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Materia medica -

HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE IN PRENATAL LIFE



M. M. Hadulla, F.A. Prosser
Germany, Heidelberg
Heidelberg University, Childrens Hospital


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Introduction
Recently, there have been quite a few publications in the area of prenatal homeopathic medicine and on the influences of the unborn. It seems that the nature of the child is present from the moment of concep-tion (16). There are well-documented case reports about the effects on the actual birth process: A mother with fear of labor was successfully treated with Cimicifuga. Another case description of fear and panic in labor was arrested by the use of Pulsatilla (13). The circumstances of pregnancy and delivery need to be put into a greater perspective. Even the old homeopaths pointed out the connection like our well-known teacher, Willibald Gawlik (6). Gawlik put his observations into a greater historical picture which he adopted from the famous old Greek historian, Herodot.

1. Comment:Some of you may know Herodot from the movie The English Patient. The Hungarian aristocrat, the main character (Ralph Fiennes) reads Herodot to Juliette Binoche. Biography in this field may be layered as deeply as the nine layers of building structure excavated by Schliemann in old Troja.

A personal story: Twenty years ago, as a young and inexperienced doctor, I worked in the Intensive Care Unit at the Heidelberg University Childrens Hospital. At that time, we treated very small premature babies and were very proud that they survived at birth weights of only 1200g. After a few years, an infant survived at 860g and the headline of the Boulevard Press read Hands as big as a stamp. The present generation of pediatricians is responsible for babies surviving with birth weights as low as 680g.

At that time, we were very busy with measuring the oxygen level in the blood, intubation, respira-tors, and sophisticated infusions. It was my belief that these children suffered a lot of pain. I would talk to them in a calm, soft voice, handle them carefully and give them stronger medication like Luminal or Atosil. I tried to change both the attitudes and behaviors on the ward by talking to the children, treating them with respect and attempting to engage the nurses and parents. Other medical professionals laughed and stated, They dont feel anything. I was convinced that because they were intubated, they just could not scream. Of course they felt everything, it was obvious by the color of their faces and the change in their breathing pat-tern. Several years later, research proved babies who had surgery without anesthesia showed elevated stress hormone levels (1, 2).

2. Comment: It seems to be normal in the medical profession that until it is proven by scientific means, what we actually see and feel is not relevant.
A historical approach: Even though Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, started to emphasize the importance of childhood experience and the extreme psychological sensitivity of the child, he had been unwilling to develop his ideas about the effects of early experience through to their logical conclusion. It was a midwife who had eventually been able to convince him that a child experiences fear during its birth: It may perhaps interest you to learn how anyone could have formed such an idea as that the act of birth is the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety. Speculation had a very small share in it; what I did, rather, was to borrow from the naïve popular mind. Long years ago, while I was sitting with a number of other young hospital doctors at our midday meal in an inn, a house physician from the midwifery department told us of a comic thing that had happened at the last examination for the midwives. A candidate was asked what it meant if meconium (excreta) made its appearance at birth in the water coming away, and she promptly replied: `It means the child is frightened. She was laughed at and failed in the examination. But silently, I took her side and began to suspect that this poor woman from the humbler classes had laid an unerring finger on an important correlation. (5) Also one of his famous students, the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi, worked on the significance of (good) prenatal conditions. I personally appreciate his reflections on the deep Hungarian soul in a simple but profound language. He described them as providing the model for feelings of omnipotence and good fortune. It was his impression that the newborn baby to some extent grieved for this prenatal life: When one observes the general behavior of the newborn child, one gains the impression that it was not constructed for the harsh disturbance of that perfect peace it enjoyed in its mothers womb and that it longs to return to its previous condition. All who tend to babies instinctively recognize this desire. As soon as a child shows its listlessness by wriggling and screaming, they purposely bring it into a position that resembles being in the womb as much as possible. They lie it on the mothers warm body or wrap it in soft, warm blankets and padding obviously to create for it the illusion of the mothers protective warmth. They protect its eyes from light, its ears from loud noise and make it possible for it to continue to enjoy intrauterine bliss. Also, they reproduce the soft rhythmic, monotonous stimuli which the child even in utero cannot avoid (the rocking movements as the mother walks around, the maternal heart beat, the dull noises from the surroundings which reach the bodys insides) by rocking the baby and by softly humming monotonous, rhythmic lullabies (3).

More references on the influences of prenatal life can be found in the famous literature, such as the work of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Hoffmann was one of Sigmund Freuds favorite writers. In the famous novel, The Woman from Scuderi, a direct connection is made between the prenatal experience of the main character and his later life. A prenatal trauma rooted in the mothers confrontation with death and her mania for jewels dur-ing the pregnancy becomes the heros fate. His fate is repeated by his own sick passion for jewels and in the murders and thefts that he commits (9). The oldest source of literature, I found on premature life influences is from Robert Graves. Graves tells of Roman history at the time of Augustus and one of his descendants, Claudius.

One would be surprised that my mother Antonia, a beautiful and noble woman, brought up by the strictest virtue of her mother Octavia and was the one passion of my fathers life. One would suppose that she would have taken the most loving care for me, her youngest child, and even made a particular favorite of me in pity of my misfortunes. But such was not the case. She did all for me that could be expected of her as a duty, but no more. She did not love me. Instead, she had a great aversion to me. Not only because of my sickliness but also because she had had a most difficult pregnancy and a very painful delivery from which, she barely escaped with her life and which left her more or less an invalid for years. My premature birth was due to a shock that she received at the feast given in honor of Augustus when he visited my father at Lyons to inaugurate the Altar of Rome and Augustus. My father was Governor of the Three Provinces of France and Lyons was his headquarters. A crazy Sicilian slave who was acting as a waiter at the feast suddenly drew a dagger and flourished it in the air behind my fathers neck. Only my mother saw this happening. She caught the slaves eye and had presence of mind to smile at him and shake her head in disgust, signaling to him to put the dagger back. While he hesitated, two other waiters followed her glance and were in time to overpower and disarm him. Then she fainted and immediately her pains began. It may well be because of this that I always had a morbid fear of assassination. They say a pre-natal shock can be inherited. (7)

Recently, the famous and successful author J.K. Rowling, a gifted and talented literary archeologist of tales and myths of every category, also referred to the intrauterine bliss in the story of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone: Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing that Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didnt realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign.to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection for ever.. (14) Now, with all these stories you must wonder, where is the connection to homeopathy? The answer is quite simple. Homeopathy deals with the totality of the symptoms (Organon paragraph 7), the embodiment of the symptoms (Organon paragraph 18) and of course, the personal history including the prenatal influences. The prenatal influences on the developing human being, on the mother of this being (Dyade) and of course, on the father of this being (Triade).

The following case reports shall exemplify this:
1) Case report complicated delivery, over 44 hours with emergency C-Section: Spasticity-tension-Nux vomica: Michael, a 12 y.o., is presented by his mother with the main complaint of poor sleep. Spontaneous report: The child has never slept well, he awakes quite often, and he is very tense. The mother also tells, that he was nervous in general, got easily excited, could not relax and could not receive a lot of information. Meaning, he was very sensitive to sounds and smells, sensitive to an unknown environ-ment, easily overexcited and not very relaxed. The mother relates that he has a high intake of food, and adds that he probably digests quickly and suffers from hypoglycemia. She assumes that something with his me-tabolism was wrong. However, all the medical exams, including one hospital stay did not show any signifi-cant results. She also describes her son as conscientious, and adds that he fulfills his duties properly. Even though he was in high school, he was lacking self-confidence, which she emphasized several times. The mother summarizes how he has always given (others) riddles and that from birth on he has this extreme tension in his body.
Repertorisation Synthesis:
Mind, anger, easily: among others Nux vomica (3)
Mind, confidence, want of self: among others Nux vomica (1)
Mind, conscientious about trifles: among others Nux-v. (2)
Mind, discontented (displeased, dissatisfied): among others Nux-v. (2)
Mind, discouraged: among others Nux-v. (1)
Mind, sensitive, external impressions, to all: among others Nux-v. (2)
Mind, sensitive, noise, to: among others Nux-v. (3)
Mind, sensitive, odors, to: among others Nux-v. (2)
Stomach, appetit, ravenous: among others Nux-v. (3)
Generals, tension, externally: among others Nux-v. (2)
Generals, tension, internally: among others Nux-v. (3)
Generals, tension, muscles of: among others Nux-v. (3)

Birth history: The mother states that the delivery had been very difficult. She had been in labor for over 44 hours (Nota bene!). Her water broke prematurely and her contractions had not been sufficient, there-fore, oxytocin was needed. Subsequently, they had to perform an emergency c-section. The nurse holding the tense newborn said: You will have to hold him tight. Other young nurses made fun of how really tense he was by stating How this child can pull himself up!

Therapy and follow-up: Michael had been given Strammonium 30X and undergone bioresonance from another doctor in the past without any success. I prescribed Nux vomica LM XII 2x5 per week (Staufen) for Michael. I also gave Nux vomica XM (Schmidt-Nagel) to his mother, a very accurate lawyer, as she seemed to be just as tense as her son. Six weeks later, The mother reports that he was physically in good shape. He had participated more in school and had improved in sports. Altogether, he talked and talked and talked and appeared more relaxed. The mothers condition had also improved and she was more relaxed.

3. Comment: Treating mother and child with the same remedy is nothing new as stated by S. Hahne-mann in a footnote of the book The Chronic Diseases.

4. Comment: Interestingly enough in the house-tree-human-test the patient draws himself as the boy in the center of the picture (almost squashed up between the house and the tree). Even in the pictures he ap-pears to move extremely tense and stiff.

2) Case report mugging, freight, premature labor: Opium
A motorcyclist driving by mugged a young woman who worked at a psychotherapeutic advice cen-ter. He stole her purse which included all her papers and money. The patient was physically hurt but was most disturbed by the motorcyclists victorious manner in holding the purse up like a trophy. The patient was early in her pregnancy and premature labor started after this incident. I prescribed Opium 200X.
Repertorisation Synthesis:
Mind, ailments, fright: among others Op. (3)
Female, pain, labor-like: among others Op. (2)
The patients condition improved immediately. She calmed down and the premature labor stopped.

3) Case report fright during pregnancy: sleeping disorder, multiple fears: Aconite
A child presented with weak defense mechanisms, a sleeping disorder and multiple fear symptoms. I have known the patient Johanna since she was in kindergarten. She presented with reoccurring upper respira-tory tract infections. The pediatrician treated the infections with antibiotics (8-10 antibiotics). The mother also reports a severe sleeping disorder. She needed a lit room to fall asleepand she imagined seeing things. In this context, the mother also relates that her child was rather introverted and states She has dif-ficulties expressing emotions. Resigns. She is depressed. Retreats to her shell. The nursery-school teachers have observed the same. The mother says in a handwritten report, She denies food, is afraid of darkness, fights against sleep, cries at night and coughs before falling asleep. She gets angry and wants to be close to me. She is afraid of being alone. These fears were caused by a talk about croup (fear of suffocat-ing). The patient is now in school, is afraid of failure and despite her good grades has multiple fears.

Therapy and follow-up: For several years the child was treated homeopathically, therefore no further antibiotics were necessary. However, her fearful disposition has only changed a little. She is starting high school and has a fear of failure. Her mother resignedly states In general, Johanna has a rather negative ori-entation. Not to mention, her younger brother is highly sulfuric and develops according to his age.

The entire pregnancy history was only now taken into account. The mother had revealed earlier that the pregnancy had been uneventful in the beginning, up to the 28th week. At that time, her ob-gyn doctor had detected a pathological kidney value. The mother had great fear and subsequently, she delivered prematurely in week 34 with a fetal birth weight of 2400g.

In summary, the following had happened: The ob-gyn doctor had ordered a kidney lab test because of her tendency to develop edema. The kreatenin level had been elevated and the diagnosis was made of acute kidney failure resulting in the death of the fetus. The mother was immediately sent to see an emergency urologist. I encouraged the mother to write down what had happened: On Wednesday, I had coffee with some friends at home (pregnant with my first child). We were all in a good mood when the phone rang and my ob-gyns office called to tell me that I had to go immediately to the next town to see an urologist. I re-ceived a heavy diagnosis (over the phone at week 28) that my life depended on it and that my child was dead. My kidneys had failed and only an emergency operation could save my life. Without even realizing it, I was driven to see the urologist. I was already expected and no other patients were present. I was the very picture of misery, when this great doctor looked at me and said `I do not give a shit what those lab values say, I take the risk. The shit would be visible. The fetuss heartbeats were also perceptible. He took blood again and had it tested emergently. The surgery was cancelled; as it had all been a lab mistake!

Repertorisation Synthesis:
Mind, anxiety, fear, with: among others Acon. (3), Ars.(2)
Mind, anxiety, pregnancy, in: among others Acon.(1)
Mind, fear, death, of: among others Acon.(3), Ars.(2)
Mind, fear, death, impending death; of: among others Acon.(1), Ars.(2)
Mind, fear, suffocation, of: among others Acon.(3), Ars.(2)

Therapy and follow-up: Aconite LM VI was given carefully twice per week (5 glob). During the fol-lowing months, the described fear symptoms decreased significantly. Also, the negative failure oriented atti-tude resolved. The child is now succeeding in high school.

Conclusion: Case 1: complicated delivery, over 44 hours with emergency c-section: Nux vomica. Case 2: mugging, freight, premature labor: Opium. Case 3: freight during pregnancy: Aconite.
It is not surprising that we find these three remedies also during the prenatal period. We could inter-pret them metaphorically as the Three Holy Kings. The so-called grief remedies (Nat mur., Ign.) should also be taken into account, because we seem to live in a time of breaking relationships and marriages and unstable socio-economic status in general. The children born under these circumstances grow up in an unpro-tected and unsure environment. To speak in the words of Ferenzis, we live in an un-blessed time. We also find again and again Sepia aspects (the problem with sexual identity), the ambivalence is addressed in the remedy picture (8).
LITERATURE:

1. Anand, K. J.S., Hickey, P. R.: Pain and its effects in the human neonate and fetus. The New England Journal of Medicine 317: 1321 1329. 1987.
2. Brosch, R., and Rust, M.: Schmerz und Anaethesie bei Früh- und Neugeborenen. Anesthesiologie und Inten-sivmedizin 10: 287- 291, 11: 334- 338. 1989.
3. Ferenczi, S.: Entwicklungsstufen des Wirklichkeitssinnes, Bausteine der Psychoanalyse, vol. 3. Huber, Bern 1964.
4. Freud, S.: Analyse der Phobie eines fünfjährigen Knaben. Gesammelte Werke, v. 7. Fischer, Frankfurt/Main 1966.
5. Freud, S.: Introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. Standard Edition 16. 1966.
6. Gawlik,W.: Arzneimittelbild und Persönlichkeitsporträt. Hippokrates Verlag, Stuttgart 1990.
7. Graves, R.: I, Claudius, Penguin Books Ltd. 1953.
8. Hadulla, M. M.; Richter, O.: Die homöopathischen Arzneien. Wesen und Essenz: Bd. 2. Medizinisch Literarische Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Uelzen, 2002.
9. Hoffmann, E. T. A.: Das Fräulein von Scuderi (The Woman from Scuderi) Werke Bd. 2, Frankfurt/Main 1967.
10. Hahnemann, S.: The chronic diseases, B. Jain Publishers (Ltd.), New Dehli, India 1921.
11. Hahnemann, S.: Organon of Medicine, B. Jain Publishers (Ltd.), New Dehli, India 1921.
12. Janus, L.: The Enduring Effects of Prenatal Experience, Mattes Verlag, Heidelberg 2001.
13. Levanon, D.: Fear of pain and its effect on childbirth. Homoeopathic Links, Vol. 14, p. 204-205, 4/2001
14. Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London 2000.
15. Schroyens, F.: Synthesis, Repertorium homoeopathicum Syntheticum. Hahnemann-Institut 1995.
16. van der Zee, H.: Mildness masking violence. A case of carcinosinum. Homeo. Links, Vol. 14, p.208-209, 4/2001.

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Homeopathic medicine in prenatal life. M.M. Hadulla, F.A. Prosser (Heidelberg, Germany)
The authors state that at present the issues of prenatal homeopathy are discussed rather rarely, whereas prenatal period and delivery are extremely important stages of the human life; during this time the basic programs of future human mental activity are being formed. The abstract presents interesting historical literary illustrations, clinical cases. It is emphasized that under modern social economic condi-tions, homeopathic treatment during pregnancy and delivery is useful for both a mother and fetus. It was shown that simultaneous homeopathic treatment of the mother optimizes results of childs treatment.

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