Homeopathy is a complementary or alternative medical system that seeks to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. In homeopathy, a key premise is that every person has energy called a vital force or self-healing response. When this energy is disrupted or imbalanced, health problems develop. Homeopathy aims to stimulate the body’s own healing responses.

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Homeopathy is ideal for women in their childbearing years as it is gentle on the system. During pregnancy, some women choose to live with the discomfort of minor complaints such as morning sickness or heartburn, rather than seek treatment because they are concerned about the possible side effects of orthodox medicines on their unborn child.

Homeopathic remedies are safe for your growing baby because they are made from natural substances. By stimulating your vitality in pregnancy, homeopathic treatment can benefit your baby by staying as healthy as possible during pregnancy.

Physical and emotional changes during pregnancy may cause health problems such as nausea, mild urinary problems, diarrhea, heartburn, anemia, varicose veins, backache, cramps, thrush, or emotional distress. All these problems as well as other potentially complicated symptoms such as raised blood pressure may be helped by professional homeopathic treatment.

The suggestions in this article are for minor complaints. If your symptoms are severe or chronic, consult a registered homeopath, and/or your general practitioner.

Morning Sickness

Symptoms of morning sickness include nausea, occasional vomiting, and tiredness. Many women experience these symptoms during the first three months of pregnancy, usually in the morning when the stomach is empty, although it can occur at any time of the day.The traditional cure of eating a dry biscuit before getting out of bed is worth trying. Avoid rich, fatty foods and try eating little and often if your nausea is worse when you are hungry. Seek professional help if your vomiting is severe, for example if you are unable to keep food down and are losing weight or if it persists past your third month.

The following are some homeopathic remedies for nausea:

Ipecac helps with constant nausea in which vomiting is difficult and does not relieve your nausea.

Nux vomica can be taken for nausea  that is relieved by vomiting; sour belching, indigestion, and heartburn.
Pulsatilla has been shown effective with patients exhibting nausea that becomes worse after eating and drinking, and is accompanied by infrequent vomitting. You may feel weepy and moody.

Sepia may work for intermittent nausea that is worse in the mornings and worse from the smell or thought of food; there is an empty, sinking feeling in the stomach which is temporarily relieved by eating. You are indifferent or cross with others.

Constipation in pregnancy

Constipation occurs when there is abdominal pain or discomfort, difficult and infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools. Constipation affects approximately half of all women at some point during their pregnancy.

In general, worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet may cause constipation. Constipation in pregnant women is thought to occur due to hormones that relax the intestinal muscle and by the pressure of the expanding uterus on the intestines. Relaxation of the intestinal muscle causes food and waste to move slower through your system.

Prevention and treatment of constipation involve much of the same thing. If you are experiencing constipation, try eating a high fiber diet (25-30 grams of fiber per day); drink a lot of fluids, 10-12 glasses a day; exercise routinely; reduce or eliminate iron supplements as they may contribute to constipation.  Talk to your health care provider about checking your iron levels and recommendations to manage iron intake during pregnancy.

What homeopathic remedies can help?

Bryonia works for large, hard, dry stools which are difficult to expel.

Nux vomica can be useful for those who have a frequent urge to pass a stool but in spite of straining pass only small amounts each time.
Sepia is for those who strain to pass a large, hard stool; the stomach feels full and there is a sensation of a lump in the rectum that may remain even after passing a stool. You feel generally sluggish

Sulphur may work for constipation with piles that itch and burn and are worse for heat.

Rina Valia is a consulting homeopath at Pacific Homeopathy. She can be reached at  (408) 835-7420, rina@pacifichomeopathy.com, or www.pacifichomeopathy.com.

This article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of the magazine.

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