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Birthing Skills for Homeopaths

Without the use of drugs for birthing newborns, homeopaths have the greatest knowledge at their disposal to improve safety, security, development, bonding, digestion, and life for newborns. 

The most natural gentle, caring way to enter onto the planet. The use of homeopathic remedies to assist labor and delivery, in addition to techniques such as the breast crawl make the experience life giving for the family. 

With patience and given the time for the baby to move on his or her own. What a joyous feeling of independence and accomplishment for the newborn! What proud parents. The beginning of a new life. 

The Breast Crawl

Advantages offered by the Breast Crawl

The promotion of early initiation of breastfeeding has great potential: 16% of neonatal deaths could be saved if all infants were breastfed from day 1 and 22% if breastfeeding were started within the first hour after birth (Edmond et al, 2006).

Every newborn, when placed on her mother's abdomen, soon after birth, has the ability to find her mother's breast all on her own and to decide when to take the first breastfeed. This is called the 'Breast Crawl'. It was first described in 1987 at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden (Widström et al, 1987). The description of the Breast Crawl, compiled from the article, is as follows:

'Immediately after birth the child was dried and laid on the mother's chest. In the control group a regular behavioural sequence, previously not described in the literature, was observed. After 15 minutes of comparative inactivity, spontaneous sucking and rooting movements occurred, reaching maximal intensity at 45 minutes. The first hand-to-mouth movement was observed at a mean of 34± 2 minutes after birth and at 55+ minutes the infant spontaneously found the nipple and started to suckle.

These findings suggest that an organized feeding behaviour develops in a predictable way during the first hours of life, initially expressed only as spontaneous sucking and rooting movements, soon followed by hand-to-mouth activity together with more intense sucking and rooting activity, and culminating in sucking of the breast.'


Excellent photographs were included in the article and the word 'crawl' appeared in the description of the photographs: 'The baby has crawled by itself towards the nipple'

Many studies with different aims were published subsequently in relation to the 'Breast Crawl'

  • Study the effect of other hindering factors (Righard and Alade, 1990)
  • Biological mechanisms for homing in on the nipple (Varendi et al, 1994; Varendi et al, 1996; Varendi and Porter, 2001)
  • Advantages of the Breast Crawl (Widström et al, 1990; Christensson et al, 1992; Christensson et al, 1995; Matthiesen et al, 2001)

Klaus reviewed many of these studies and gave a beautiful description of the Breast Crawl (Klaus 1998, Klaus and Kennel 2001). This inspired us to include the Breast Crawl in our 'Lactation Management' curriculum and to prepare this documentary. The credit for using the word 'Breast Crawl' as a 'noun' for the first time should be given to Klaus (1998). All previous studies have used it as a 'verb'. The starting position for the 'Breast Crawl' has been specified by Varendi et al (1994, 1996) i.e. nose in the midline of the mother's chest, eyes at the level of the nipples.

Olfactory
This is the most studied input for the Breast Crawl and is believed to be the most important. Babies preferred their mother's unwashed breast to her washed breast, soon after birth. (Varendi et al, 1994). Besides secreting milk and colostrum, the nipple and areola are dense in glands that perhaps secrete attractive odours. Washing could have reduced or eliminated such odours. This is consistent with a previous study (Makin and Porter, 1989) where infants preferentially moved towards a gauze pad impregnated with the breast odour of a lactating woman.

Later Varendi et al (1996) showed that within the first hour after birth, significantly more babies spontaneously selected a breast treated with amniotic fluid than the alternative untreated breast. This attraction appears to be based on olfactory cues. Thus, amniotic fluid augments or overrides the attractiveness of the natural scent of the mother' breast. They postulated that observed attraction to amniotic fluid odour may reflect foetal exposure to that substance (i.e. prenatal olfactory learning). They also suggested that throughout the evolution of our species it was probably common for women to handle their babies themselves during and following delivery. Immediately after parturition, the mother's hands soiled with birth fluids would transfer the amniotic fluid to her breasts when she first attempted to nurse her neonate. This may be observed currently amongst non-human primates. The data presented illustrates the importance of maternal odours for newborn infants. Aside from guiding a neonate's overt behavioural responses, such olfactory stimuli also appear to have a calming effect on the infant and provide a basis for early individual recognition of the mother.

Visual Cues
Illingworth (1987) reviewed a number of studies of the visual abilities of the newborn. They are listed as follows:

  • Within minutes after birth, the infant follows a face like pattern more than other patterns of similar brightness.
  • It will look at a black on white drawing of a face longer than three black dots on a white background.
  • 40 newborn babies, at a median age of 9 minutes, turned their heads and eyes towards a moving stimulus. There was a greater response to a proper picture of a face than to a scrambled one.

Taste
Amniotic fluid on the infant's hands probably also explains part of the interest in suckling the hands and fingers. The baby uses the taste and smell of amniotic fluid on its hands to make a connection with a certain lipid substance on the nipple related to the amniotic fluid (Klaus and Kennel, 2001).

Auditory 
The mother's voice is reported to be the most intense acoustic signal measured in the amniotic environment. A preterm foetus also is capable of responding to speech stimuli. Both the newborn and the foetus show heart rate decelerations in response to speech sounds. Newborn infants prefer the sound of the maternal voice and also suckle for longer when they hear it (DeCasper and Fifer, 1980; Fifer and Moon, 1994). They can discriminate the language heard in utero from another language (Mehler et al, 1988). Thus, the mother's voice is a naturally occurring and salient stimulus during a critical time period in which there is significant development in several psychobiological systems.

Touch Sensory Input
Skin to skin touch provides heat and variety of other tactile inputs. It offers benefits at many levels:

  • Helps maintain temperature (Christensson et al, 1992)
  • Facilitates metabolic adaptations especially sugar levels and acid-base balance (Christensson et al, 1992)
  • Results in less crying (Christensson et al, 1992; Christensson et al, 1995)
  • Facilitates bonding (Widström et al, 1990)
  • Causes oxytocin release in the mother
  • Improves immediate and long term breastfeeding success: (Righard and Alade, 1990; WHO, 1998; DeChateau and Wiberg, 1977)

PROGRAMS FOR HOMEOPATHS IN INDIA

Engagement of Ayush doctors (Ayurveda and Homoeopathy) in the public health system to provide SBA services.

One of the strategies of recently launched National Health Mission (NHM) is the mainstreaming of AYUSH doctors into the existing health care delivery system.

This offer immense job opportunities to young talented Homoeopaths across India

Currently, vast workforce of Ayush doctors working in rural and semi urban sectors, conducting deliveries after undergoing SBA (Skilled Birth Attendant) training and are providing RCH service in rural areas.

Based on the recommendations from an ICMR (Indian Council of  Medical Research) study on competencies of AYUSH doctors after SBA training, Ministry of Health & family Welfare (MOHFW) decided that Ayurveda and Homoeopathy Doctors posted at Government health facilities may be permitted to conduct deliveries and provide basic treatment for complications before referral.

Only those doctors posted at Delivery points or at sub centres where ANC & PNC are conducted may be trained as SBAs after addition of 7 days hands on practice in the existing 21 days curriculum of the SBA training.

They will be permitted to prescribe allopathy drugs for conducting normal deliveries and permitted to prescribe all drugs as of ANMs and SNs.

Ministry directed all states to ensure good quality training and follow ups along with monitoring and supportive supervision during the training and post training.

Ministry also requested to AYUSH department, to take simultaneous steps for strengthening AYUSH pre-service curriculum for including SBA components particularly for skill building.

 

Homeopaths can work and give allopathy in National Programmes – Clinical establishment act
“There was a question raised by a member pointing out that many of the AYUSH doctors are prescribing allopathic medicines which is against the Supreme Court guidelines and same should be included in the minimum standards.

The Chairman pointed out that wherever the AYUSH doctors are working under a National programme, they may  prescribe the medicines given under that programme.


Homeopathy for the Modern Pregnant Woman and her Infant

by Sandra Perko

A comprehensive book on pregnancy, labour, post-natal and neo-natal homeopathic care. An invaluable guide for pregnant women and midwives.

The publisher writes: A Book for Every Woman Who is Planning to Have a Baby or Who Will Help Deliver One.

Midwives, physicians, nurses, homeopathic practitioners and pregnant women themselves will find this book to be an invaluable aid in solving, gently and naturally, almost every problem encountered during pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as postpartum difficulties.

It covers everything from pre-eclampsia to breastfeeding. "Finally a concise but comprehensive therapeutic handbook for all phases of pregnancy, labor, post-natal and neonatal homeopathic care. This is the book that midwives and those caring for pregnant women and their infants will take to the clinic, birthing room and home to help them choose the homeopathic medicine for their patient's problems of pregnancy.

The author has collected the most useful information needed by classical homeopaths to really individualize the required remedy." Jacquelyn Wilson, M.D., D.H.T., Past President, American Institute of Homeopathy; Past Board Member, National Center for Homeopathy; Consultant, Homeopathic Pharmaceutical Industry; Vice President, American Board of Homeotherapeutics; Member, Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia "Sandra Perko's book is the most complete book on the subject yet to appear.

Her descriptions of such remedy pictures as Pulsatilla, Sepia, Arsenicum, and Ignatia are vivid and unforgettable. I salute her!" Karl Robinson, M.D., former editor of the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, author of Homeopathy - Questions & Answers


Homeopathy for Mother and Baby

by Miranda Castro

Written for women who want to use homeopathy during their pregnancy and labour, this book can also be a good guide for midwives and homeopaths. Practical and common sense advice is given, with a list of do's and don'ts, which will particularly appeal to mothers with crying babies.

A detailed Materia Medica of about 100 remedies, especially relevant for mother and babies, complete this useful book.

The publisher: No period in a woman's life is as filled with special concerns as pregnancy and new motherhood. Among the many discomforts and ailments treatable with the homeopathic remedies explained in this book are: For the mother: anemia, back pain, breastfeeding problems, constipation, exhaustion, hemorrhoids, insomnia, morning sickness, post-partum depression, sinusitis, varicose veins, yeast infections

For the baby: breathing difficulties, chicken pox, constipation, cough, diaper rash, diarrhea, ear infection, hiccups, mumps, sleep problems, teething pains, vomiting In Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Baby's First Year, practicing homeopath, Mirando Castro introduces readers to the many safe, effective, inexpensive, and nonmedical remedies that homeopathy has to offer women in this very important period. With reassuring, easy-to-read text, the book explains the principles of homeopathy and tells readers how to select the remedies that correlate to hundreds of common symptoms of physical and emotional distress.

The book also offers natural ways to make labor and birth as relaxed as possible, using homeopathic methods. Complete with case histories, materia medica, and supportive and helpful tips throughout, this guidebook offers a wealth of natural-health information every expentant mother should consider.

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