"The Homoeopathic Physician's Guide to Lactation"
The title of the book very aptly describes its audience and contents. In her interesting preface, the author suggests an evolutionary link (in the monotremes, eg the platypus) between reptilesm and mammals and cites historical evidence of humans "reptilian heritage" (pviii) in finding alternatives to feeding their babies at the breast. She takes us back to 2000BC, painting a very vivid picture of breastfeeding and infant feeding practices through history. Our belief that breastfeeding was prevalent in ancient times is contradicted by the evidence cited by the author.
The book is divided into 10 chapters. Basic anatomy and physiology of lactation and components of human milk are discussed in depth with simple easy-to-understand diagrams and pictures. Different aspects of lactation are presented in the form of symptom, situation, or etiology, followed by homoeopathic approach; for example, "Babies who have severe reflux can demonstrate breast refusal due to a fear of swallowing. I find that they respond well to Nat carb, their mothers usually being Sepia (Lycopodium mothers run a distant second)" (p 29).
Chapter 9, "The 3 Lacs, Some Personal Perspectives", has the most valuable treasure of information every homeopath would crave. The author describes similar traits in the 3 lacs (caninum, humanum, maternum) such as the grand keynote "alternating symptoms", a possible reflection of the Doctrine of Signatures whereby nurslings tend to change sides during a feed. She differentiates the 3 lacs with respect to etiology, miasms, physiological sphere, and mental sphere, followed by a full drug picture of each lac. The case studies make the reading even more interesting. The appendices, sample menu plans, recommended reading list, and index provide a wealth of information.
This book is an important tool for lactation consultants interested in Homoeopathy and a must-have book for homeopaths. The author's exceptional dual perspective as a homeopath and a lactation consultant has enabled her to compile a book that is full of information supported by thorough research and clinical evidence. The author's website offers a good primer on homeopathy to the uninitiated reader.
Sonali Desai, BHMS, IBCLC
Journal Of Human Lactation 21 (4) 2005