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The danger of the use of homeopathy by people who don't understand how it works.

My SIL was planning a home-birth when pregnant with her first child. For three weeks before her due date the midwife (who obviously didn't understand how homeopathic remedies work) gave her Caulophyllum (don't know what potency) daily -- for at least 21 days. As a result my SIL was in labour for nearly 3 days, and ended up in hospital with an epidural, a forceps delivery, and a traumatised baby.

My understanding is that she was PROVING Caulophyllum. Her second labour was relatively uncomplicated and the baby was born at home. If midwives are going to use homeopathic remedies, it is essential that we give them a basic training as to how the remedies work, and when to give them and when not to give them.

The first baby was also born with a bad thrush infection -- mouth and bottom, (which was successfully treated with gentian violet). The thrush also suggests that the mother and baby were proving the remedy. Unfortunately I was not told about the Caulophyllum until it was all over, or I would have said something.

Another midwife friend here in Cape Town was doing the same, so I explained to her how homeopathy works, and she has now had some training, and uses remedies interactively in labour, with good success (she attends home births, VBACs etc.) It's amazing what a little bit of training can do to help.

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Some further thoughts. Does anyone here have literature on the most useful remedies to use during labour and delivery, and postnatally (for specific symptoms)? It would be helpful to compile a handout -- to distribute to midwives who are experimenting with homeopathic remedies -- with some basic information on how homeopathy works as well. Please don't say they shouldn't be doing it... The point is they are, and we can help make it safer. Thanks! :-)
Another excellent topic. I would love to hear discussion about Caulophyllum and its use. What is the recommended protocol, potency, frequency, timing to give before labor and what to expect. Possible outcomes. What to do if mother is proving. How to antidote.

What is the relationship between caulophyllum and thrush. How was gentian violet given? In tincture/potency? This information should be available and standard knowledge for trained midwives.
Poor patient and poor midwife - it may have just been bad luck, particularly as it was a first delivery.
Whilst I agree that it might be a risk to prescribe such a regimen daily before birth (and a prolonged labour might be a proving of the remedy), however, there are quite a few reputable, classical homeopaths who advise giving Caulophyllum daily in low potencies for the last two to three weeks of pregnancy. It is said to prepare the womb for birth, and is also useful when the mother-to-be is anxious about the birth (v. Dr. Borland 'Homeopathy for Mother and Infant'; Dr. M. Tyler 'Homeopathic Drug Pictures' for two examples)
So your midwife was probably only following what she had been taught, if she was giving a low potency - opinions differ in many areas in homeopathy, don't they? Who knows, the labour might have been even longer without it. I have also heard of births where Caulophyllum had no effect whatsoever and a caesarian was eventually performed.
I have a booklet called Homeopathy for midwives (and all pregnant women) by Dr Peter Webb. Its less than 50 pages long and well worth the read. Also Helios produce a birth remedy kit with a very good user guide. Both of these would make a good starting point for your handout. The ISBN for the book is 0-946717-70-2

Graham

Pat Torngren said:
Some further thoughts. Does anyone here have literature on the most useful remedies to use during labour and delivery, and postnatally (for specific symptoms)? It would be helpful to compile a handout -- to distribute to midwives who are experimenting with homeopathic remedies -- with some basic information on how homeopathy works as well. Please don't say they shouldn't be doing it... The point is they are, and we can help make it safer. Thanks! :-)
Dear Pat
I agree,No one should use homeopathics without knowledge of its basic principles.
Many seem to think its like handing out herbs/vitamins.
All lumped together as "holistic'.
Far from it.
If homeopathy is applied without proper knowledge and guidance great harm may happen to the patient.
1-via a proving
2-via suppression
3-via aggravations
Then what to do? If these haphazard prescriptions are made what is the second prescription?,how to monotor,how to antidote,how to alter the potency,how to dispense properly???
------------------------------------------more on Caulopyllum----------------------------------------------
Caulophyllum: known as a labor regulator; to initiate or augment contractions, (use 12c potency and alternate with Cimicifuga 12c); irregular, strong, but ineffective contractions; pains flag from exhaustion; hemorrhage and/or retained placenta due to absent contractions or uterine weakness, usually after long labor; uterus soft and flabby; tremulous weakness; miscarriage due to uterine weakness from repeated abortions, miscarriages, and childbirths; painful, swollen joints during pregnancy or postpartum

Read entire post via my discussion; on birthing/midwife homeopathic remedies
I had a patient who over dosed on Caul while in labour and ended up with a retained placenta . I found that in the proving!!
Quite interesting information. Does this mean that caulophyllum can be used to treat thrush?
Thrush is most prevalent in the digestive system.
Vaginal thrush can be avoided simply by washing or wet wiping every time after a stool. Dry wiping is not adequate.

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