“The life of a mother is the life of a child: you are two blossoms on a single branch.”
–Karen Maezen Miller
Whether birthing at home, a birthing center or the hospital, the fragrance from oils extracted from flowers, trees, fruit and roots can calm and comfort the body-mind in pregnancy and labor. Doulas often bring aromatherapy oils to labor to replace clinical odors in the hospital that may unconsciously affect the mother’s body-mind in labor.
As I prepare for my own labor, I wanted to share with you what I have found and put it in a (hopefully) easy to read post with tips and tricks and recipes all included in one place! I am a visual learner/reader so to help my own brain and those of you with me, there is also a table towards the bottom with my “Labor Delivery Oil Kit” broken down a little more with just the essential information.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions! As always, remember to seek the advice of your primary care provider if you have concerns.
Add Lemon to water to make sure the mom is staying hydrated.
Use 10-15 drops of Lavender along with 2 cups of Epsom salt in the bathtub and soak for 20-30 minutes-the magnesium and Lavender together help calm the contractions.
Use 1-3 drops of Lavender along the stomach or heart
Frankincense and Balance Blend on the bottom of the feet to prepare body to receive oils, centering and honing the entire body system to find a homeostasis.
Aromatouch Blend is also a great oil to rub on feet and legs in an upward motion to support the lymphatic system.
Wild Orange, used neatly (alone) to inhale or place 1-2 drops under tongue can be helpful with nausea, energy and encouragement as the mother prepares to deliver.
Labor and Delivery
White Fir, Black Pepper, Birch and Deep Blue Rub Blend.
Diluted and rubbed on spine, lower back etc.
Deep Blue Blend, used with a hot pad
Anxiety, Encouragement, Mental Support-
Lavender, Balance Blend, Clary Sage, Wild Orange (or any other citrus oils, I love Grapefruit which is funny since I hate the actual fruit!)
Diffuse citrus oils like Lime and Grapefruit in the beginning, along with Balance Blend, to get everything aligned and Citrus Bliss Blend at the end as transition gets closer. 3-4 drops in a diffuser or smell right from the jar!
Do not use Lavender while less than 5cm because it’s effective in calming things down. Once in active labor, use 1-2 drops on bottom of feet, abdomen and on hips. It stimulates circulation, is calming and antiseptic!
Focus on grounding oils.
Balance Blend- diffused, inhaled or used on bottoms of feet can help refocus and calm, especially paired with Peppermint.
Citrus oils, diffused, can also calm and recenter during active labor.
Geranium, used with a carrier oil and massaged into the perineum can help avoid episiotomies. Use 5-10 drops with ½ tablespoon carrier oil (jojoba or fractionated coconut oil are my personal recommendations).
Frankincense, used topically (neat ok) or inhaled, can help with pain management and centering.
For after birth cramps, Clary Sage Blend (1-3 drops, around ankles, neat ok) will help tone the uterus, boost lactation and with emotional stress.
Deep Blue Blend or Rub can be used either diluted, or neat along abdomen as a pain relief.
Labor & Delivery Basics
|Geranium||5-10 drops with ½ tbsp. of carrier oil. Massage along perineum||Avoid episiotomy|
|Lavender||1-2 drops on hips, bottom of heels, diffuse, inhale or use 1-3 drops on stomach or over heart||Stimulates Circulation, calming, antiseptic, helps with early labor (see notes above on specific uses and times)|
|Balance Blend||Diffuse, or inhale, place 1-3 drops behind neck||Stabilizes mood, stalled labor|
|Clary Sage||1-3 drops around ankles, neat ok||Tones uterus (post labor), emotional stress, lactation. Do not use during pregnancy, but once full term it is a great support.|
|Basil||DILUTE 5-10 drops with carrier oils, rub along abdomen, temples or back||Manage pain, transition|
|Wild Orange||Can be used neatly, inhaled or place 1-2 drops under tongue||Encouragement, nausea, energy, centering|
|Peppermint||Neat ok||Nausea, headaches (apply to back of neck), cooling|
|Frankincense||Topical (neat ok), inhale||Manage Pain|
Additional Tips & Recipes:
- Put 20 washcloths in a crockpot, fill with water, add 20 drops of lavender and set to “warm”. Apply a washcloth to lower abdomen or back at the beginning of each contraction.
- Cooling spray: Mix 25 drops of Wild Orange, 25 drops of Peppermint and water in a 4oz spray bottle. Spray on during transition or when feeling tired or discouraged.
- Perineum support: Mix 10 drops Helichrysm or Geranium in 1 tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil and massage into perineum at crowning. These oils support the skin tissue to help minimize swelling and help the tissue stretch to avoid tearing.
- Use Lavender and Geranium over the uterus after birth for soothing all of those tired muscles.
- Peri Spray: (This is RAVED about amongst our team for soothing after a vaginal birth) Mix 5 drops of Lavender, Geranium and Helichrysm in 1oz of filtered water or fractionated coconut oil. Spray on after each time you use the bathroom or rinse. Don’t leave this one out, you will be so glad you have it!
- Keep your Clary Sage around because Clary Sage can help aid in milk production as well as support a balanced hormonal system postpartum. Dilute and apply to the lower abdomen daily.
Modern Essentials, Aroma Tools
Birthing from Within, Pam England
“Aromatherapy for Childbearing”, Marlene Ericksen