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[Homeopathy and conventional medicine in the management of pregnancy and childbirth].

[Article in German]

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Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Burghölzli, Zürich.


Among alternative methods of healing, homeopathy is the most frequent. Few studies on the efficacy of homeopathic interventions exist which withstand scientific scrutiny. Nevertheless, some evidence supports the efficacy of homeopathy in certain indications, including obstetrics. The practice of preventive antepartum care of pregnant women, adopted at the beginning of this century, has reduced perinatal mortality and the rates of low birth weight and preterm births. The attention of conventional prenatal and obstetric care has been focused on early identification and appropriate management of specific pregnancy risks, such as maternal chronic illness, previous pregnancy complications or intercurrent illnesses. An ongoing monitoring system on studies of perinatal care by Chalmers et al. established the effectiveness of screening for maternal risk factors, of interventions to prevent early pregnancy terminations, of instructions and social support for pregnant women and specific monitoring during childbirth. Studies on homeopathic interventions in obstetrics report positive influence of homeopathic remedies on uterine contractility and the evolution of childbirth. The only study comparing homeopathic and conventional therapy in women with increased risk for contraction abnormalities found few differences between the treatments, except fewer hemorrhages and decreased abnormal contractions in patients treated with homeopathic remedies. Methodological difficulties in comparing homeopathic and conventional medical intervention require specific research designs, taking into account the different theoretical and practical approaches of the two disciplines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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