Post partum

Arnica is taken by many women after the baby is born as it is good for helping the body to heal areas of bruising. However, I don’t recommend it routinely because often Bellis Perennis (the daisy) is more effective. This has been described as the “gynaecological Arnica”. It certainly seems to help better when most of the bruising is internal. Like Arnica, the bruise is painful and the person doesn’t want the sore bit to be touched. In fact, they are likely to downplay the whole problem and be quite uncomplaining even though they may be feeling quite distressed about it.

Bruising, however, may not be the main problem. Sometimes a more pressing problem is a tear or a cut (an episiotomy). This is more common if there has been a forceps delivery. The wound is acutely painful and the woman will probably be feeling pretty aggrieved at having had the cut done. She may be feeling that she wasn’t in control during the birth, or that she wasn’t treated well by the staff.

The homeopathic term for this is “indignation” – the feeling that “it shouldn’t have happened to me!” This state is typical of the remedy Staphysagria and if taken over the next few days, it can promote the healing of the wound as well as help process the difficult emotions. Staphysagria is also a great remedy for healing clean, surgical cuts, so it is also indicated after caesarean section.

Another useful remedy to have to hand is Calendula. Often the damage to the tissues after childbirth is quite superficial. By that, I mean on the surface. There are multiple grazes and superficial lacerations. This kind of wound can be helped with Calendula. I would recommend that the homeopathic form be used and taken as tablets or powders by mouth because the local applications and creams can sometimes irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina.

Local applications

I find it helpful to prepare a litre of thyme infusion and to keep it in the bathroom to bathe the perineum after every trip to the toilet. It’s soothing, cleansing and encourages healing. Sanitary towels moistened with thyme infusion and kept in the fridge also bring wonderful relief.

Baby blues

“Baby blues” are very common around the fifth day. You might find yourself becoming very tearful and upset at that time, or, alternatively, irritable and anxious. This is very common and if you rest, try not to pressure yourself to achieve anything and ask for all the support that you need, it will soon pass.

Postnatal depression, on the other hand, is far more serious. If your sad or upset feelings continue beyond a few days then it would be a good idea to discuss it with your health visitor, midwife, or GP. Even in the most troublesome postnatal depression, homeopathic remedies can be useful, but in such a situation it’s harder to self-treat so it would be better to consult a homeopath.

Choose the remedy that best suits your symptoms and take in a 200c as needed, up to 4 times a day.  (If you are undergoing homeopathic treatment, please consult your homeopath before taking a remedy). If you don’t see an improvement in 3 days, contact a classical homeopath who will be able to offer more specialized help.

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