Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes and while we seek not to medicalise them, we recognise that a number of health problems for mother and baby can occur at this time. We have a number of therapies available at the practice to support you through the process.
In pregnancy, homeopathy can help with morning sickness including more severe forms, indigestion and bowel problems as well as complaints such as backache, varicose veins and hemorrhoids, which can all be a problem in later pregnancy. For mothers who are anxious or concerned about any particular symptoms, a consultation will often help put a series of symptoms in perspective and the remedies will help their natural response to the condition. A number of mothers use remedies to help them in childbirth, both by preparing themselves for a normal birth, a Caesarean section or if they have had difficulties in previous pregnancies. As it is difficult to know what remedies might be required in childbirth, we usually give some general advice and combine it with a childbirth kit of remedies that can be used during or immediately after labour as required. Many midwives are familiar with the use of homeopathic remedies in pregnancy and labour and they can be integrated and facilitated into a natural birth. For newborn babies and post-natally, homeopathic remedies can help with healing post-delivery, establishing and helping with breastfeeding difficulties, breast milk production, sore and cracked nipples, baby colic and later teething.
We see a number of women before they even become pregnant in order to advise them on pre-conceptial care in order to maximise their health and minimise the chance of illnesses being passed on to children. This will sometimes combine with nutritional assessment and what we homeopathically refer to as miasmatic treatment. This focuses on the treatment of non-genetic but inherited susceptibility to illness and is particularly used for the prevention of allergies when there is family history.
Hypnotherapy for pregnancy and childbirth ("Hypno-birthing") uses a mixture of relaxation, breathing techniques, visualisations and positive suggestions. You can be taught to use these techniques in self-hypnosis during both pregnancy and labour. It helps you to feel calm, confident and in control. It can be used whatever type of delivery is planned. There is evidence to show that it reduces length of labour, use of pain relief and medications during labout and that women who use hypnotherapy during pregnancy have calmer infants and a lower inidence of post-natal depresion.
An Osteopath will treat the expectant mother for aches and pains suffered in pregnancy caused by the extra stress put on the spine, joints and ligaments. Common conditions treated include lower back pain, sciatica and pubic symphysis disorder (a painful condition affecting the front of the pelvis).
After the birth, pelvic and low back strain, which may occur while giving birth, can be alleviated. Headaches originating from tension and stiffness in the neck caused by sleepless nights and juggling motherhood and a career, can be also be relieved.
Postural advice will be given to mothers both before and after birth.
Reflexology is the ancient art of stimulating the body’s own healing system through carefully applied pressure to the feet. It is a natural holistic therapy based on the theory that areas on the feet and hands correspond to specific organs and systems in the body, enabling the whole body to be treated at the same time. Ancient texts and illustrations show us that Chinese, Japanese and early Egyptians worked on the feet to promote good heath.
For the expectant mother, Reflexology can help with most pregnancy complaints. These range from morning sickness, insomnia, heartburn, swollen and puffy ankles and constipation to other complaints associated with carrying that extra load such as backache and sciatica. It is a relaxing, stress relieving and enjoyable treatment and the unborn baby will feel the benefits too.
Reflexology can also play a part in childbirth. If a patient’s passes her due date and does not relish the idea of medical intervention with a drug-induced labour, leading to the sudden onset on painful and in some cases non productive contractions, an alternative may be considered. Reflexology can be very effective in helping the body go into labour naturally. Reflexology may stimulate the release of oxytocin by the body to encouraging the onset of uterine contractions naturally, keeping the mother in control, and is more effective than a hot curry. Jane Pearce has had a very high success rate with natural inductions to date.
Women who have undergone a course of reflexology during their pregnancy often find that the overall length of their labour is reduced.
After the birth of the baby, reflexology can help with supporting the immune system and will help restore the body back to optimum health, balancing and revitalising the body’s energy, as well as giving a new mother some relaxation and imperative “me” time.
Reflexology can only be given after the first trimester unless there is a history of miscarriage in which case this and any other existing contra-indications should be discussed with the Reflexologist.