• Elizabeth Adalian MCH

Suffer the babies - Pregnancy in the Time of a Pandemic


With the tensions evoked in the population in general by the ongoing news about the pandemic, the reaction in any pregnant woman is bound to be felt more deeply than in others. This is due to the increased sensitivity which is recognised to accompany that state.


On top of this, the prospect of going through labour in a Covid-secure environment is likely to only add to that burden. With the knowledge that their loved ones (beyond their immediate birthing partner) cannot be present, either at the birth or beyond in the early days of the infant’s life, will most likely increase the sense of isolation induced by the situation.


Being cognisant of the effects of inherited trauma (attributed to epigenetics), it is inevitable that infants born against such a backdrop may act out the distress, not only in their immediate days of infancy, but way beyond, as patterns start to become entrenched in the psyche. Susceptibility to chronic disease can develop as a result of adverse environmental influences experienced as an embryo and can then become perpetuated throughout early life and beyond (1).


This rationale makes me conclude that if homeopathic treatment is given to the prospective mother during pregnancy, it can not only support her with all that is projected onto her during this vulnerable state, but also the developing infant who is inevitably deeply embroiled in this transmission of the trauma involved. 


According to Amanda d’Ambrosio, based on a prospective cohort study carried out in the Netherlands at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, kids whose mothers suffered anxiety and depression during pregnancy were at a greater risk of developing asthma in later childhood by 91% to 46% in pregnancies unafflicted by these issues (2).


Overall, psychological distress during pregnancy was associated with lower lung function in the offspring, including lower forced vital capacity, the researchers reported in the journal - Thorax (3). There were no observed associations between paternal psychological distress and risk of asthma in kids, suggesting mechanisms which occur in utero. 


The group undertaking the research suggested that excess production of glucocorticoid hormones in expectant mothers with these mood disorders could potentially impact foetal development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and thus contribute to respiratory issues, transmitted through the vagus nerve. 


Glucocorticoid-regulated genes are key to foetal lung development, especially during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, the authors wrote:- ‘Any disruption in this process could lead to developmental adaptations of the lungs and here, altered lung function’. Underpinning this, the microbiome could be the first point of attack in this phenomenon and, in turn, affects the lungs in the adverse way described above.


Given that the lungs in Chinese medicine represent the emotion of grief (4), it is no coincidence that there are 1.1 million children in the U.K. suffering with asthma - i.e. around 1 in 11.  With the stresses of the continuation of the pandemic, this figure could easily rise, especially if air pollution levels are not radically improved sufficiently to counter this very distressing trend. 


Based on this research, I decided to focus on two rubrics from the repertory (5):-


Depression, pregnancy, in (Mind section)

and

‘Asthma, children, in’           (Lungs section)


The remedies which appear in both rubrics are:-

Belladonna, China, Lachesis, Nat. Mur., Nux Moschata, Pulsatilla, Sanicula.


I believe it is no coincidence that the first six remedies all manifest a degree of hysteria which could easily be in the background to the presenting state. Therefore, the rubric ‘hysterical, behaviour’ with the two rubrics mentioned above could easily complete the ‘three-legged stool’ to match the simillimum in the case. A vicarious reaction could occur on both emotional and physical levels - when the lung weakness is addressed in the child. As a result, the underpinning contributing depression in the mother could dissipate and any disruption to their joint bonding caused by the child’s suffering could be restored. 


Naturally, with the level of  extra tension pregnant women are supporting during the pandemic, it is inevitable that this compounds any potential vulnerability the embryo carries in their miasmatic make-up. This could result in any type of pathology erupting even years later right into adulthood on both the physical and emotional level and beyond, such as in the case of the lungs described above.  


Homeopathy is a system of medicine which can neutralise the influence of parental trauma underpinning the lives of newborns even years after their birth. It is, of course, ideal if treatment is given to the mother in pregnancy or - if the outcome transpires much later in the life of the child or  when they become an adult - to that person at the point of manifestation of symptoms, i.e. given a resonant trigger at the time.    


References:

  1. Adalian, Elizabeth, 2017; Touching Base with Trauma: Reaching Across the Generations - a Three-Dimensional Homeopathic Perspective, Writersworld.

  2. D’Ambrosio, Amanda, 2020; Does Mom’s Anxiety and Depression Lead to Asthma in Kids, Medpagetoday.com

  3. van Meel ER, Saharan G, Jaddoe VW, et al, 2020; Parental psychological distress during pregnancy and the risk of childhood lower lung function and asthma: a population-based prospective cohort study. Thorax  Published Online First: 12 October 2020. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-2140

  4. Wei, C., Ralph, H., Ning, G., 2017, Mental Activity and Organ Specific Emotions to Specific Organs? J. Complement, Med., Alt. Healthcare, 3(1).

  5. Murphy, Robin, N.D., Homeopathic Clinical Repertory, Third Edition, 2005, Lotus Health Institute.



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