However, whenever, wherever you give birth, it will be an experience forever etched on your brain in large type. Its power is like nothing else, but with that power comes inevitable strain on your body. Below are the first five of the top ten remedies to get to know before labour so you can recover from that strain as quickly as possible.
A few words of warning first, though: you'd think that as a trained homeopath, I'd have used homeopathy left, right and centre post-natally and practise what I preach. I didn't - at least not with my first child. I was so consumed with the process of labour and then in my baby daughter, that I could see nothing else, and definitely not my own needs. Therefore, I strongly recommend that if you are lucky enough to have a birthing partner and someone by your side in those crazy days following labour, that you give them this to read and reread so they can prescribe for you, as you'll be, well, pretty busy.
Incidentally, many of the remedies described here are also what I would term essentials for infants and young children, and thus very handy to have around as time progresses.
Shock - Aconite (Monkshood)
Aconite is a remedy for shock with extreme fear or anxiety and would be applicable for a labour that has been very fast. Take the remedy in the 30th potency 3 times daily for two days after a rapid birth. Note also that the baby of a fast labour, who will be every bit as shocked as you and more, will also benefit from the remedy if you are breastfeeding.
Bruising and trauma - Arnica (Mountain Daisy)
Arnica speeds up the healing process when there has been trauma to the body, which labour most certainly is. It rapidly brings down swelling and eases bruising whether or not the skin has discoloured. Take Arnica 30 immediately after birth and three times daily for three days thereafter if your muscles are still sore. Consider moving to Bellis Perennis (Garden Daisy) if the pain persists as it is a deeper acting remedy.
Engorgement - Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)
This is a remedy to have ready if you are hoping to breastfeed, as it could come in very handy when your milk comes through and your breasts become engorged. Belladonna is your remedy if you are feeling restless, your breasts are hot and may have red streaks on them. If you are prescribing for engorgement, discontinue the other post-natal remedies you may be taking first. Take Belladonna 30 3 times a day while the symptoms persist.
Tears and episiotomies - Calendula (Marigold)
Calendula heals wounds and cuts incredibly fast. Use it after labour to speed the recovery of episiotomies or tears. Do note, however, that this remedy works so fast that it can actually lock in dirt, so ensure that the area is clean before applying Calendula cream or ointment.
Epidurals and forceps deliveries - Hypericum (St John's Wort)
Hypericum is the first remedy to think of following trauma to an area of the body that is rich in nerves. Labour, especially when it involves a forceps delivery or epidural, puts enormous strain on the coccyx and the spine in general, and can cause lasting pain. Take Hypericum 30 3 times daily for 3 days. If the pain is very acute in the moments that follow directly after any injury to nerve-rich areas, give Hypericum 30 every few minutes for up to ten doses.
We will look at the final 5 remedies next week, which will include remedies for cracked nipples (ouch) and after pains.
As ever, please visit www.helios.co.uk for high quality remedies.
Please give me a shout if there's anything which isn't clear, otherwise see you next week. Thanks for reading.