For most women, pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of their lives – the time when they ‘blossom.’ However for others, the nine months of pregnancy can pose some health challenges including falling pregnant in the first instance.

Homeopaths generally view pregnancy and childbirth as a period of time needing little intervention, using remedies only if they are required. Homeopathy can be very effective, both as an adjunct to other therapies and as an alternative when other therapies seem inappropriate, especially when women want to avoid potential side effects of drugs while carrying their babies.

In pregnancy, homeopathy can help at various stages. In the beginning of pregnancy it can help with morning sickness and tiredness. Later in pregnancy it can be used for indigestion and constipation as well as complaints such as backache, varicose vein, haemorrhoids. Women who had previous traumatic delivery experiences often find it useful to go over the experience and “process” suppressed emotions in a supportive consultation.

A number of mothers use remedies to help them in childbirth, both during natural birth and Caesarian section. As it is difficult to know what remedies might be required in childbirth, I can give some guidelines and recommend a childbirth kit of remedies that can be used during or immediately after labour as required. Many midwives are familiar with the use of homeopathic remedies in pregnancy and labour and they can be integrated into a birth plan.

Postnatally, homeopathic remedies can help with healing, establishing and helping with breastfeeding difficulties, breast milk production, sore and cracked nipples. Post-natal depression (PND) is a common and distressing condition for the new mothers, their babies and the family life overall. It is very important for women suffering from PND to understand that they are not alone and help is available in many ways: from counselling, medication and complementary therapies.

For newborn babies homeopathy is useful after a shock of delivery, bruising after instrumental/prolonged delivery, and later in colic, teething and fever.

I also see women and couples seeking advise on pre-conception care in order to optimise their health and nutritional status. This may combine nutritional assessment and what we homeopathically refer to as miasmatic treatment. This focuses on the treatment of non-genetic but inherited susceptibility to illness and is particularly used for the prevention of allergies when there is a strong family history.