For most women, homeopathic medicine can help enormously in the time leading up to the birth of a baby and in avoiding or reducing some of the problems associated with labour, as well as in dealing with post-natal symptoms. This article is particularly focused on Caulophyllum as an aid to naturally inducing labour and its efficacy.
What is Caulophyllum?
Caulophyllum (also known as Blue Cohosh) is a herb that has been used historically as a medicine for various conditions, such as smooth muscle function, spasms, menstruation and childbirth. It is best known for the latter two uses. It is available as a herbal tincture, homeopathic pillules or as a homeopathic remedy (oral dose). Caulophyllum is said to ‘tone up’ the uterus, helping to produce good contractions and lessening the chances of becoming over tired during labour.
While no current widely marketed medicines are based on this plant, modern herbalists, homeopaths, naturopaths, midwives and other practitioners of alternative medicine still utilise this plant as a natural therapy. Research on the medicinal potentials of this plant are ongoing.
Using Caulophyllum to naturally induce labour
The homeopathic remedy and the herbal tincture are very different. The homeopathic remedy relies on the ‘energy’ of the substance and not on any active ingredients as in the herbal tincture – therefore in theory you can take homeopathic remedies without any side effects; because they are unlikely to produce a response, unless the ‘vibrational energy’ (of the person) matches what your body needs. Women often describe them as ‘sugar pills with a little bit of magic/energy’. Consequently, they will cause no harm to either mother or baby, or taste unpleasant as the herbal tincture does.
Why induce your labour
The most common reason to induce labour is ‘going overdue’. There may be medical reasons or health conditions of the mother or baby where an induction is necessary. It is unfortunately not uncommon for women to be threatened or pressured with induction at 41 weeks. It might be useful to ask your caregiver, ‘how can I go nine months with a perfectly health pregnancy, and NOW all of a sudden I’m high risk?’ Caulophyllum is a homeopathic remedy with no adverse side effects and is best taken in tandem with other measures, such as Induction Massage, acupuncture, reflexology or acupressure to cultivate a cumulative response.
Dosage and frequency
(A dose is 5-6 drops)
Most homeopaths will recommend to their pregnant clients to take Caulophyllum either in the morning from 39 weeks, supported by various midwifery / birthing books, or taken before bed to stimulate labour overnight.
Other homeopaths will recommend taking it earlier, however it is always best to delay taking anything earlier, as babies require the maximum amount of gestational time in order to be fully developed. Lung maturity and extra fat stores are laid down in the final last weeks of pregnancy and a baby that comes earlier (before 37 weeks) is at risk of developing respiratory complications and other possible risk factors that might require neonatal care for your baby.
In particular, babies who are medically induced before their due dates are nearly twice as likely to spend time in the neo-natal intensive care unit.
Taking Caulophyllum is more effective at its earliest at 39 weeks or thereafter, until a woman delivers her baby; or there is a medical inducement regarding the wellbeing of both mother and baby.
Dosage can vary from 30c to 200c (with 200c being a more potent dosage), however frequency will determine a result more than the potency. The homeopathic remedy 30c to induce labour is 5-6 drops under the tongue 3 – 6 times daily. The 200c is 5-6 drops 3 times daily. You would stop the remedy when a change occurs – that is, you go into labour.
The remedy can also be used to regulate contractions if they ease off and to increase dilation.
Post Labour dosage
1-2 doses can be taken to counter strong uterine contractions.
WARNING: All herbal medicines should be taken with a cautionary approach as an individual’s reaction may vary and is best taken under the guidance of professional care.
- Homeopathy for Women, Rose, Dr Barry & Scott-Moncrieff, Dr Christina; pub. Collins & Brown
- Birth, Price, Catherine & Robinson, Sandra; pub. MacMillan, Sydney 2010
Claire Cleaver is a Childbirth Educator, counsellor and bodyworker. She specialises in Pregnancy and Postnatal services.
Contact Claire on 0438 216 351
The Healing Practice is located at 129b Balmain Rd (next to the Cupcake Room), Leichhardt NSW 2040