M. J. Hanafin, Certified Nurse Midwife, Doctor of Homeopathy
A midwife, doctor or birth attendant, trained homeopathically can be a very powerful ally for both the expectant mother and infant. She can bridge the spaces with homeopathic remedies where conventional medicine can only hinder or is not appropriate. She also possesses the ability to use allopathy (conventional medicine) when homeopathy is no longer useful. Conventional (allopathic) medicine and homeopathy are very complementary to each other.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine whose principles are even older than Hipprocotes. Dr Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and pharmacist perfected the principles into a science in the early 1800's. Homeopathy seeks to cure in accordance with natural laws of healing, and uses medicines made from natural substances; animal, vegetable and mineral.
The term homeopathy comes from the Greek terms "homoios" (similar) and "pathos" (suffering or sickness). The fundamental law upon which Homeopathy is based is the "Law of Similar", or "let like be cured by like" (similias similibus curentur). In other words, any substance that can render you ill can, in highly diluted safe doses, stimulate cure. Anything that can produce symptoms of disease in a healthy person can cure a sick person with the same symptoms.
Why Use Homeopathy?
"Doing no harm while gently and speedily relieving problems in the child bearing woman" is the art of midwifery. Homeopathy provides a safe, convenient, easy to use treatment system for midwifes. These remedies have been seen to have the power to heal without the extra, undesired effects seen in conventional medicine. This is an advantage in pregnancy where avoiding harm to the fetus is so important. . The remedies are simple and pleasant to administer, being tiny lactose pellets that dissolve under the tongue. They are low cost, over the counter, approved medicines and can be used by midwives, doctors and patients alike.
The Art of Midwifery
Midwifery is in part, the ability of the midwife to "see" the patient as a whole being. Homeopathy lends itself very well to midwives, as it needs a practitioner trained in seeing the patient as an individual in order for the correct remedy to be selected. For example; nausea in pregnancy. One woman has morning sickness, she is also irritable and stressed; this woman needs "Nux Vomica". Another woman has constant nausea and she has excessive saliva, her remedy is "Ipecac". Women who have used homeopathy though their pregnancy and labour have experienced a natural, gentle birth and have stated surprise at how easy it was. In the postpartum period, recovery seems less complicated and patients say they feel calm and have an abundance of good energy. They truly enjoy breastfeeding as they have less nipple pain or engorgement problems. In my experience, I have seen so many potential problems turned around with the use of homeopathy, that like other homeopathic practitioners, I can see its use right along side of conventional medicine, where both disciplines compliment each other to the benefit of both mother and baby.
Totality: In classical homeopathic treatment, you take in the whole picture of the patient -the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical symptoms that make up the whole being. By matching this picture with the picture of a remedy, you connect the patient with the healing stimuli they need "The ripple in a pond or a view from the mountain top" idea and not "just from the foothills".
The Law of Minimum Dose
The use of a remedy in the minute potency that will stimulate the body's own healing mechanism. A process of dilution and invigoration establishes a remedy's potency, designated by the number r and the letter following its name. When we give the remedy, only one dose of one remedy is given at a time, and then we wait to see what healing and relief it stimulates. We only give another dose if the case stops improving before a full recovery is reached or if the symptoms return. Giving the body more remedy than it needs will not improve or speed up the action of the remedy; if anything, it may reduce its efficiency. The remedies are given in minute doses, making them safe to use, with no side effects, even in situations where conventional drugs would be dangerous or inadvisable, especially in pregnancy or for infants.
The potency of the remedy must match the energy of the vital force. As the vital force needs only a gentle stimulation to move toward health.
M. J. Hanafin, RN, CNM, NP, CHom, DHom is a Certified Nurse Midwife who has delivered over 6000 Babies from Nepal to New Mexico. She received her diploma from the Dynamis School of Advanced Homeopathy in London and has taught at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. She is a past President and instructor at the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy in San Francisco. She has worked extensively with the National Center for Homeopathy and New England Medical Center.