When we have to do with the art of aiding nature in the delivery of the parturient woman, we have the opportunity of demonstrating the reason for our faith in the power of the homoeopathic remedy, which, applied in accordance with the homoeopathic law, and selected with skill, will determine the speed, comfort, and safety of the mothers delivery, and the most normal recovery, as well as the future health of both mother and child.
The expectant mother places her case in our charge. She has confidence in our skill. Have we the confidence in ourselves, in the power of our remedies, in our own knowledge of the same and in our skill in prescribing them to warrant us in promising her the safety she expects? we must know when mechanical interference is necessary; we must be masters of all operative technique for homoeopathy cannot change the fact of maternal and foetal dystocia, malpositions of the child, pathological changes in the maternal bone pelvis, etc.
Of course the remedies will carry the mother and child through a difficult delivery in better condition, it is hardly necessary to remind you of this fact. But in the so-called normal delivery our materia medica offers the aid that nature needs as well as in the operative cases. It is this phase of the subject which I will take up.
I asked a prominent old school obstetrician what he considered the three most essential aids in confinement. His reply was: First, confidence in ones self and a thorough understanding of the mechanism of labor. Second, surgical skill in all obstetrical operative technique, such as difficult forceps, version and extraction. Caesarean section, and operation for repair of lacerations of all kinds including those through the sphincter and into the rectum, etc. Fourth, ergot.
I asked a homoeopathic obstetrician the same question. His answer was: First, ergot after every labor. )he knew I never used it). Second, knowledge of how to use forceps. Third, gas-oxygen. (Short but sweet!).
All of the above have their uses and should not be neglected. They belong to the common routine skill and knowledge of all schools of medicine. But we, as students of the Hahnemannian law of cure, have many well known and positive aids to meet the requirements of the so-called normal and preventable operative cases of delivery. In this we have the advantage over the other schools.
A new case comes to the doctor. At the first interview be should get her complete history and carefully record it. This gives the patient confidence in the doctor and is helpful to the doctor in the conduct of the case. All symptoms should be carefully noted, especially the mental ones, such as fear, resentment, joy, desire, etc. Any one of these may be the key to the selection of the remedy, which, given early in the pregnancy, is the beginning treatment toward a normal labor in the future.
On your skill in selecting the patients remedy two things depend, the safety of the coming confinement and the health of the child. Two or three generations and we would have the acme of preventive medicine, a robust people with a minimum of ills.
Then labor arrives. What is to be done to make it short, easy and safe. The answer lies in the given remedy. The following remedies I have found very useful in the following order:.
Cuprum metallicum. This remedy has all of the cramps of labor and is useful in helping the normal pains and in making them continue. Cuprum ars. is used if there is much burning and comparing with coldness.
Caulophyllum I place at the head of the list in abnormal labor. It has prolonged false pains which are erratic; as tendency to progress well for a few minutes and then slow up or cease. The patient becomes frantic, the pains are spasmodic, they fly about, change sides or are in the back and then in the front again.
Cimicifuga. In this remedy the pains cease and there are cramps in the hips which seem to replace the uterine pains. Uterine pains become weak, they extend to the groins, or may go from the uterus to the heart. The patient is chilly (Nux), but throws the covers off, only to immediately replace them. She is hysterical, trembling, shivering, with jerking of the muscles of her legs or arms or other groups of muscles. She complains of feeling much, thinks she is about to die, and weeps. Frequently she is of a rheumatic diathesis.
Gelsemium. The thin, sharply defined, gristly-like feel to the end of the cervix is quite characteristic of this drug. Pains go through to and extend up her back. She feels so weak that she cannot go on, she must have some rest. Prostration, weakness, exhaustion mark all her complaints.
Pulsatilla. Here the type or make-up of the patient is of great help; the mild, yielding, clinging type. April showers, tears and laughter follow each other readily. She wants to hold on to someone. She is rarely troubled with constipation. Pain ceases and she has hemorrhage. The haemorrhage seems to stop the pain. She is chilly but must have fresh air.
Kali carb. The abdomen is bloated; there is sharp, cutting pain; stitching pain; pain across the back; stitching pain running from side to side or commencing in the center of the back and running to the side. She wants her back rubbed, it gives her relief; pressure in the small of the back affords much relief. The labor is sluggish with stitching, sticking, jerking pains. It is an excellent remedy after abortions. It equals Sulph. in cases where you can get no symptoms to prescribe on.
Belladonna. The pains, like all Belladonna symptoms, come and go suddenly. The back feels as if it would break. The face flushed; there is dry labor; the fluids have al dried up; she feels as if the contents of the abdomen would drop down or be pushed out. She is highly sensitive, noise bothers her, jarring of the bed, walking across the floor, anything that jars her is very annoying.
Chamomilla. She cant and she wont stand the pain. It drives her frantic, she is furious, beside herself, she is snappy, uncivil, disagreeable.
Aconite. This remedy has a full bounding pulse, a flushed face, and seems to be in great anguish which shows on her face, due to her fear. She is sure she is going to die. Fear of death is the keynote.
Sepia. There is a sensation as of a weight or ball or obstruction in the anus; a weak, all gone feeling in the abdomen; an indurated cervix which yields slowly; often indicated for women who have borne children rapidly; desire to be covered up warmly.
Nux vomica. There is a desire for stool or urination with each pain; sensitiveness to drafts or currents of air; chilly with each pain; drawing pain in the back; a bruised, sore feeling; a congested, full feeling in the head and chest. She complains of headache and wants to lie still.
I have found the following remedies of use for the following complications:
Hour glass contraction of the uterus: Bell, Cham., Cup. met., Kali carb., Nux vom., Plat., Puls., Rhus tox., Sec., Sep., Sulph.
Haemorrhage during labor: Bell., Cinn., Opium., Sabina., Secale, Phos., Ergot and Ham.
Abnormal presentation is said to be influenced or corrected by Pulsatilla. It may be true but it has always failed in my cases.
Certain remedies may be frequently indicated in certain types, for example, the fat woman often requires Graphites; the anaemic, cachectic thin woman, Secale cornutum; the blond, Viburnum or Pulsatilla; the tall, slender woman, Phosphorus.
For retention of the placenta: Bell., Canth., Caul., Gels., Puls., Sab., Sec. and Sepia.
For abortions from over exertion, Rhus tox.; from exposure to damp places, Dulc.; from fright, Aconite, Gels, Opium; from injury; Arn., Rhus tox.
For abortions in the second month. Apis and kali carb.; in the third and fourth months, Apis, Cimic., Sab., Sec.; in the fifth to seventh month, Sepia; in the seventh to ninth. Opium. Of all of these I find Apis the most useful.
To help tone up the patient after severe haemorrhage: China, Kali carb., Sepia.
In conclusion let me remind you that while I have mentioned the remedies I have used most frequently in the above conditions and as an aid to labor and delivery any remedy in the materia medica may be indicated. The indicated remedy is, of course, always the most useful and must be given. You can always rely on it to do its work. It will not fail you.