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.