by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP
This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.
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Miscarriage is something most people don’t like to think about. The definition of ‘miscarriage’ is the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks, with the first trimester (up to 14 weeks) carrying the highest risk.1 The medical term for miscarriage is pretty harsh – spontaneous abortion. We’ll use miscarriage. It seems more compassionate somehow.
The Mayo Clinic reports that 10 to 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage,2 but over the years I’ve seen numbers as high as 25 percent. Ultimately, statistics don’t mean a thing if you’re the one suffering a loss.
Causes of Miscarriage
The medical world tells us that most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities. In other words, the baby was not developing properly and could not survive. Other possible causes, as listed on webmd.com, include infection; exposure to environmental and workplace hazards, such as high levels of radiation or toxic agents; hormonal problems; uterine abnormalities; incompetent cervix (the cervix begins to widen and open too early, in the middle of pregnancy, without signs of pain or labor); lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs; disorders of the immune system, including lupus; severe kidney disease; congenital heart disease; diabetes that is not controlled; thyroid disease; radiation; certain medications, such as the acne drug Accutane; and severe malnutrition.3 Age can be a factor – the risk increases from 12 to 15 percent in younger moms to 25 percent for moms 40 and older. A study that was sent to me some 25 years ago, which I no longer have a copy of, pointed to capillary fragility between the placenta and uterine wall.
Personally, my own two miscarriages, after five healthy full-term pregnancies, happened after extremely stressful events. I do believe that stress, since it can cause early labor, can also cause miscarriages. This is not meant as a guilt trip for anyone. Some stressful incidents are totally out of our control; we can’t anticipate their arrival and therefore may have very poor control over how we handle them initially and this, at least to a certain extent, tells our bodies how to react.
I have also noted there is a rise in miscarriages during flu epidemics. In 2001 the Journal of Infectious Diseases published an article that included this very topic. “In a 1919 report of 1350 pregnant women with influenza, 26% of case subjects miscarried (the largest proportion in the first trimester), whereas 52% of pneumonia-complicated case subjects miscarried.”4
Symptoms of miscarriage
Miscarriages can announce themselves in a variety of ways. Cramping, low back ache, spotting, vaginal bleeding, and fever are warnings that something is really not right.
Can a miscarriage be stopped?
I do get phone calls and emails asking if I know how to stop a miscarriage. Babycentre.co.uk says this: “Unfortunately, once a miscarriage has started, there isn’t really anything that you or anyone else can do to stop it. Resting in bed is unlikely to make any difference to what is happening.”5
My experience with clients has told me that these symptoms do not always mean it’s ‘game over’ for the pregnancy. I have had many clients who were threatening to miscarry, actively cramping and spotting heavily, who were told to ‘go home and lose your baby.’ Instead they called me. I’m not saying I did anything special or that I have ‘magical’ anything that will stop every miscarriage. I am saying that threatening to miscarry does not guarantee the baby is not viable. Often it just means ‘something’ is out of balance.
Here are the natural miscarriage remedies I suggest, based on historical reports and clinical experience, to women who have symptoms of miscarriage. While I cannot guarantee the outcome in any case specifically, these are the recommendations I have seen very good success with.
1. Get off your feet.
Reduce the stress. Watch funny movies, read good books, play board games. So many sources say this point doesn’t matter. I know for a fact that it does. In every case, a woman always asks, ‘Did I do something to cause my miscarriage?’ If she took it easy, she’ll know that she did her best on that point, at the very least.
2. Catnip and fennel liquid
Catnip is a nervine that works to calm the body. Fennel calms cramping. These are both desirable results when someone is threatening to miscarry.
Dr. John Christopher says this: “Lobelia is a selective herb. When a fetus is dead, or in an extremely weakened condition, lobelia will cause it to abort. However, if the fetus is well and healthy, and the mother is weak, it will cause the mother to heal and strengthen, enabling her to carry the child until the proper time of delivery. Lobelia accurately and intelligently selects which way it is to go. It is truly a ‘thinking’ herb”.6
4. False unicorn root
I learned about the benefits of false unicorn root many years ago when I aspired to be a midwife. I read Polly’s Birth Book: Obstetrics for the Home from cover to cover. Here is what she says about false unicorn: “Female herbal director: balances the direction of female changes, puts functions of reproductive organs in right perspective. If fetus is malformed, or an uncorrectable problem exists, false unicorn will encourage spontaneous abortion; if all is well and some other cause has threatened miscarriage, false unicorn will change directions to retain fetus in utero to successful conclusion of pregnancy. (Begin use with first symptoms.)”7
In School of Natural Healing, Dr. Christopher tells this story: “In our offices in Evanston, Wyoming, a few years ago, we had two cases at the same time from different sides of town. In each of these cases, the women still had a long time before delivery and they were both hemorrhaging. We administered false unicorn, and saved both babies. In one of these cases, the problem was so serious that the doctor said he would scrape the uterus in the morning, for (according to his training) the baby could not live. When he came the next morning, the woman was all right and the baby was delivered a couple of months later.”8
I will often suggest that women who are actively threatening to miscarry need to use all four of the herbs listed above. I have specifically avoided listing dosages here since every case is unique.
Sadly, it is inevitable that some pregnancies will end in miscarriage; however, there are some that threaten to miscarry, that, with proper holistic intervention, will end up in the birth of a baby months later instead.
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- Christopher, Dr. John R, School of Natural Healing, 1983, p. 360.
- Block, Polly, Polly’s Birth Book: Obstetrics for the Home, Hearthspun Publishers, American Fork, Utah, p. 158.
- Christopher, p. 466.
Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).