Medical advances have made the process of childbirth safer, but it remains a painful and difficult experience for most women. Homeopathy has shown some promise for alleviating the challenges of giving birth.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 93 pregnant women evaluated the effectiveness of a combination remedy consisting of Arnica, Caulophyllum, Actea racemosa, Pulsatilla, and Gelsemium, each at a potency of 5c.1 For the women receiving treatment, the duration of labor was decreased by an average of about 3.5 hours as compared to placebo. Furthermore, only 11.3% of women given the homeopathic remedy experienced difficult labor, versus 40% in the placebo group.
However, a double-blind pilot study of 161 women that evaluated the effectiveness of Arnica montana D6 alone versus placebo failed to find benefit.2
In classical homeopathy, there are many possible homeopathic treatments for childbirth support, to be chosen based on various specific details of the woman seeking treatment.
Homeopathic Caulophyllum is a common homeopathic remedy in childbirth. ( Caulophyllum is made from the toxic herb blue cohosh, but it is safe when given at homeopathic potencies.) The symptom picture of this remedy includes a history of irregular menstruation and previous difficult deliveries, including sharp needle-like pains occurring during labor, along with trembling, nervousness, and a sense of uterine weakness.
Belladonna is traditionally used for women in labor exhibiting delirious agitation, confusion, flushing, and fever.
The classic symptom picture of Cimicifuga includes painful spasms that travel a long distance, deep sighs, and gloominess expressed by statements to the effect that labor will be impossible to complete.
For herbs, supplements, and other alternative treatments that may be useful for this condition, see the Pregnancy and Breast-feeding Support articles.
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the Homeopathy Overview.
1. Dorfman P, Lasserre MN, Tetau M. Preparing for childbirth using homeopathy. A double-blind versus placebo study [translated from French]. Cashiers de Biotherapie. 1987;94:77–81.
2. Hofmeyr GJ, Piccioni V, Blauhof P. Postpartum homoeopathic Arnica montana: a potency-finding pilot study. Br J Clin Pract. 1990;44:619–621.
Last reviewed December 2015 by EBSCO CAM Review Board Last Updated: 12/15/2015