The Homeopathic Childbirth Manual, by Betty Idarius, L.M. , C. Hom., serves as a handy and easy-to-follow reference guide for the pregnant woman, as well as midwives and other birth professionals, including homeopaths. It is strong in its message to the birthing woman to take responsibility for her health in the natural process of birthing. It gives clear, concise information based both in the science of homeopathy and the art of midwifery. It gives advice that is based on the philosophy of birth being a healthful process.
The layout flows well from the introduction through the principles of homeopathy, to the holistic approach of homeopathy, its foundation as a system of medicine, through its application of "The Law of Similars." This book has been clearly yet professionally explained. It is easily understood both by the lay user and the professional birth attendant, as an introduction to homeopathy. It also serves as a concise reference guide for the more experienced homeopath. Being the practical guide it is, it moves quickly onto the situations in labour and delivery in which the use of homeopathy has proved useful.
There is a comprehensive list of what to have in a homeopathic birth kit, from basic to more extensive. This is followed by down-to-earth information on how to use these remedies. It instructs on the choice of a remedy, giving guidelines on the potency; the frequency of repetition and when to expect results. It gives clear instructions on how to proceed depending on the level of intensity of the situation being experienced. Throughout her book, Ms. Idarius returns to the basic midwifery philosophy of keeping both mother and baby healthy. She is clear on her advice; if one method doesn't work, then use other methods and don't waste the time or energy of the laboring woman.
The chapters are clearly marked on the situations they address. The remedies are fully described as to what picture they will cover in these situations. There is a very useful mini-repertory at the end of each chapter that covers each individual situation. Being a truly holistic method of medicine, one finds that one remedy may cover different situations, yet Betty patiently explains as to how the same remedy can work in differently presented situations through the labor and birth. One is never left confused as to what, when and how the remedy is to be used. If a homeopathic remedy doesn't fit the situation, another supportive method is suggested. Ms. Idarius never leaves one at a loss as to what actions can be taken.
Throughout each different stage of the labour she also brings in her message that above all the attendant is there to listen with an open heart and mind to the process that the woman is experiencing and to support her in the natural process of birth. For surely this is a true midwife's role of what it is to "be with woman."
This is a great "How To Book." It is special in that it combines the science of homeopathy with the art of midwifery. The chapters remain focused on their subject without getting bogged down in political-philosophical dogma.
The chapters cover:
• How to select a homeopathic birth kit;
• Preventing complications yet how to manage them if they did occur, using homeopathy;
• Knowing when and if inducing labor is really needed, and how to do it safely and naturally;
•Managing false labour; and prolonged (prodromal), dysfunctional labour, with homeopathic remedies;
• Changing the breech presentation prior to labour (I personally have used these remedies with success many times in my own practice);
• Using homeopathy to manage back labour;
• Preventing tearing and episiotomies, and healing them if they occur;
•Healing physically and emotionally after a difficult delivery or cesarean section with homeopathic remedies and palliative methods;
•Prevent retained placentas and postpartum hemorrhages;
• Ease the newborn's transition into the world.
This book is packed with information that is both practical, and encourages the birthing woman and birth attendants to empower themselves to be responsible for the natural act of birthing. Yet it is written in such a way that entices the midwife in me to expand my skill in a true midwifery way. The book is well researched from her own experience and studying the art of midwifery along with the science of homeopathy. The list of sources is detailed and extensive. It includes centers of homeopathy; midwifery schools; pharmacies; book order sources; and she also lists self-care books; childbirth books and other birthing resources.
I highly recommend this book as a guide to the use of homeopathy for labor, birth, and the newborn; a medicine that strongly supports the midwifery principals and its art; yet works well along side traditional allopathic/western medicine, when needed.
The Homeopathic Childbirth Manual is available from: Idarius Press, 2-B Lorraine St., Ukiah, CA, 95482, phone 707-463-3739. $14.95 plus $3.00 shipping in the U.S. , Canada, and Mexico. $4.00 shipping to all other countries. Include 7.25% sales tax if shipped to a California address.
M.J. Hanafin, C.N. M., C. Hom. is the lead-midwife at Marin Maternity Service, San Rafael, California.