Giving birth to your baby at home has many advantages. You will be in familiar surroundings, which enables you and your partner to feel in control of your environment and therefore more relaxed It’s best to speak to your G.P./ Midwife if you are interested in having a home birth. Providing your pregnancy has been uncomplicated and you have no medical conditions or previous problems in labours, then you should be able to have a home birth. Most hospital policies say that two Community Midwives should be present at the time of birth. Some G.Ps may attend the birth instead of a second midwife. If a problem were to develop during the labour the midwife would have the backup of the local Maternity Unit.
If you are in any doubt about an illness you must consult your homeopath or general practitioner.
Unfortunately in our society we have lost our trust in the remarkable healing abilities of the human body. We have got into the habit of reaching for the aspirins or paracetamol at every sign of a snuffle or a fever. Our children are then drugged into a 'tranquil' sleep, which interferes with the body's mechanisms for healing. For example, a raised temperature is the body's natural reaction to deal with an infection. When we allow the body to respond naturally, a series of actions and reactions works to create a code that the body can refer to for dealing with future infections, thus building and strengthening immune function.
Sometimes diet, lifestyle and inheritance mean that we are ill-equipped to complete the healing process and we get stuck. The condition can then worsen or become a chronic problem – for example a cold that turns into a cough, or a wound that becomes infected. This is where homeopathic remedies can be used to stimulate or enhance the body’s natural healing process.
INTRODUCTION TO HOMEOPATHY
Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine and has been in use for over 200 years throughout the world. Homeopathic remedies are safe, non-toxic and non-addictive. They can be used instead of or alongside conventional medicine in most situations.
Conventional medicine tends to focus on just the part of the body that is 'malfunctioning', whereas homeopathy looks at the whole person, their health history and their family history person in order to find and treat the cause of their ill-health.
Homeopathic treatment is suitable for all ages. All kinds of illnesses and diseases can be successfully treated. In babies and children this can range from acute conditions such as colic, teething problems, colds, coughs and tummy upsets to more serious chronic illness such as eczema and asthma.
Acute illness, first aid situations and simple childhood disease can often be successfully treated at home with remedies from a homeopathic first aid kit. A first aid kit can be specially tailored for your family by a qualified homeopath or bought from a homeopathic pharmacy. (see ‘Recommended homeopathic pharmacies’ section).
If in doubt about any illness always consult your homeopath or general practitioner.
For more serious (or chronic) conditions it is best to consult a qualified homeopath who will prescribe a safe, effective course of treatment that is individually tailored to your child's health needs. This kind of treatment is often called constitutional treatment and will enhance immune function and will help your child to enjoy and sustain good health and well-being. Your homeopath can also advise on first aid, immunisation and travel issues.
Some homeopaths hold drop-in clinics or have specific phone-in times for advice on acute illness and first aid.
If you cannot reach your homeopath, the Homeopathic Helpline can prescribe remedies for acute illness and emergency situations. The Helpline is open 9am - midnight, 365 days of the year phone line (calls are charged at £1.50 per minute and billed to your home phone number) The phone number is 09065 34 34 04.
HOW TO FIND A QUALIFIED HOMEOPATH NEAR YOU
It is very important that you choose a homeopath who is properly trained and registered. The following organisations publish registers of fully-qualified practitioners who follow codes of ethics and practice.
Association of Registered Homeopaths – 08700 736 339
Guild of Complimentary Practitioners - 0118 973 5757
Homeopathic Medical Association – 01474 560 336
Society of Homeopaths – 01604 621 400
Caroline Gaskin practises at the Active Birth Centre and the Healthy Living Centre in North London. She is a Member of the College of Practical Homeopathy and of the Guild of Complimentary Practitioners.
To find a homeopath in your area you can visit
RECOMMENDED HOMEOPATHIC PHARMACIES
All these pharmacies offer a mail order service for remedies
Ainsworths 020 7935 5330
Helois 01892 537 254
Neal’s Yard Remedies 020 8831 7875
Nelson’s Pharmacy 020 7629 3118
Weleda UK Ltd 0115 944 822
HOW TO GIVE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIESHomeopathic remedies can be bought in several forms – hard tablets, pillules, grains or powders, but perhaps the best form for babies and children are the soft tablets which dissolve quickly and are immediately absorbed. Most commercial brands use hard tablets or round pillules, but soft tablets can be ordered from a reputable homeopathic pharmacy (see ‘Recommended homeopathic pharmacies’ section)
Try not to handle homeopathic remedies. Some brands use a handy clicker dispenser which allows you to dispense one pillule directly under the tongue. Remedies should always be taken in a clean mouth and allowed to dissolve for a few seconds before crunching and swallowing. Remedies do not need to be taken with food or water. It is best to avoid food or drink for 10 minutes before and after remedies. Remedies should be stored away from direct light, strong smells and moisture.
In a first aid situation or a very painful situation (eg. wounds, burns, scalds, teething, colic, ear pain, asthma attack) take one dose every ten minutes until improvement.
For acute illness (eg. fever, tummy upset, colds, sore throat) - take one dose each hour for 6 hours.
For chronic or long term illness (eg. eczema, cough, chicken pox, conjunctivitis) - take one dose each day for five days.