I was dreading the upcoming pushing contractions. My previous labor had been a little traumatic towards the end and it left a lingering fear that I couldn’t shake even though I was in a much better environment this time around. After a couple doses of the Cimicifuga there was still no change.
My midwife asked me to get out of the pool to use the restroom. I assured her I didn’t need to get out :). After a little back-and-forth, she asked me what remedy you need when you’re so scared of what’s coming next you don’t do what you know you need to (in this case, simply getting out of the pool). Without a second thought I said “Gelsemium”! She found Gelsemium 200C in my birthing kit. After one dose, I was out of the pool and I could feel my nerves settling down too!
My water broke in the restroom and I hurried back to the birthing pool to prepare for pushing! I had a couple of great contractions but then everything stopped again. I tried Pulsatilla again for stalled labor with no change.
My midwife asked me AGAIN to get out of the pool. I had known this could happen, that labor could slow to a halt by being in the pool, but I really wanted to give birth as comfortably as possible and that, to me, meant being in the pool. After I argued with my midwife again, she gave me another dose of Gelsemium 200C. That gave me the courage to get out. After trying hands and knees with no success I got up and walked around.
That is what baby needed, I guess! I had one super intense pushing contraction that made me fall backwards. Luckily, my doula was right behind me and did a wonderful job catching me so I didn’t have to fall all the way down. My doula and husband had to stay there and hold me up while my midwife caught the baby in mid-air! Two more quick contractions and the baby was born, happy and healthy. At this point there were tears streaming, but mostly from the laughter that ensued from my very unique pushing position.
This is where homeopathy was the most helpful during my birth. Immediately after the birth, I took a dose of Arnica 200C to help the placenta pass. I then had a couple of large clots that were not passing well. They needed to be cleared so my midwife could see everything and be confident all was well. I took one dose of Sabina 200C and that slowed the bleeding considerably and helped a clot pass that allowed things to clean out nicely.
I continued taking Arnica 200C, one dose about every half hour, to help with the afterbirth contractions and to slow down bleeding. This worked wonderfully; my afterbirth bleeding was very manageable and the slight pain from stitching on a tear was better with every dose. I continued with Arnica 200C every couple of hours for the first day or two.
I also had Arnicare cream on hand and would rub my abdomen with the cream during every postpartum contraction. After 24-36 hours I swapped out my Arnica for Mag phos 30C. I took that at every contraction, which usually happened when I started to nurse, so I was taking a dose about every 2 hours.
About 3 days postpartum, I added in Sepia 6C. This remedy has always been good for me personally, and I think it’s a great one for all moms as it can help mom re-balance hormones as well as encourage the nurturing desires that are necessary for mom to enjoy her new little one and prevent postpartum depression.
Remedies for Baby
I gave the baby one dose of Arnica 200C shortly after the birth, just to help with the exciting experience that had just happened. Then I spent most of our time skin-to-skin for the first 24 hours to help regulate her nervous system and bring us both to a state of love and nurturing after a bit of an emotional roller coaster from the last week leading up to labor.
Baby girl had her first check-up by the midwife shortly after birth. My midwife discovered she had likely swallowed fluid and her lungs had some rattling. I gave baby girl a dose of Antimonium tart 6C and she almost immediately spit up a large amount of fluid. I gave her 2 more doses over the course of the next several hours and she continued to spit out fluid. I was thankful my midwife was there for this part as it was a little unnerving for me.
I kept the Ant tart 6C close by and gave baby a dose every time she had a “fluid spit”. After 24 hours this was completely cleared up and I didn’t have to dose her any more.
We stopped by our chiropractor’s office to get baby her first adjustment, and then we headed home just 4 hours after giving birth!
Personal Thoughts and Reflections
Because of the way my previous labor had gone (ill treatment from the hospital doctor) as well as the discomfort I was in the last month of pregnancy, I was ready for labor to just be over with. I originally wasn’t afraid of pushing, as that has always been a fairly “easy” part of labor for me. But as labor dragged on this time, I started to dread the pushing contractions more and more.
My midwife was very wise to ask me what she did and to give me Gelsemium. The anticipatory anxiety was keeping me from doing what I needed to in order to allow the baby to wiggle through my misaligned pelvis.
I was disappointed homeopathy did not serve me as I hoped it would during labor. But I was extremely pleased with the results I had postpartum. I felt so good postpartum that I had to remind myself to take it easy. I was also very happy with my environment for labor and delivery. This was my first birth outside of the hospital, the second birth attended by my doula, and the first time using a midwife. My doula, my midwife and her assistant, my husband, and baby’s oldest sister were all there to welcome the new baby girl. I wouldn’t change anything about it!
I studied a couple of books to prepare for labor. My absolute favorite book is Guide to Homeopathic Remedies for the Birth Bag. I also like Miranda Castro’s Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Baby’s First Year. For a more in-depth study of a few remedies, a good one is Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Labor. I also thought of the things that would personally concern me the most (like hemorrhage!) and looked up remedies in Murphy’s Clinical Repertory and studied them in Murphy’s Materia Medica.
I pray this has provided insight and maybe some helpful tips if you are heading into labor yourself soon! I plan to start putting out regular blog posts and content again, so I’d love to have you on my e-mail list! You can do that by clicking the subscribe button at the bottom of any page on my website.