Whether you have chosen to have a home birth or give birth in a hospital, whether you are going for a natural birth without intervention or can’t wait to get that epidural, whether this is your first time to the rodeo or you have season passes to the birth center…essential oils and aromatherapy for labour can be your best friend and ally. Let’s take a closer look at what aromatherapy can do for you during birth, shall we?
What can Aromatherapy do in labour?!
First things first, women in birth are fickle creatures, and what is helpful one moment could be downright painful the next. We have the right to be that way (and there is some cool science type stuff that makes us that way too), after all, we are bringing another human being into the world. It’s difficult, beautiful, awe-inspiring, exhausting, but rewarding work that hurts to heck and back and has the potential to cause even the most cool-tempered person to panic if things don’t go exactly as planned or if they don’t have the proper support and education about what to expect. Side note: “HIRE A FREAKING DOULA!” (A quote from my husband when asked what he would recommend to anyone having a baby).
That being said, when using aromatherapy, the laboring woman’s support team needs to be respectful of her wishes. Some women just simply will not be able to handle certain types of aromatherapy delivery methods during labor. You should be ready, willing and able to change the method of delivery if, say, you try to massage her feet and she kicks you across the room.
Secondly, and even more importantly is to be sure that the oils you use are of high quality and purity. Make sure they are CERTIFIED Therapeutic. Not all oils are created equal and synthetic, contaminated or less than 100% pure oils could do more harm than good.
Finally, any diffusion of oils should be tapered toward the transition period of labor. You do not want any overpowering aromas in the air when baby first arrives on the scene. Let baby get use to oxygen first friends!
Let’s Check out the Oils:
Okay, so here’s the good stuff. The primary essential oils that can assist and provide support for a more peaceful, happy labor are:
Lavender or Serenity Blend: Calms nerves, eases tension and provides relief from anxious feelings, and let’s face it…that will benefit ALL OF US: mom, baby, partners, doulas, midwives, doctors, nurses, lions and tigers and bears…oh my!
Peppermint: Helps ease breathing, perks you up and relieves nausea. DO NOT use this oil internally or topically (on the skin) during birth or afterward because it can mess with mama’s milk production and supply.
Clary Sage: Helps to balance out your hormone fluctuation, provides strength to the muscles to aide contractions (special note: do NOT use this oil until you are full term because it might make baby decide to come early!)
Wild Orange or Citrus Bliss Blend: Uplift spirits, provides energy and lifts fatigue during those last hours of “Oh My God, how am I STILL doing this?!”
Frankincense: Helps maintain focus and mental clarity while you’re off in Laborland.
Balance Blend: Instills a sense of grounding, positivity, peace and confidence in your ability to DO THIS. Helps fight discouragement when labor slows or is taking longer than expected.
Fennel: Excellent for after baby is born to promote milk production, yummy! (Baby says thanks mom!) I always encourage people to do their own research and speak to an expert before using aromatherapy or essential oils. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean you can get away with using it however you want, especially during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Used with proper care, though, essential oils can provide the tools to turn labor into a less laborious experience.
Go ahead mama…get down with your bad self and do something proactive to make your labor of love even more spectacular!
Ginger Nicole Baker is an essential oils expert and wellness advocate and is the founder and CEO of Essential Owl Holistics which you can find on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She has a deep passion for helping others to embrace and practice proactive, natural and holistic care for themselves and their families, especially during pregnancy, birth and beyond. She and her husband Adam are the proud parents of their 1 year old daughter, Raienn, who has been her bright shining beam of inspiration. Learn more here! For a private consult, or to schedule a class, webinar or training, Message her here!
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