There are several homeopathic remedies that are a great relief for post-partum mothers while hormones are still shifting. They can help with many of the typical complaints that new mothers experience. Below is a list of several remedies that I have found very useful when treating mothers.
During this special time when the body is navigating so many changes, women often experience headaches, exhaustion, problems with nursing, and mood swings. Since many remedies can express similar physical symptoms, I have first and foremost described the personality types of the remedies in order to better differentiate them from one-another. You don’t need to relate to every descriptive detail in order for the substance to have a beneficial effect. The general personality type of a homeopathic is often the most important part for you to understand and relate to. That is Classical Homeopathy and holistic healing. It works from the inside out-meaning that it treats all aspects of a person, not just the physical symptoms.
Some of these homeopathic remedies are quite common and can be amazing in getting you through the bumps that can happen post-partum.
**Keep in mind in terms of personality types – mothers may relate to these aspects inside themselves, but then “compensate” by forming very different personalities for everyone to see on the outside. Think about how you really feel inside, not necessarily how you act or would like to feel, when reading this. The most important and striking characteristics of the remedies are in bold.
This homeopathic remedy, made of the ink of the cuttlefish, is perfect for the exhausted mom who is so overwhelmed that she really just wants to be left alone. She is usually exhausted, but her energy clearly improves from exercise. Sepia is tired and drawn, often with a yellowish pallor to the skin, especially the face. She is often annoyed with everyone, including her husband and children, and can therefore be quite irritable, needing to control her temper. She has no sex drive and just wants to rest. She is often described as feeling indifferent towards her family even though she wants to be loving and present. This sets up a conflict because of the dichotomy between what she would like to be – a loving mother, and what she feels – exhausted, indifferent, and unable to be loving and affectionate. She often feels badly about herself because of how exhausted and incapable she feels. She feels better when exercising or keeping busy.
Physically, Sepia’s belly can feel like it’s dragging down because she is so tired that even her inner organs feel droopy. There is a physical stasis that expresses itself in several possible ways: constipation, circulatory disturbance, and/or a great lack of energy. She can be easily chilly and hungry – mainly for sweets and meat, and if she has her menses back, she feels worse before, during, and/or after menstruation. If she has her menses, they are often short and weak. Sepia is also known to experience intermittent nausea as well as headaches.
Pulsatilla is made from the wind-flower. It is a homeopathic remedy for the sensitive mother. She is often tearful, mild (though headstrong in some ways), and sometimes shy. Pulsatilla can be quite affectionate and often wants to be reassured by her partner that she is loved sometimes to the point of being demanding. She can feel easily sad, alone, or abandoned when she can’t get this reassurance. Pulsatilla can be submissive and want to please others. She loves consolation, hugs, and reassurance, and can get into self-pity. She can also have many fears and anxiety including panic-attacks. She feels worse around dusk. Pulsatilla often craves fatty or rich food and wants to be in the open air or have the windows open. She can get headaches and nausea and her symptoms tend to shift around and change.
Physically, Pulsatilla often suffers from varicose veins, chronic congestion or runny nose, nausea and headaches. Pulsatilla’s complaints often begin either during puberty, post-partum, or during menopause.
*Pulsatilla is also a great remedy for pregnancy when there is nausea and the same sense of sensitivity, easy tearfulness, and needing lots of reassurance.
Phytolacca is a plant otherwise known as pokeweed. Its main action is in helping to heal Mastitis and I have seen it quickly and effectively help many women with both diagnosed and undiagnosed symptoms. In addition, this handy remedy is great for nursing difficulties due to yeast, pain in the nipples, or cracked nipples. The mental symptoms include indifference to those around – and that is likely due to the discumfort being experienced. Phytolacca can be fearful with a tendency to imagine that she is about to die when physical symptoms come on. She is often faint or dizzy when getting up.
Phytolacca has a healing effect on the glands, especially the mammary glands, but also the tonsils and muscles of the neck and back. Generally, the glands feel hard and aching. Pains come and go suddenly and can change places. The pain is worse at night, and worse in cold weather. The breasts feel hard, sore, swollen, or tender. The pains are worse during nursing and spread all over the body. Often, the nipples are cracked and very sensitive. There can be hard nodes on the breast. The neck can be stiff, and if Mastitis has progressed, there is often fever. Phytolacca is also helpful when there is prolonged discharge from the nipples even when not nursing or long after nursing has ceased.
This is the homeopathic preparation of Blue Cohosh, a plant related to Berberis. It’s a great remedy to have during pregnancy, during and after labour, and post-partum. It can also be helpful if similar symptoms are present during lactation. There is a nervousness and excitability on the mental and emotional level. Caulophyllum is chilly, very hungry, and thirsty.
During labor, menses, or directly post-partum there are erratic, shooting, or wandering pains. The pains can feel unbearable, with nausea and vomiting. During labour, the pains are intermittent, sharp, and crampy. The pains seem to fly from one place to another. There can also be rheumatism of the hand and foot joints. Caulophyllum feels internal weakness, exhaustion, and debility after childbirth, during pregnancy, and during menses. The pains during labour are weak and often irregular, causing little progression. After-pains are unbearable after a long and exhausting labour. The lochia is profuse and prolonged.
These four remedies are wonderful to have in your toolbox for nursing difficulties and for a speedy recovery from various post-partum complaints. They can also be helpful during pregnancy if the symptoms fit. As there are often so many symptoms to each remedy, they can be hard to evaluate. Remember that all of the symptoms will usually not fit. This is why I put the most important remedy characteristics in bold so that you can better evaluate your symptoms according to the strongest aspects of each remedy.
For many women, childbirth brings about hormonal shifts that can be readily balanced through homeopathy. We are lucky to have these simple, effective, and affordable medicines readily available to us. The list above is comprised of some of my favorite post-partum female remedies that have been used many times with great success and relief to the patient.
Image Credit: Diamond Farah
Originally published June 2013
About Katharina Sandizell
Katharina Sandizell, MA, MFT, PDHom is a Psychotherapist and mother of 2. She works with individual parents and couples on relationship and parenting issues in her Bay Area office and online over Skype. She is also a Classical Homeopath offering first aid prescribing classes online and in person. She works with parents from all over the world. The rest of the time she can be found romping with her kids at the beach, meditating, or singing with her husband. You can find her at www.ksandizell.com.