The Doctor Speaks: Advice on Pregnancy and Jaundice

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By: Henry N. Williams, M.D.

Question: If pregnancy is 'normal' why is it associated with nausea and vomiting, and why are babies jaundiced?

Answer: Although pregnancy is not a dis­ease it is accompanied by many physi­ological changes. Nausea can be one result of these changes. As the child grows in the womb, it is freely given of the sugar in the mother's blood to the point where she may become hypoglycemic, resulting in nausea and, frequently, vomiting.

On the basis of this, the physician often suggests a whole wheat and protein sandwich beside the bed, to be eaten before lifting the head off the pillow, or otherwise stirring. This usually helps and may eliminate the morning nausea, since protein and crude carbohydrates are bro­ken down more slowly than simple carbo­hydrates. If nausea or vomiting is not eliminated, consultation with a health care specialist trained in the use of herbal or homeopathic medicines is advised. The physician may prescribe one of many combination homeopathic tablets or liquid preparations, such as "Nausyn" (Weleda). There are 68 remedies listed in Kent's Repertory (index of symptoms) under "Vomiting, pregnancy, during" so one can conclude that there are no specifics! The individual homeopathics that are most commonly called for are:

ARSENICUM ALBUM - For ex­haustion associated with restlessness, Symptoms frequently worse after mid­night- burning pains relieved by heat, nausea from the sight or smell of food, great thirst but the person can take only a little fluid at a time, craves coffee, acids or milk frequently.

ASARUM EURO. - Sound of scratching unbearable, desires alcoholic drinks, nausea worse after eating, clean tongue.

CHELIDONIUM MAJUS - (and other 'liver' remedies) Great lethargy, yellow tongue and sometimes yellowness of the skin folds, prefers hot food and drinks which relieve the nausea tem­porarily.

JATROPHA - Hiccoughs followed by copious vomiting, great thirst with heat and burning in the stomach re­lieved by putting the hands in cold water.

KREOSOTUM - Pulsations here and there over body, tendency to bleed from small wounds, nausea and vomit­ing several hours after eating, bitter taste after swallowing water.

NUX VOMICA - Irritable and hypersensitive, chilly, sour taste worse after eating, weight and pain in area of stomach which is especially sensitive to touch, desires stimulants and fats, wants to vomit but can't.

SEPIA - Nausea relieved by strenu­ous exercise.

TABACUM - Cold, dizzy, sweaty, faint, nausea incessant, vomiting on least motion.

Jaundice is not unusual and if prop­erly treated, not dangerous. It too has a physiological basis. Some of us have experienced the shortness of breath at high altitudes. This is because of a low­ered oxygen content of the air. Your baby has been under low oxygen for nine months and compensated by increasing the amount of pigment carrying oxygen (hemoglobin) in its blood. With the first breath the baby begins to have higher oxygen concentration in the blood, and the body gradually destroys the excess hemoglobin, excreting what it cannot use. The bilirubin tends to build up in the blood and tissues and the baby becomes yellow or jaundiced. We are told that every child has an increase in the level of bilirubin in the blood even if the skin or the whites of the eyes do not show any yellowing.

Sunlight encourages the excretion of bilirubin. Mothers in the past exposed their infants, in a warm room, to the sunlight for a quarter to a half hour every sunny day, being careful not to let the direct sun light touch the infant's eyes and being sure that the infant did not get chilled. Now, in most hospitals, "bili­lights" are used on any new-born in whom the blood test indicates a high bilirubin. With the use of full spectrum lamps the condition is not dangerous, but a competent health care practitioner should be consulted if the yellowing seems ex­cessive or if it persists.

Thanks to Annegret Wehmeyer, M.D., of the DHU Company in Germany, for her help in compiling the list of remedies.


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