This is a day of specializing in obstetrics, at least in the large cities. Most of the babies are delivered by obstetricians who claim to know the latest in all things obstetrical. They do not allow even nature to have a chance in the delivery. They have trained the women to demand that they be put out so that they will not know anything about the first few preliminary pains until the case is all over with and the patient is back in bed. They charge so much that they have to do everything “instead of letting nature have a chance” to justify these charges.
All kinds of anesthetics are being used: scopalamine in various combinations, pantopon, demerol, nembutal, spinal anesthesia, caudal anesthesia, and what have you. The main demand and promise is that the patient is not to know anything about the labor and delivery, and in return a fat fee is paid for this service. I do not feel, and most homoeopathic physicians who practice strict homoeopathy do not feel, that this method is either the safest or the best for the patient. It does, however, appeal to the young woman who wants her baby without any pain or knowing anything about it, and you cannot blame her after all the publicity this method has been given in all the lay journals and periodicals.
Has homoeopathy anything to offer the obstetrical cases that the non-homoeopathic physicians do not have? We certainly have a great deal to offer from the early nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, through pregnancy, delivery, postpartum period, and also for the welfare of the baby.
The nausea of pregnancy is relieved better through homoeopathic prescribing than in any other way. It may take one to four weeks to accomplish this in severe cases, but the health of the patient is improved at the same time which is more than can be said about many of the preparations that are being used by the obstetricians for this purpose.
Homoeopathic prescribing all through pregnancy keeps the patient feeling better, prevents the various complications common to pregnancy, and makes delivery easier. I have, for the past ten years, given all my pregnant women a mineral and vitamin supplement to prevent any drain on the system. I may also at times given them extra calcium, if I see the need for its.
I also at times give a grain of thyroid a day, if I seen signs of thyroid deficiency, which is usually shown by too great an increase in weight, extremely low blood pressure and also a slow pulse. Some of our members will not agree that giving minerals, vitamins or thyroid is a good thing, but I have gradually worked out this plan and find that my patients come through the pregnancy much better by using these preparations. I use a natural vitamin and mineral preparation (Nutramin put out by Emory W. Thurston Laboratory, Los Angeles, but this is only distributed on the west coast).
I prescribe for my patients until they get into severe labor, but after they go into delivery room and I get scrubbed up, it is practically impossible to do any homoeopathic prescribing with the present hospital technique. I only take hospital cases during recent years. All homoeopathic physicians know that the prescribing during pregnancy makes delivery easier and prevents complications. I routinely give my patients Arnica 6x., unless there are indications for some other remedy. The nurses are quite interested in these tablets and they often start them before I order them.
They have asked me why it is my patients practically never have any fever or complications after delivery, while practically all of the other doctors’ patients have various complications. I explained to them that I prescribe for my patients homoeopathically all through pregnancy which prevents complications and keeps the patients in better health. It is hard to keep the interns from doping up my patients for every little ache and pain, but I have a standing order that no medication be given except in case of real emergency.
I often have women ask me if I will put them clear out so they won’t know anything about it if they come to me. I tell them that if they want that kind of service, they had better to to one of the high class, high-priced specialists, as I do not care to make such deliveries. I usually promise them that their pains will not be unbearable. I always give some sedation and anesthetic unless they do not want it.
I claim that babies born to mothers who have had homoeopathic treatment during pregnancy are healthier and have a better start in life.
DR. A. H. GRIMMER [Chicago, Illinois]: Mr. Chairman, I don’t think there is much to discuss in this paper. I think Dr. Smith has worked out a very sensible routine, and evidently it is a good one because it has had uniform success.
DR. DONALD G. GLADISH [Glenview, Illinois]: Dr. Smith I would like to ask you a question and also Dr. Neiswander. What do you do about the hospital routine nowadays of some ergot preparation after delivery? Do you avoid that or do you agree to it?.
DR. C. P. BRYANT [Seattle, Washington]: I want to tell you that one of our greatest homoeopaths, Harry T. Cook of Los Angeles, did the first spinal block that was ever done in the United States. That came to us a good many years ago. I am trying now to get out of delivering babies after having delivered three thousand. If you come to the time when you are desperate, if you come to the time when you cannot control the patient, use a spinal block which is the easiest thing in the world to give it is simply an injection.
Let me give you a little history just because it is interesting. We were the first men, a group of homoeopaths to use it in the City of Seattle. It created a tremendous uproar and immediately the old school men announced that we were just having death after death and that the dead wagon was just coming by that hospital as fast as it could carry them out. We have never had a death!.
In fact, the truth is that it is the only thing I know of, when you do become desperate, that does give complete relief and complete relaxation. This is what has happened in the course of our experience. Starting out with 150 milligrams of simple novocain in a graduated syringe with in spinal needle, draw out just enough spinal fluid to dissolve those crystals, which may be only cc. or less. We started out with 150 milligrams. Now it is down to 30 milligrams. The patient is completely conscious. She has the use of all her muscles; with 150 milligrams she didn’t. She will give you full cooperation. She will work just when you
tell her to work, though she feels no pain. We have never had a complication. DR. F. K. BELLOKOSSY [Denver, Colorado]: If a patient is prepared correctly for delivery, there is absolutely no pain because when the head passes through the canal and presses on the bones, pain cannot be produced because the pain is produced only when the nerves are oversensitive. If you are perfectly well and you press your bones as much as you can press, there won’t be any pain, but if you are not well, it is likely to hurt. So is this.
The women that have pains during their delivery are not well. If they are prepared correctly, if they get a similimum, if they have the right one, the right remedy, they will be perfectly healthy and there will be absolutely no pain. It is therefore necessary to prepare the woman correctly and the delivery will take care of itself. You don’t need to be over by the time you arrive.
DR. ROYAL E. S. HAYES [Waterbury, Connecticut]: I am surprised that Dr. Smith has to resort to anesthetics because I went so many years and never used any anesthetics after I learned to use homoeopathic remedies in labor.
DR. DAYTON T. PULFORD [Toledo, Ohio]: I would like to say that preparation for the delivery, as well as for the menopause, begins many years before these people are bound to become pregnant or to go through the menopause. They have been taught that every woman when she reaches a certain age must go through all kinds of trouble. That was just one of the things- of intellectual garbage- I had in mind last night, (Pulford, Dayton T.: The Fettered Mind, The Homoeopathic Recorder, LXV: 3 (Sept. 1949), pp 68-69.) and I think the sooner we get rid of it the less trouble we will have in a good many instances.
DR. SMITH (Closing): In regard to ergot, Dr. Gladish, I have a standing order that it is not to be given except in case of real emergency. In the hospital I go to, we don’t have any trouble about it.
Dr. Bryant is luckier than I am. I kept on doing maternity work the last few years waiting for son to take over, but he refuses to do it so I have to keep on.
Dr. Bellokossy’s preparation of his patient is better than I have ever been able to do. I think you can take them through with very little pain, but I have never in the thirty-eight years I have been in practice seen any woman that hasn’t had some pain. It usually can be made bearable so it doesnt bother her, but as far as no pain- I think nature expects pain and it is normal to have it.
As to an anesthetic, I don’t know about your country but in our country there are too many specialists there telling what they can do. There are very few times when you can get by without giving something. I am willing to take care of any of them and they get along well without it, but the demand today is great.