Dr Selva Panda
Being a mom can be challenging, and that being a new mom is a tough one. Pregnancy brings in physiological as well as psychological changes in women. Promising a healthy life to her child, is what a mom does. After delivering the child the first concern that comes to mind of a newly mother is breastfeeding. There are lots of questions and confusions in her mind, which should be listened and cleared. Breastfeeding strengthens the emotional bond between the mother and the child.
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Homoeopathy, Agalactia, Weaning, Boericke Materia Medica.
For a baby the best form of nutrition is mother’s milk. The mother’s milk contains nearly a perfect mix of fats, proteins, vitamins, antibodies that help the baby to fight off viruses, bacteria, and makes the immune system stronger. This is very essential for the child to achieve optimal growth, development and health. WHO has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and most physician recommends breastfeeding for a year or two with other foods that can be started after 6 months such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, grains.
Studies show that babies who are fed with formulas in the first six months are more prone to diarrhea and infections(like ear infections), and they have higher lifetime risk of developing obesity, allergies, asthma, type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Many mothers and babies need time to learn how to breastfeed together. Some women experiences difficulties while breastfeeding. These problems can be painful and distressing. Homoeopathy can help in making breastfeeding experience more enjoyable for mother and her baby.
Importance of breastfeeding:
- Acts as natural contraceptives.
- Psychological benefit for mother and child.
- Helps involution of the uterus.
- Reduces the chances of postpartum hemorrhage.
- Lowers the risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancers.
- Ideal food with easy digestion and low osmotic load.
- It is readily available food to newborns.
- Protection against infection and deficiencies states.
- No risk of allergies.
- Lowers the risk of childhood obesity.
Some common breastfeeding problems faced by new mothers:
(i)Agalactia: It is defines as failure of production of milk. Homoeopathic remedies can be useful for increasing the production of breast milk. As they have got no harmful side effects, it is safe for both the breastfeeding mother and the newborn baby.
Alfalfa– A good remedy for deficient lactation. Increases quality and quantity of milk in nursing mothers.
Lecithinum– excellent galactagogue, renders, milk more nourishing and general improvement.
Phosphoricum acidum- there is secretion of milk scanty and health of mother deteriorating from nursing.
Urtica urens– a remedy for agalactia. There is non-appearance of milk without any appreciable cause. Diminished secretion of milk. Excessive swelling of breast.
Lactuca virosa– seem to be a true galactoggogue. Increases production of milk in breast. Sensation of lightness and tightness affecting the body, especially chest. Impossible to sleep.
Ricinus communis– increases the quantity of milk in nursing women. Five drop every hours for increasing flow of milk.
Agnus castus– deficient secretion or suppression of milk in nursing women, often with great sadness, the patient says she will die.
Secale cor– suppression of milk in thin, scrawny, exhausted women. The breast do not properly fill.
Asafoetida– there is deficient milk, with oversensitiveness. Associated with great flatulence and regurgitation of fluids.
Galega officinalis– useful in women with debility, anemia, impaired nutrition. Increases the quality and quantity of milk in nursing women, also the appetite.
Sticta pulmonaria– there is scanty flow of milk.
Medusa– marked action on lacteal gland. The secretion of milk was established after it lack of it in all previous confinements.
Parthenium hysterophorus– increases the flow of milk in weak women.
Spiranthes autumnalis– it is a galactagogue. Has been used for milk-flow in nursing women with drowsiness and spasmodic yawning.
Causticum– abscent or scanty flow of milk from night watching.
Yohimbinum– causes hyperaemia of milk glands and stimulates the function of lactation.
(ii)Sore and cracked nipples:
Castor equi– cracked, sore and ulcerated nipples. Excessively tender. Swelling of mammae. Voilent itching in breast.
Agaricus muscarius- there is itching and burning of nipples following parturition.
Graphitis– nipples sore, cracked and blistered. Mammae swollen and hard.
Nitric acid– bleeding, sore, ulcerated painful cracks.
Silicea– nipple drawn in, very sore, ulcerated easily. Fistulous ulcer of breast. Hard lump in breast.
(iii)Painful breast/ Mastitis:
Phytolacca– mastitis, mammae hard and very sensitive. Breast is painful and has a purple hue. When child nurses, pain goes from nipple to all over body. Cracks and small ulcers around the nipples. Galactorrhoea.
Aceticum acidum– breast painfully enlarged, distended with milk. Milk impoverished, bluish, transparent, sour. Anemia of nursing mother.
Phellandrium aquacticum– pain in milk duct. Intolerable between nursing. Pain in the nipples.
Borax veneta– galactorrhoea, while nursing there is pain in opposite breast.
Croton tiglium– breast inflamed. In nursing women, every suck the child gives produces pain from nipple back.
Belladonna– mastitis pain, throbbing, redness, streaks radiating from nipple. Breast feels heavy, hard, red. Worst lying down.
Solanum oleraceum– there is swelling of mammary glands, with profuse secretion of milk.
Bryonia– Breast hard, full, hot and swollen. Stitching pain in breast, worst from movement. Usually the right side is affected.
(iv)Weaning: Weaning is the process in which the baby gets accustomed to foods other than mother’s milk.. It is a very personal decision when to wean. It should be gradually. It may take some time for the mother and the baby to adjust to it both emotionally and physically.
Lac caninum– serviceable in almost all cases when required to dry up milk in women who cannot nurse the baby.
Pulsatilla- mother often becomes upset when feeding stops, especially if it is sudden.
Urtica urens- arrest the flow of milk after weaning.
Bibliography / List of reference:
- Allen H.C.; Keynotes and Characteristics with Comparisons of some of the Leading Remedies of the Materia Medica added with Other Leading Remedies& Bowel Nosodes; 8th edition; 2012 Medical Book Suppliers; Kolkata.
- Boericke William; Boericke’s New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica with Repertory; 9th edition; 2011; B.Jain Publishers; New Delhi.
- Dutta D.C; Textbook of Obstetrics including Perinatology and Contraception; 8th edition; 2015; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publication(P) Ltd, New Delhi.
Dr. Selva Panda
PGR, Part-I , Department Of Practice of Medicine,
Jawaharlal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College, Parul University,