Childbirth Pain? Here’s How to Make your Own Essential Oil Labor Blend
The last few months of pregnancy can be a roller coaster of excitement and anxiety. Childbirth is known to be one of the most painful experiences, and each birth is unique and unpredictable.
Understandably even if you are blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a full attendance at prenatal classes it may still be difficult to stop those last minute panics.
The pain of childbirth can’t easily be eliminated all together; however reducing fear of childbirth can help with the progression of your labor and how you finally look back on your childbirth experience. As your fears and anxieties reduce and your labor progresses, you might find yourself needing less of or none of the medical interventions you might’ve otherwise used.
Aromatherapy massage is such a therapy that can support childbirth as a handful of essential oils have been proven to be beneficial in reducing fear and anxiety.
Having your partner massage your back at each contraction may help prevent the body from initiating the stress response cycle, which will enable you to take control of the pain, prevent muscle spasms from intensifying the pain, and allows your uterine contractions to flow.
Disclaimer: Any use of essential oils during pregnancy should be discussed with a health care provider prior to use.
Essential Oils To Relieve Common Symptoms of Labor
- For anxiety, I recommend using Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) or Rose (Rosa damascene) to help alleviate some of the stressful symptoms anxiety brings on.
- Childbirth is an incredibly exhausting process, both physically and emotionally. Both Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) and Lemon (Citrus limonum) essential oils are known to revitalize and energize the mind.
3. Depression and Despair
- Lemon, Rose and Jasmine are essential oils known to have anti-depressant properties that help lift the mood, promote positive thinking and inhibit anxiety.
4. Physical Pain
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are great for reducing sensations of physical pain.
- An ideal distraction from labor pain is to have your labor partner massage your back with an aromatherapy blend for the duration of each contraction.
- Many women suffer nausea during the first and final stages of labor. Lemon and Roman chamomile all have anti-nausea properties. Lemon, especially, has been proven beneficial in reducing nausea during pregnancy.
- Headache is a common symptom of the early stage of labor. Lavender essential oil has been proven to reduce migraine pain and its associated symptoms.
Create your Own Essential Oil Blend
Follow this checklist to ensure you relax knowing your labor bag includes a safe, natural aromatherapy labor blend, which is designed to increase your wellbeing during childbirth:
- Use only 100% pure, high quality essential oils as the chemical composition of an essential oil determines its therapeutic properties. Consequently, it is important to buy essential oils that have been correctly cultivated, harvested, and are free from adulterations, pesticides and chemicals.
- Use essential oils that are scientifically proven safe and effective for childbirth. Few essential oils are known to be safe for use in pregnancy and/or childbirth and many are contraindicated in other health conditions.
- For instance jasmine and rose are noted above as safe for childbirth but these particular essential oils are contra-indicated in pregnancy; therefore they need to be used under the supervision of your healthcare provider. Whether you choose to use a ‘pre-made’ or create your own blend it is vital to research the safety data for each chosen essential oil.
- Prior to buying or creating aromatherapy labor blends, it is crucial to discuss their usage with your healthcare provider. The discussion should include which essential oils are safe for your individual needs/health, the timeline for when to begin using the blends, and supervision of your midwife, doula and/or obstetrician when you do use the blends.
For a full guide of which essential oils are safe to use in your labor blend and extra tips and tricks to customize your labor blend for your needs, check out my new book Essential Oils for Childbirth aimed at giving women and their partners enough ‘know-how’ to make sound choices whether they wish to either buy a premade labor massage oil or create their own.
Bio: Michaela Boldy is a registered nurse, certified aromatherapy practitioner, certified infant massage instructor, and the mom of four children. She is a member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and has taught aromatherapy, anatomy, and physiology in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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