PRESCRIBING FOR NURSING INFANTS.
Clinical observation has demonstrated the fact that nursing infants can be successfully medicated in may instances by prescribing for the mother. There are certain conditions, however, which must be understood and fulfiled, otherwise failures will result which might at first seem difficult to explain. Studies carried on during the past several years have enabled us to arrive at a few rather definite conclusions along these lines.
1. THE MOST BRILLIANT RESULTS ARE OBSERVED IN CASES WHERE BOTH MOTHER AND CHILD REQUIRE THE SAME REMEDY.
Attention was first called to this fact by the action of Calcarea carb. in two cases where only the mothers received the remedy and both infants (breast fed) were typical Calcarea subjects. The response to the similimum in the children was more striking than in many cases of direct medication even in the presence of sharply defined remedy indications. Improvement in the quality of the breast milk was, no doubt, a factor of importance as Calcarea stimulated the maternal vital force and assisted in normalizing body chemistry. Similar experiences with Lycopodium, Natrum mur., Silica and other remedies have convinced us that if the symptoms of both mother and child present the same remedy picture only the mother need receive the medicine providing the child is still being nursed at the breast.
2. WHEN MOTHER AND CHILD REQUIRE THE SAME REMEDY THE RESULTS ARE IDENTICAL IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE MOTHER ALONE RECEIVES THE REMEDY OR WHETHER BOTH RECEIVE IT.
We would not advise prescribing one potency for the mother and a different one for the child when the remedy is the same.
3. GOOD RESULTS ARE OBTAINED IF THE MOTHER IS SUCCESSFULLY PRESCRIBED FOR EVEN IF THE CHILDS SYMPTOMS CALL FOR A DIFFERENT REMEDY.
A series of observations made under these circumstances point to satisfactory but less brilliant results on the average. The reaction in the case of the child is merely less spectacular than under the conditions stated in the first proposition.
4. POOR OR INDIFFERENT RESULTS MAY BE EXPECTED IF THE MOTHER RECEIVES THE REMEDY THE CHILD NEEDS BUT WHICH IS NOT CALLED FOR BY HER OWN SYMPTOMS.
Under these circumstances it is better to prescribed directly and independently for both mother and infant. Suppose the mothers remedy picture is that of Kali carb. and that her nursing infant needs Silica. It will apparently do the child no good to give the mother Silica but if she receives Kali carb. the infant will derive benefit. Of course we would in such a case prescribe for both patients and expect really worthwhile results. Something evidently happens in the maternal organism to modify an incorrect remedy so that it is no secreted in the breast milk.
5. FREQUENCY OR INFREQUENCY OF BREAST FEEDING APPEARS TO HAVE NO INFLUENCE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS INDIRECT METHOD OF PRESCRIBING.
Infants nursed at the breast only once in twenty-four hours and otherwise artificially fed responded as obviously and satisfactorily as those nursed at three or four hour intervals.
Further investigation is necessary in regard to remedy sequences and relationships but some interesting observations have already been made. It is premature to offer these as more than suggestive.
A Calcarea mother had a boy whose acute complaints were apt to call for Belladonna. After the mother relieved Calcarea the child (still nursing on a part time basis) showed marked improvement and had no more acute manifestations.
A Sulphur mother had a Calcarea child whom she was nursing only once in twenty-four hours and this was at ten oclock at night. We decided to prescribe for the mother and gave the baby nothing. Improvement in the infant was prompt and satisfactory. After about six weeks we decided to try Calcarea on the mother experimentally. We based the prescription partly on the childs remedy indications and partly on the well known sequence of Sulphur, Calcarea and Lycopodium. No response was observed in either patient. Another month later the infant was given Calcarea carb. with most gratifying effect.
It is difficult to evaluate some of our studies along these lines and so far our results have not advanced the science and art of homoeopathic prescribing to any worthwhile extent. It has been known since Hahnemanns time that nursing infants could be successfully treated homoeopathically through the mother but there are evidently certain biological laws which determine the circumstances under which success if possible with this method.
It adds to the zest of life to do a little investigating and there is always the possibility that we might discover something of real therapeutic or scientific value.
In serious cases we would not wish to experiment.
QUESTION AND ANSWER DEPARTMENT.
[ NOTE: Send questions to Dr. Eugene Underhill, Jr., 2010 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Penna.].
Question: SUPPOSE A HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDY IN THE 30TH OR HIGHER POTENCY HAS JUST BEEN PRESCRIBED, WOULD THERE BE ANY OBJECTION TO USING ONE OF SCHUSSLERS REMEDIES IN A DECIMAL POTENCY, REPEATING AS NECESSARY?.
Answer: This is not according to the best rules of homoeopathic practice. Only one remedy can be indicated at a time and to prescribe other medicines, even in a low potency, is not advised, as it may confuse the case and make it impossible for the physician to really know what it is all about. The twelve tissue remedies are prescribed by homoeopathic physicians on exactly the same basis and in the same potency range as other remedies in materia medica.
Question: IN CASE OF AN ABSCESSED EAR I IT NOT SAFER TO RUPTURE THE DRUM MEMBRANE THAN TO TAKE A CHANCE ON MASTOID INVOLVEMENT?.
Answer: Spontaneous rupture of the drum membrane is far safer than mechanical intervention. The homoeopathic remedy is capable of giving wonderful relief in acute suppurative otitis media, and the only local treatment we would advise would be the instillation of mullein oil, one or several times a day as necessary. We have never observed any harm resulting from its use and many times marked benefit. It is infinitely better all other local measures advised for such cases.
Question: SUPPOSE A TUBERCULOUS PATIENT HAS A STRONG AVERSION TO MILK AND YET SHOULD HAVE IT TO KEEP UP HIS WEIGHT AND STRENGTH, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE?.
Answer: Homoeopathy never forces anything against an unwilling appetite. If there is aversion to milk there may also be aggravation from it. The correct remedy will, in time, overcome both the aversion and the aggravation.
Tuberculous patients are generally allergic and foods which produces a marked expression of the allergic should be avoided. In recent years it is becoming increasingly evident that to force eggs and milk on tuberculous subjects is apt to result in more harm than good. It just burns them up as evidenced by the increased fever induced by excessive ingestion of concentrated foods.