“He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause diseases, and how to remove them from persons in health.” – Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, Aphorism – 4
Subjugation, marginalization and disempowerment of women are major issues in India. These have a bearing on the health status of the women and consequently on the health of the children they bear. It is fact that the health of the women and children in the country defines the health of the nation. “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”, said Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister.
Although our National Government has taken various steps and made efforts to improve health status of women and children in the country but to get satisfactory result, inclusion homoeopathic system in ‘Mother and Child Care’ Programme was absolutely necessary as
- It is highly beneficial for many diseases related to women and children;
- It stimulates the body’s own defense system and allow to heal itself.
- Can be used during childbirth to certain problems associated with labor;
- It is unique in preventive aspects as much as the curative;
- Effective for pregnancy or delivery and lactational complaints;
- Medicines can be administered safely for various ailments throughout pregnancy without any adverse reaction
- Method of administration of medicine is very simple;
Research shows that many birth defects can be prevented with little advance planning. So, planning for a healthy child should start well before the process of conception. This knowledge is important for all women of childbearing age because, in India half of all pregnancies are unplanned.
Normally the newborn child does not require any treatment but more often there are physical problems because of unhealthy family background. Here homoeopathy plays an important role as child responds very beautifully with the indicated homoeopathic medicine.
On the other hand if the foetus is genetically diseased or receives some hereditary disease dyscrasia from his parents, no amount of antenatal care, nutrition to the expected mother or hygienic precautions can make the child born healthy unless the hereditary dyscrasia is removed by constitutional, anti miasmatic treatment of the mother during pregnancy. The best procedure in such cases is to treat the parents for their constitutional disturbances before they expected to have a child.
Besides disease dyscrasia, many factors related to pregnancy may influence the growth and development of the featus and there by affect the health of the newborn that should be brought to the knowledge of expected mother and family.
Some of these factors are
- Malnutrition of the mother during pregnancy,
- Unhygienic mode of living,
- Physical and mental trauma,
- Ignorance about pregnancy phenomena,
- Unnecessary fear, anxieties, false beliefs and prejudices about pregnancy.
- Over-exertion of mother during pregnancy or lack of exercise and sedentary living,
- Short space between two pregnancies,
- Pregnancy in mother of many children,
- Lack of proper antenatal care,
- Use of harmful drugs,
- Repeated X-ray examinations especially during first four months of pregnancy etc.
Any psychological disturbance of mother during pregnancy and any sign of toxaemia of pregnancy or any other untoward complication inspite of proper antenatal care must immediately be treated with suitable anti-miasmatic drugs.
The history of previous pregnancies, if any, will be of immense help to eradicate the miasmatic dyscrasia completely or to modify its effect as far as possible.
Unless we take care of the mother’s health during pregnancy, we cannot expect a healthy child. In the language of Dr. Hahnemann physician must also be preserver of health in addition to their responsibility of restoring the sick to health.
The Fertility and Pregnancy Diet:
Nutrition is like an orchestra. Good nutrition is one of the most crucial factors in a healthy pregnancy outcome.
Iron deficiency anaemia is a common condition of pregnant women in India. The poor economy group of women who mainly live on cereals and vegetables lack very much in iron during pregnancy, because cereal rich diet contain excess phosphate which interfere in the absorption of iron. Meat, fish, yolk of egg are rich in iron. Cereals, pulses, leafy vegetables and fruits are also containing iron.
Folic acid deficiency is quite common in our country particularly during pregnancy resulting in placental and foetal abnormalities/ birth defects, neural defects (the most common of these being spina bifida). Folic acid is essential for the synthesis of D.N.A in the cells. It is available in egg, fish, liver and leafy vegetables etc.
Although Union Govt. campaigning for folic acid massively and a large number of population of women who are taking the supplements but falic Acid is not the whole story, there are other nutritions that also helps in fertility, maintenance of healthy pregnancy and prevent birth defects. Women, who are trying to conceive, required taking nutritious diet regularly. They should take variety of healthy foods, with a particular emphasis on richy coloured produce, whole grain, beans and legumes and lean protein sources.
It is found that the women who takes more low-fat dairy products in their diet, facing more trouble in getting pregnant. The more full-fat dairy products she ate, the less likely she is to have trouble. As such full-fat dairy products are recommended for women trying to conceive; off course obese lady should take less fat to avoid pregnancy toxaemia and cardio vascular diseases.
The full-fat dairy foods convey the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Skimming the fat from dairy also removes these hormones, which are attached to fat. Left behind are androgens, or male hormones. When male hormones are unchecked by female hormones, ovulation is impaired.
Women are suggested to consume more protein from plants because Plant protein (from beans, nuts, seeds) comes with healthy fats and is relatively low in calories and can be helpful for weight loss.
Calcium is an essential requirement for the formation of bones and teeth. Milk is the best source of calcium, other sources are fish, cereals etc. Pregnant mother should take sufficient milk daily for the proper growth of the foetus as one litter of cow’s milk contains nearly 1000 to 1200 mg.
Most of the pregnant women get carbohydrate-energy from the regular daily diet as most of the Indian diets contain sufficient carbohydrate. Cereals, sugar, vegetables and fruits are rich in carbohydrates.
Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Inorganic iodine lost in the urine resulting in enlargement of the thyroid, which may result in the birth of cretinus child. It may be obtained from sea-fish, sea-salt and water.
When to contact a physician
Women those who have decided to conceive should be advised to see their family physician, which can add to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child, particularly if any of the following factors, are present to her or her partner
- If she is over 35 years of age and trying to conceive for more than a year, or for six months.
- Having irregular or absent of menstruation.
- Had abdominal or pelvic surgery in the past.
- Partner had surgery in the region of his groin and scrotum.
- Partner had previous injury to his testicles.
- Either she or her partner had, or may currently have, a sexually transmitted infection.
- Any genetic reasons for which she could have a hard time in becoming pregnant (i.e. blood relatives have experienced difficulties conceiving).
- Any other reason that there may have a fertility problem. The cause of most birth defects are not known, but couples with a history of birth defects in their family may be benefited from homoeopathic treatment and genetic screening to analyze their risk of passing on a birth defect to their child.
It’s much easier to prevent fertility problems than to treat them when they happen. Following are some tips to safeguard fertility and possibly prevent problems from arising.
Smoking can affect fertility in several ways. In different research studies it has been found that smokers are 30 percent less fertile than nonsmokers. They are at –
1. Greater risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (which affects fertility);
2. Higher risk for miscarriage and delivering premature or low birth weight babies.
So they should avoid active and passive smoking. Although smoking has not been proven to cause birth defect directly but it does deprive the foetus from oxygen and it is the most harmful of all environmental toxins.
It should be discouraged in any condition, as it may cause Faetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Damage from alcohol can range from mild intellectual and behavioural issues to profound disabilities or premature death.
Chance of getting pregnant drops from about 20 percent when under age 30 to five percent when over age 40. Additionally, the risk of miscarriage and birth defects increases with maternal age; as such it is advised to give birth before 40.
Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
This term refers to the infection of one of your pelvic organs, including the cervix, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. The primary cause of PID is untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it can also be caused by an IUD, douching, abortions, amniocentesis, miscarriage and childbirth. PID can do irreparable damage to reproductive organs.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Women who are planning to have a child should practice safe sex and have routine tests done for STDs. They are the primary cause of PID.
Control of body weight
Being significantly overweight or underweight can be an underlying cause of infertility for many women. In a study of University of South Carolina, in USA they found that 90 percent of underweight women, who had been unable to conceive, became pregnant when they reached to their ideal weight. 76 percent of overweight women conceived once they reached to their ideal weight.
Regular light exercise is advisable, moderate exercise even don’t affect your fertility, but excessive amounts of exercise, being an exercise fanatic will, result in irregular periods, irregular ovulation and luteal phase deficiencies, as such it advisable to avoid excessive amounts of exercise.
Stress and mental relaxation
Stress has also been linked to infertility as well as to a higher risk of miscarriage and pre-term birth. Research shows that women exposed to severe stress are more likely to give birth to children with defects.
It is also required to campaign amongst the mothers and women of childbearing age regarding childcare, breast feeding, spacing of subsequent pregnancy and the common harmless procedures to avoid undesired pregnancy.
Homoeopathy with its indicated medicines can help to control the common complaints during pregnancy with in a short time like
- Constipation and low backache, dyspnaea, haemorrhoids and varicose vein
- Nausea and hyper gravidarum
- Allergic manifestation with history of prolonged Oral Contraceptive Pills
- Spongy gum and toothache, Varicose Vein, relax symptom of bladder etc.
- In mostly psychological situation, the Pseudo pregnancy the medicines like Crocus, Cyclamen, Ignatia, Sabadilla, Thuja are generally used;
- Cinamonum, Rhus Tox., Sabina, Apis, Secale cor., Sepia, Thyroidinum are the frequently used medicines in cases of miscarriage from the causes like shock, fall, over exertion, fear etc. and tendency to miscarriage.
Besides above, homoeopathy has its wonderful medicines –
- For preparation of labor like Caulophylllum, Cimicifuga;
- After child birth for over stretched bladder and retention with over flow, Causticum may be taken in to consideration;
- For stretched sphincter pain, laceration after catheterization with neuralgia and swelling over CS, Staphisagria is very much useful.
Even on the obstetrical table in different conditions, homoeopathic medicines are very much useful like
- Malpresentation – Pulsatilla, Lycopodium
- Emotional disturbances – Aconite, Pulsatilla, Ignatia
- Control the life threatening condition – Cinamonum, Ipecac, Sabina, in PPH Hyoscymus.
As anti inflammatory, analgesic, bacteriostatic and quick absorbent of blood after childbirth, Arnica is very much useful.
As Homoeopathic physicians are not only confined themselves in prescribing in homoeopathic medicine but being a practitioners of a rational art of healing and holistic system of medicine, owing to their knowledge in other allied medical sciences including hygiene and public health, they are better equipped and may utilize their knowledge in Campaign and in the management of Mother and Child health care revolution of India.
Dr. Hahnemann said, the Homoeopathic physicians are not only a true practitioners of the healing art but also true preservers of health as well.
So, the expectation of homoeopathic fraternity to the Government for significant improvement in Mother and Child health in India
- Increase awareness of the potential role of homoeopathy in the management of mother and child health among the Policy and opinion maker, medical practitioners of other system of medicine and common people.
- Greater awareness of the strengths of homoeopathy for mother and child health among practitioners of all the system of medicine which would result in an integrated health care approach.
Principle & Practice of Medicine – Davidson / Text Book of Gynaecology & Contraception – C.S.Dawn / Human Physiology – C.C.Chatterjee Eassy on Homoeopathyby Dr.S.P.Dey, Homoeopathic Materia Medica by Dr. Kent Dr. W.Boericke and Literatures of Central Council of Research in Homoeopathy.
Dr.Ashis Datta, M.D(Hom)
E-Mail – [email protected]
Author of “ Science & Art of Homoeopathic Case-Taking ”
Former Member of Teaching Faculty of Nagpur College of Homoeopathy and approved by Nagpur University.
Approved as P.G. Guide for Poona University, Bharti Vidyapeeth University, Utkal University and Dr. B.B.A University, Agra, B.A.Bihar University, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and West Bengal University of Health Sciences.
Recipient of “Appreciation award-2006 ” from Board of Homoeopathic System of Medicine. Govt. of NCT of Delhi
Recipient of “Life time achievement award – 2007” from Board of Homoeopathic System of Medicine. Govt. of NCT of Delhi
Presently Asstt. Secretary (Tech.) to Central Council of Homoeopathy (Govt. of India), New Delhi.