Originally published 8/25/2014
Anyone who knows me knows I use essential oils for everything, so it was a no-brainer that I’d use them while I was in labor and giving birth to Judith.
I purchased this book a couple years before I got pregnant because the midwife who wrote it uses the same brand of essential oils as I do, and it became my #1 resource during pregnancy. I referenced it at least 3 times a week for pregnancy aches and pains and to prep for Judith’s arrival.
I already talked in previous posts on how I used essential oils for pregnancy, so let’s talk about labor and delivery. Keep in mind that I use a specific brand of pure, therapeutic grade essentials oils, and can’t say another brand would have the same results. Make sure you do your research and use therapeutic grade, high quality essential oils. Comment or email me ([email protected]) for ideas on where to start with research.
When I first arrived at the birth center, the midwife suggested staying active to keep labor progressing, so I was doing squats with each contraction until my back pain started (later on in labor I was thinking “How the heck was I doing squats a few hours ago?! Now I’m just trying to stay as still as possible to survive each contraction!” LOL). We diffused Wild Orange and Peppermint for energy and because the pleasant, uplifting smell fit the upbeat mood (we were still innocently excited at this point, not knowing we’d be there another 12 long hours before Judith was born, haha).
I began having terrible back labor pains early on in labor (about 6 or 7 hours in) and had a friend apply a blend of oils (including Ylang Ylang, Black Pepper, and Basil…full recipe in the book) to my lower back and spine. This immediately took the edge off the pain, but I needed it reapplied every 30 minutes or so for it to continue working.
The rest of the oils we used are listed below:
Calming/pain management–diffused Lavender and put a few drops in the birth tub (decreased perception of pain in a clinical study)
Nausea–inhaled Peppermint from bottle
Focus/coping with intense contractions–inhaled Balance and Lavender from bottle
Perineal support/prevent tearing/prevent bruising of baby’s head–20 drops Helichrysm mixed with 2 T. fractionated coconut oil (worked very well–midwives expected her head to bruise because of the slow speed at which she was born, but there was no bruising to be found, and no stitches for me!)
Encourage placental delivery–Clary Sage massaged onto stomach (worked within SECONDS)
**Looking back, I would have diffused Wild Orange and Peppermint during the pushing stage for energy, because at that point I was pretty tired, and you never know how long that stage will last.
Frankincense–applied undiluted to baby’s head after birth
Balance–applied undiluted to baby’s feet after birth
I was very happy with the support the essential oils provided me during labor. Everyone commented afterward about how calm and peaceful I seemed–and I loved the fact that afterward I remembered the experience, I was very present during labor, not spaced-out or confused. I think the oils, especially Grounding Blend, played a big part in that.
Feel free to comment or message me with questions, whether about essential oils or just labor & delivery in general. Giving birth is such a fulfilling and empowering experience, and I’m more than happy to answer questions that may help a mom-to-be <3