At this stage in my life, childbirth is a past adventure that I look back on fondly. I have three wonderful children that I gave birth to naturally. This was before I had discovered essential oils, so aromatherapy was not part of my birth plan.
Even so, I still wanted to educate myself on using essential oils in childbirth so I could share the information with friends, family and readers. Unfortunately, about a year ago when I attempted to learn more on this topic, I did not find much worth reading on the subject.
The two books that I did purchase at that time were geared toward specific name brands, although this was not clearly evident when I first purchased them, only after reading the books did I find this out.
This was really frustrating because not only did they plug name brand blends, they also lacked safety information and research. During this delicate time in a woman's life, safety considerations when using essential oils are a must.
When I was first approached to review this book, Essential Oils For Childbirth by Michaela Boldy, I was very skeptical. I did not jump on the opportunity right away, instead I asked several qualifying questions before even seeing the book. This was nothing to do with the author, it had to do with my past book experiences.
I wanted to make sure this book was different. It had to be written for the right reasons, could not be brand name specific, the information should be based on research, and essential oil safety must be included.
All my questions were answered, and to my satisfaction, this book was different than the others. This alleviated my skepticism. I started getting excited to receive this book and learn more about using essential oils for childbirth so I could share this knowledge with others.
Who Is Michaela Boldy?
Michaela Boldy is a registered nurse, certified aromatherapist practitioner, certified infant massage instructor and a mom who successfully incorporated aromatherapy into her own childbirth.
Here is a wonderful passage she shares in the book:
"I sat down to write this book with a determination to arm women with enough knowledge to make sound choices if they wish to either buy a premade labor massage oil or create their own. It is my wish that women in the United States and the United Kingdom have choices and can make popular a safe, effective labor therapy for all women wanting to play an active role in optimizing their childbirth experience. Aromatherapy is a safe, easy-to-use therapy and can be used either alone or alongside regular childbirth procedures or pain medications."
Isn't this a beautiful passage, you can see where her heart is and how passionate she is on this topic.
What Can You Expect to Learn in This Book?
The full title for this book is Essential Oils for Childbirth: Using Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress, Alleviate Anxiety, and Lessen Pain with Any Birth Plan.
It is always helpful to know what the book offers so you know what to expect when you read the book.
- Benefits of using aromatherapy in labor
- Introduction to aromatherapy (perfect for new users!)
- Full report on an aromatherapy research trial done
- Information for creating your own labor blend
- Michaela's recipe for making a natural pregnancy massage oil
- Learn a fun massage technique for young children
- Get two all natural recipes to use for baby
Reasons to Include Aromatherapy in Labor
One of the main reasons everyone enjoys aromatherapy is that it can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Childbirth can bring a flood of emotions including joy, fear, anxiety, wonder and tension.
No two labor experiences are the same so it can be a bit like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. With my children, all three were natural births, but all three progressed differently with several variables. Essential oils can be extremely supportive and calming during this time.
Another reason to use aromatherapy is to enable your labor partner to actively participate in the birthing experience. This reason was not initially something I would have thought of but as I read about it in the book, it is a very important factor to consider. It is empowering for the labor partner as well as the mom to be proactive and it offers something to focus on besides the contractions.
Chapter 1: A Brief Introduction to Aromatherapy
I was really excited when I opened this book and saw that the first chapter was all about the basics. All level of users will read this book and the author has no idea what level of knowledge the reader is at. To really dive into the book topic, all readers must have a solid foundation to jump off of.
I think it is also very smart to open with an introductory chapter because there is a lot of misinformation surrounding essential oil usage. It ensures that after reading the 30 pages devoted to this chapter, you will be a well informed student.
Don't let the word "brief" fool you, Michaela really packs a lot of knowledge in this chapter, here are the topics she goes over:
- What is aromatherapy?
- A plant's use of essential oils
- Factors that affect quality of essential oils
- Why use aromatherapy?
- Aromatherapy application routes
- Applications methods ideal for use in childbirth
- Skin Reactions (dermal irritation, sensitization, phototoxicity, chronic toxicity, homeopathic treatment and aromatherapy, and eye safety)
- Storage of essential oils
- Essential oils in pregnancy and childbirth
Chapter 2: A Study of Essential Oils in Childbirth
Michaela explains "The aim of the clinical trial was to determine whether aromatherapy could be effective for reducing anxiety and promoting maternal comfort during labor".
She goes into detail on the study, including methods, results and conclusions drawn from it. It is all laid out in this chapter.
Chapter 3: Create Your Own Effective Labor Blend
OK, this is the exciting part! You will learn how to create your own effective labor blend, easily and safely. After touching on safety considerations, Michaela dives deep into essential oils for childbirth.
Here are the essential oils she discusses in the book:
- Clary Sage
- Mandarin Orange
- Roman Chamomile
She also talks about different carrier oils and what may be the best for your labor blend, as well as important details to know about the listed carrier oils.
Finally, she shares how to create your own labor blend with the essential oils you have chosen. With these instructions you can successfully craft a custom essential oil blend that YOU will love.
Chapter 4: How to Apply Labor Blends During Childbirth
The author gives instructions on how to incorporate your labor blend during childbirth. She also reviews the differences between false and true labor, which is extremely nice to know, especially for first timers.
I love this wise advice that she shares:
"Alongside positive thinking goes wisdom of accepting that childbirth can be unpredictable, even armed with the most scrutinized of labor plans. Yes, be prepared, but equally vital is the readiness to also go with the flow of childbirth-allow yourself not to feel any guilt or disappointment if this natural process does not go according to your original plans."
Chapter 5: Now Let's Backtrack Nine Months...
I love that this book does not leave out the pregnancy part that leads up to childbirth. In this chapter she shares her Tangerine Stretch Mark Oil to help promote healthy skin during pregnancy and prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
This recipe looks wonderful, so much so that I plan to make this for myself simply because it sounds so heavenly and skin nourishing!
I would love to see a few more recipes in this section to use during pregnancy but this is a childbirth book after all so I understand.
Chapter 6: Baby Massage
Michaela is a certified infant massage instructor so it is really wonderful that she devotes a full chapter to share her knowledge with us. It is really a beautiful thing to lovingly massage your baby. It can strengthen and maintain the bond between you and your baby. There are several other benefits for infant massage that she goes over too.
Reflexology is also a therapy that is touched on in this chapter.
Chapter 7: Little Extras for Happy Babies
Here Michaela discusses diapers, diaper rashes, a diaper rash blend, and a first aid blend. She also goes over each ingredient in these blends so you know what you are using. I think this was a great idea to add these extras for parents.
Her diaper rash blend is very simple yet genius. You don't want to slather all types of toxic ingredients on your precious baby. These two pure ingredients she suggests are just a beautiful combo.
Chapter 8: How Aromatherapy Can Help Lower the Number of Cesarean Sections
This chapter looks at US and UK statistics on cesarean birth rates, which are higher than they should be. She goes on to discuss how aromatherapy can help.
Final Thoughts on Essential Oils for Childbirth
I was extremely impressed with this book and am so honored that I was able to read and share it here with my readers. This book is a needed resource for anyone wanting to include aromatherapy in their birth plan.
The thought of creating an essential oil blend for labor may be overwhelming, especially to new essential oil users. It doesn't have to be, not using this book as a guide.
Even if you have never made a custom blend with essential oils before, this book walks you through the steps making sure that you safely, yet effectively, create a labor blend that you will love.
Share on Pinterest