Complaints During Pregnancy

Everybody must remember to have seen poor women when in the family way, and to have heard such people severely blamed for running about with their boots unlaced; when the fact is, that had these approaching mothers attempted to fasten the laces, the size of their limbs would have rendered such an effort ridiculous.

This increased dimension of the extremities is provoked by the pressure of the gravid uterus preventing the absorbents from carrying off the fluids of the lower limbs. The best remedy in these cases, and that which should always be tried in the first instance, is lying down with the enlarged limb rather elevated; then to have gentle friction applied outside the stocking till some relief is gained; after which the patient should rise and take a little gentle exercise.

When a lady is subject to this annoyance she should sit as little as possible; but, when resting, should always recline upon the sofa. Few ladies in the upper ranks, however, like to absent themselves from the family dinner, and may suffer acutely while gracing the domestic banquet. During the latter periods, ladies of such a station should always dine alone, for it is idle to imagine good is done to the body by provoking suffering.

There can be nothing approaching to over indulgence in prudently attending to those admonitions which Nature gives a reasonable being whenever she inflicts pain.

The weight that often affects the legs during gestation – the well-known sensation of “pins and needles” – should not be submitted to, but in every instance ought to be regarded as an intimation that a change of position is required.

Should, however, those domestic remedies to which I have alluded fail to afford relief, the patient is entreated to resist the adoption of punctures, purgatives, derivatives, bleedings, and tartar emetic, so heroically inflicted by the worshippers of the temple of Galen; and are recommended to submit themselves to the influence of such remedies as Arsenicum, Dulcamara, Bryonia, Lycopodium, or Sulphur.

It however, becomes a serious consideration when effusion of the extremities terminates in dropsy of the body. When such a change takes place, the pulse is accelerated, feverishness is present, accompanied with more or less pain; the skin is dry, the excretions scanty, the bowels confined, the spirits dejected, the sleep generally absent; or, when present, disturbed by fearful dreams.

Auscultation, which during pregnancy affords to the practised ear the surest and most certain indications, is now difficult to be applied, and often becomes useless to attempt. In such a case, however, the mother need not despair. Instances of general dropsy have occurred when the patient has been delivered of a healthy child, and she herself has subsequently done well. One thing, however, I must endeavour to impress upon those interested in such a subject,-that is, the daily use of the sponge-bath; the resort to exercise, to the limit of the capability; and feeding, especially, upon the lightest and most nourishing diet.

These measures together with an occasional resort to some of the following medicines, generally afford relief without weakening the patient, for whose condition the books written by Allopathists seem not to have the smallest consideration.

The measures which I have before recounted are now more than ever, by these gentlemen, insisted upon, notwithstanding that the weakness of the lady claims all sympathy and support. Arsenicum, Bryonia, Cantharis, Digitalis, China and Sulphur, are among the chief remedies to be consulted for such a condition.


Varicose veins are frequently sad troubles when connected with gestation. They may appear either in the thing or leg; and if allowed to progress without attempt at remedying, the over- distended vessel may even burst. Should not the skin then give way, the blood becomes effused into the cellular tissue, and produces what is generally known as “black-leg”. Should the integument yield, fearful bleeding may be the result, and this at a time when the system can ill-sustain depletion.

The symptoms of varicose veins are soft bluish tumours, attended with more or less pain, a sense of weight in the limb, and complaints of bearing-down, and a great disinclination for motion of the slightest kind.

The enlargements, however, generally disappear with convalescence; and ladies who before labour I have known to imagine themselves incapable of action, after becoming mothers have moved about with surprising alacrity.

Friction, always applied in a direction from the extremity of the limb upwards, is, in these instances, beneficial; and the patient should undergo this manipulation as frequently as possible.

No pressure, however, should be made in a contrary direction, as veins are only to be relieved when pressed towards the centre of the circulation.

A well-adjusted bandage, or, better still, the elastic stocking should be worn by ladies subject to this troublesome annoyance; and when taking rest they should invariably seek the reclining posture.


Haemorrhoids, or piles, are among the severest troubles which afflict the pregnant lady. They are far too serious to be here omitted, and therefore I must briefly touch upon them.

A sense of itching invariably precedes their appearance: this is followed by a burning or smarting pain, The inconvenience thus occasioned, often induces the patient to neglect the relief of the body, and thereby to aggravate the complaint. The parts throb, and give a conviction of heaviness; the pulse increases; red suffuses the face; the skin becomes dry; headache, thirst, coated tongue, with considerable tenesmus, accompanied with a glairy discharge, which is occasionally discoloured, are the general symptoms of these annoyances.

The Allopathic doctrine recommends free purgatives, leeches, bleeding, injections of warm water, and sitting over the steam of the same liquid. When reading the foregoing, a reasonable mind would conclude that a period of pregnancy was a season of extraordinary vigour and robustness of health.

The accredited doctor appears to regard his patient simply as a being whom he is duly bound to debilitate and exhaust by every means at his command. Even the colossal elephant would, after a time, give way under such perpetual drainage; and it is not to be wondered at, that so many ladies are lost at the most critical period of their existence.

Homoeopathy, on the other hand, avoids all such cruel and useless measures, and in such a condition, administers, with marked success, such remedies as Aconite when the piles are inflamed; Arsenicum when there is burning shooting pain, with prostration of strength; Belladonna when there is profuse haemorrhage, with violent pain in the back and loins; Antimonium Crudum when accompanied by a discharge of white or yellowish mucus, with burning, tingling, or itching sensation in the anus; Carbo Vegetabilis when the piles are large, and present a bluish appearance, with burning pain in the loins, flatulence, constipation, and discharge of scalding mucus from the passage; Chamomilla when the piles bleed freely, accompanied with compressive pains in the abdomen, with a frequent desire to go to stool; Acidum Nitricum in chronic piles of large size, with white or yellowish exudation, and attended with fissures or cracks in the mucous fold of the anus; Nux Vomica and Sulphur, in alternation, in those naturally prone to lead a sedentary life, who had indulged to excess in coffee, and highly-seasoned dishes; when the pain is shooting, with burning or itching in the anus; contusive pains in the loins; constipation, with frequent ineffectual efforts to evacuate; or, when constipation occurs in alternation with loose evacuations, with discharge of florid blood, and sensation of excoriation in the passage; dyspepsia, and frequent protrusion of haemorrhoidal tumours; and Podophyllum Peltatum when congestion of the liver exists, with constipation, prolapsus ani, and pale, hard, dry faeces.

The patient should eschew sedentary habits, a proper amount of exercise should be taken daily, and an abstemious mode of living strictly observed. The cold sitz-bath, and a “lavement” consisting of about half a pint to one pint of cold water, used daily, or every other morning, I have found a valuable auxiliary in the treatment of Haemorrhoids. ([* For more elaborate information on this subject, see my work on the “Homoeopathic Treatment of Indigestion, Constipation, and Piles”. Published by Leath & Co., St. Paul’s Churchyard.*])


Sometimes during the whole period of gestation, and often aggravated with its advance, is Toothache. The pain will frequently locate itself obstinately in one particular tooth; but occasionally it will affect the entire jaw. The symptoms, however, are known to be neuralgic by the frequent absence of decay, and the non-recognition of any possible cause. The pain may be continuous, or it may appear in paroxysms, and frequently is not altogether free from danger, because it prevents the patient from enjoying the necessary rest. On this account, and from the general distress which it produces, Toothache frequently becomes one of the most distressing attendants on the pregnant state. Ladies, however, should not needlessly undergo the torture of extraction, especially as this painful mode or relief is invariably useless, and has been known to produce even abortion or premature labour.

William Morgan
William Morgan (1826 – 1894) was a British orthodox physician, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, who converted to homeopathy to become a Member of the British Homeopathic Society, Member of the British Institute of Homeopathy, Physician to the Brighton Homeopathic Dispensary, Physician to the North London Homeopathic Dispensary, Medical Officer at the Cambridge Homeopathic Dispensary, Member of the Homeopathic Publishing Company, Medical Officer at the London Homeopathic Hospital.
William Morgan wrote The homeopathic treatment of indigestion, constipation, and haemorrhoids, The philosophy of homeopathy, The Text Book for Domestic Practice, The Liver and Its Diseases, Both Functional and Organic, Diabetes Mellitus, Syphilis and Syphiloidal Diseases, Cholera, Diphtheria, The signs and concomitant derangements of pregnancy, Contagious diseases; their history, anatomy, pathology, and treatment, Diseases of the Liver, and their homeopathic treatment.