Homeopathic Medicines In Pregnancy: Safety And Effectiveness

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The popularity of homeopathic medicines in pregnancy is not recent. In fact, it has been a favored alternative to allopathic medicines for centuries since the latter is suspected of having teratogenic effects. Although homeopathy may not replace allopathy completely, it may be recommended in some instances.

Read this post to learn about the uses of homeopathic medicines for some common pregnancy-related complaints.

Are Homeopathic Medicines Safe During Pregnancy?

Consult a qualified homeopath before taking homeopathic medicines

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Homeopathic medicines are usually safe for pregnant women (1). They are generally derived from plants and minerals and diluted several times. Also, homeopathic medicines are non-addictive and contain negligible amounts of artificial substances.

They can help provide relief from common problems such as morning sickness, constipation, insomnia, heartburn, and back pain (2). However, you should not self-prescribe the medications but see a qualified homeopath.

Use Of Homeopathy During Pregnancy

According to the British Homeopathic Association and The College Of Practical Homeopathy (based in London), homeopathy can be useful in the following ways (3) (4).

The medications mentioned in this section are general recommendations for informational purposes only. You need to consult a certified homeopath for personalized prescriptions.

Homeopathic remedies for first-trimester complaints

1. Morning sickness

Homeopathic medicines reduce nausea, vomiting, and heartburn

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This common problem is associated with nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. The general prescriptions include:

  • Arsenic album for excessive vomiting.
  • Cocculus indica for nausea soon after getting off the bed.
  • Ipecac for nausea or vomiting when eating or smelling food.
  • Pulsatilla for vomiting, heartburn, acidic or bitter belching, or nausea after having food.
  • Sepia when strong smells of food trigger nausea. When morning sickness is accompanied with lower abdominal pain sepia is recommended.

2. Constipation

Another early symptom of pregnancy, this might continue throughout your pregnancy. Homeopathic recommendations include:

  • Lycopodium if passing hard stools.
  • Nux vomica, opium, or alumina for frequent constipation, a futile urge to pass stool, and a dull headache.
  • Nux vomica and sulfur for constipation that leads to hemorrhoids.
  • Sepia for pain as a result of hard stools.
  • Bryonia is recommended with a feeling of dryness in the rectum.
  • Causticum is useful during painful defeaction

3. Breast tenderness

This may happen due to hormonal changes and may usually lead to the tenderness of breasts. Wearing a supportive bra may be helpful.

  • Pulsatilla might soothe breast soreness and discomfort.
  • Phytolacca when breast feels hard, swollen and tender
  • Cancer carb is recommended when there is breast tenderness in obese females.

Homeopathic remedies for second-trimester complaints

4. Backache

Homeopathic medicines provide relief from back pain

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Backache develops as the growing uterus puts pressure on the joints of the lower back and pelvis. General homeopathic recommendations include:

Bella Donna for relieving pain comes fast and resolves soon but touch aggravates the pain.

  • Kali carbonicum for relieving a weak and tired back.
  • Natrum muriaticum for moderate back pain.
  • Rhus toxicodendron when your back hurts from a strain or injury.
  • Sepia when your back feels tired with an aching dragging pain in the lower back.

5. Varicose veins:

These enlarged and swollen veins develop when the uterus squeezes over the large vein passing through the leg. They become painful, itchy, and uncomfortable.

  • Pulsatilla may help the discomfort in the rectum (where varicose veins lead to piles).
  • Carbo vegetabilis for piles that causes burning pain before a bowel movement.
  • Hamamelis may help soothe swollen, inflamed, and painful veins that get worse if you exert pressure.
  • Zincum metallic resolves large varicose veins develop causing pain and soreness that are worsened from touch.

Homeopathic remedies for third-trimester complaints

6. Heartburn

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux, heartburn occurs when stomach acids flow up to the esophagus and mouth. Homeopathy medicines for this problem include:

  • Apis mellifica if you belch every time you eat or drink.
  • Capsicum when there is a severe burning sensation behind the breastbone.
  • Carbo vegetabilis if you experience heaviness, belching, and fullness even after consuming a small quantity of food.
  • Lycopodium may help when you feel bloated after having food.
  • Sulfur if heartburn worsens mid-morning and when dairy products aggravate the symptoms.
  • Arsenic Album relieves burning pains but warm drinks make the patient feel better.
Quick fact
Homeopathic medicines like Ulmus Fulva and Filipendula may also help manage heartburn and indigestion symptoms (8).

7. Itching

Itching or pruritus is common in the third trimester and happens when the skin stretches and tightens. It is likely to occur on the breasts, nipples, tummy, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hands, and feet.

  • Dolichos may be helpful when there is itching all over the body and worsens at night.
  • Sepia when itching is severe due to exposure to air.
  • Mercurius vivus on itchy pustular eruptions filled with pus or fluid.
  • Tabacum if you experience unbearable itching.

8. Urinary problems

Urinary problems, especially urinary tract infections (UTIs), are common throughout pregnancy and are frequent in the final stages. Homeopathic recommendations include:

  • Cantharis if you experience a constant burning sensation in the bladder and discomfort while urinating.
  • Phosphoricum acidum in the case of cloudy urine and a burning sensation.
  • Nux vomica if you have difficulty in passing urine or irritation and itching in the bladder.

9. Homeopathy for labor

Homeopathic experts recommend some medications to help with labor. Their efficacy needs further research (5) (6). Common recommendations include:

  • Aconite to quicken labor when you have extreme pain associated with fear and anxiety.
  • Arnica for preventing bruises and controlling bleeding in normal labor.
  • Chamomilla for relieving unbearable and violent labor pain.
  • Cocculus for relieving exhaustion associated with dizziness and mild headache.
  • Kali carbonicum for severe pain in the back, which radiates down to the buttocks and thighs.
  • Kali phosphoricum is given in-between contractions to relieve exhaustion.
  • Pulsatilla is given when the woman turns weepy or clingy during labor. It may also help restore hormonal levels after birth.
  • Sepia for severe pains and irritability post-birth.
  • Sulfur when contractions turn weak or stop, and when the woman feels restless and irritable
  • Caulophylum when there is weak contractions with no dilatation.
  • Gelsemium when cauliphylum fails.
  • Pulsatilla is given when the patient feels emotional and highly sensitive to psi(ref American medical college of
  • homoeopathy.
Quick fact
Calcarea Phosphorica can help strengthen a pregnant woman who tends to experience fatigue, bone and joint aches, digestive issues, nutrient malabsoprtion, and cold hands or feet (9).

10. Homeopathy after delivery

Homeopathic medicines relieve postpartum pains and speed the healing process

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Whether it is a vaginal delivery or C-section delivery, homeopathic medicines are recommended to relieve postpartum pains and speed the healing process. Listed below are some homeopathic medicines used for the purpose (3).

  • Arnica for soreness and bruising that happens with episiotomy or stitches from a vaginal tear.
  • Hypericum for pain after an epidural, an episiotomy, or a forceps/vacuum-assisted delivery.
  • Kali phosphorium for relief from mental exhaustion associated with tiredness and headache after childbirth.
  • Staphysagria for pains that develop with deep incisions. It also offers relief from the pain and sensitivity of the genital organs.

Medicines should be strictly consumed as per guidelines of homeopathic consultants only. Self medication can turn hazardous.

Are There Any Risks Of Using Homeopathy During Pregnancy?

The risks or side effects of homeopathic medicines are thought to be marginal. However, more research is needed to establish their safety and efficacy during pregnancy.

Although homeopathic medicines are regulated by the US FDA, they are not subjected to the same testing protocols as allopathic medicines.

Is There Any Homeopathic Medicine For Normal Delivery?

Arnica helps prevent delivery complications and lessen pains after birth

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If the labor is normal and progressing with no complications, arnica could help to prevent any further complications and is believed to lessen the pains after birth. There is no substantial evidence to prove the efficacy of homeopathic medicines for normal delivery. Only a qualified homeopath could give the best advice based on your health condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is better: homeopathy or ayurveda during pregnancy?

You may choose ayurveda or homeopathy based on your interest as a complementary therapy with ongoing prenatal care. Both complementary medicines are based on different principles and provide entirely different medications. Always ask your obstetrician to ensure the safety of complementary medicines and if there are any concerns about using them with prenatal supplements.

2. Which is better: allopathy or homeopathy during pregnancy?

Allopathy is modern medicine that uses evidence-based approaches and well-studied medications to manage, cure, or prevent diseases. Homeopathy works based on the principle of ‘like cures like. The effectiveness of homeopathic preparations is argued in medicine. You may ensure optimal baby growth for gestational age if you follow homeopathic prenatal care. Homeopathic vaccines are also not known to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases (7).

Taking homeopathic medicines during pregnancy can be a better alternative to allopathy in some cases. Some pregnancy-related issues where homeopathic medicine could provide relief are morning sickness, constipation, insomnia, and heartburn. Expecting mothers can safely consume homeopathic medicines prescribed by a homeopathy professional after a thorough health checkup. Besides alleviating pregnancy issues, homeopathy experts can suggest medicines to support the labor process and promote postpartum recovery. So, if you are interested in trying homeopathy before, during, or after pregnancy, consult a licensed homeopathy doctor to make informed choices.

Infographic: Some More Homeopathic Medicines During Pregnancy

Pregnant women often encounter problems, such as anemia and anxiety, especially towards the end of gestation. Homeopathic medicines may help address these problems when taken under medical supervision. The infographic below lists such medications.

homeopathic medicines during pregnancy [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Homeopathic medicines are derived from plants and diluted several times, and they can be safe during pregnancy. However, more research is needed to know their efficacy and safety.
  • Homeopathy treats morning sickness, constipation, backache, breast tenderness or soreness, varicose veins, and heartburn in different trimesters.
  • Some homeopathic medicines are given to help labor, relieve postpartum pain, and aid in healing.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Crompton R; Homeopathy for common complaints during pregnancy and childbirth; Pract Midwife (2012).
2. Homeopathy; The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
3. Pregnancy and labour – It’s baby time; British Homeopathic Association
4. Homeopathy in Pregnancy; The College Of Practical Homeopathy
5. Labour and childbirth; British Homeopathic Association
6. A Guide to Homeopathy in Childbirth; The College Of Practical Homeopathy
7. Homeopathy; BetterHealth Channel
8. Alternative & Homeopathic Remedies in Pregnancy: What’s safe, what’s not?; Healthy Mom and Baby
9. Pregnancy and Delivery Support (Homeopathy); PeaceHealth

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