The Impact of Essential Oils in Birthing: A Mother's Journey Across Three Deliveries

I have delivered three babies and it is amazing how much you learn from each process and the personal growth I recognized in myself between them.  They were all such different experiences and oh, how I wish I had known about essential oils when my first son was born.  I discovered the wisdom in controlling my own birthing environment by the time I was ready to deliver my 3rd child.  With my first 2 deliveries, I saw the negative effects of allowing too many people in and out of the room during and learned how much my labor was affected by the surroundings. Knowing what I do now, it amazes me that our hospitals and staff don’t do more to make the rooms more peaceful for laboring mothers when there is so much proven science surrounding the fact that our bodies thrive and function much better when they feel safe and comfortable.  Did you know that you can make these requests to the hospital by providing them with your birthing plan? Outline who & when you would like people in your room  Request the lights be dimmed to promote a more relaxing environment.  A clear and concise birthing plan will prepare the hospital staff that you are an educated mother-to-be that cares about the tiny details of the wonderful experience ahead for you and your baby. 
Here are the essential oils I personally used during the delivery of my sweet daughter, and the details of how they helped me relax, stimulated uterine cotractions, relieved pain, improved blood circulation, eased nausea, and even helped my ligaments to soften and pelvis to expand.
Lavender -- Very Versatile ( A must have for your L&D bag). Promotes relaxation and helps relieve pain. I also brought it to help heal bruising my baby may have gotten during birth.
Jasmine --  I love the smell of Jasmine.  A great one as it stimulates more effective uterine contractions and relieves pain. 
Clary Sage -- I steered clear of Clary Sage during pregnancy because it can induce labor, but once I was in labor I used it because of it its calming effect when one is anxious and muscles are tensed from pain. I also wanted to bring it along in the event of a stalled labor. I did experience a slight stall from all of the commotion and bright lights of the hospital but once I was able to get my music going and start breathing in my relaxing blend, labor continued to progress. I had read that it can be used once you reach your due date if you are trying to begin the labor process. - My midwife was wanting to induce me since my daughter was a week past her due date. I was scheduled go in on the 13th so I began using Clary Sage the day before and went into labor that night. I’m not sure if using the oil is what did it or if she was ready to come, but I’m glad I didn’t have to be induced. 
Rosemary -- Good for relieving back pain and improves blood circulation. 
Peppermint -- Help with muscle soreness and pain. Breathe in for energy boost &/or to help with nausea during labor. I used Peppermint Oil topically/aromatically during laborbecause from what I read, it would not affect my milk supply unless consumed.
Frankincense -- Pain relieving, calming/mild sedative. 
Rose -- Relaxing, softens ligaments. Softening the ligaments helps your pelvis expand more easily for baby to pass through. I added a few drops to my baths which I would take as often as possible or it can be applied w/a carrier for massage. 
Geranium -- Calming, Serene Environment. Treats exhaustion, hemorrhoids.
Myrrh -- I didn’t use Myrrh but I have read that it can help get a stalled labor going again and if applied to the umbilical cord stump after baby is born it could help it to dry and fall off faster. 
Preparing for delivery: 
  • 1. I purchased some relaxation and hypnosis music & books. I had intended on going to hypnobirthing classes but never did. I listened to the music to practice my breathing and mentally prepare (which if you like this method, I recommend starting as soon as possible). I’ll include links to these below. Once you get on amazon though, if you have time you can look at other recommendations and read through reviews to see if you like the sound of other options. I brought a bluetooth speaker and headphones to play my music at the hospital. I ended up just using it on the bluetooth speaker for the most part; it helped to have my husband and the staff hear along with me to encourage the methods I was attempting to use. 
  • 2. I made a Perineal Massage blend in a dropper bottle. If you’re unsure how to do the massage, your doula, doctor &/or midwife should be able to give you some instruction. I applied oil as often as I remembered during pregnancy to help prevent tearing, applied it during labor and after delivery. I mostly used Grapeseed oil and Avocado oil for my carrier oils but if I did it over I probably would have elected to use Rosehip Seed oil because of the benefits it provides for the skin. The blend I made to apply at the hospital during labor consisted of: Avocado Oil, Clary Sage, Geranium, Frankincense & Helichrysum. You could use a carrier of your choice and a combination of one or all of those oils. I loved having the Frankincense & Helichrysum for pain and healing. The Frankincense is also great during labor because it helps prevent swelling for you and the baby as it comes through the birth canal. (you can use a compress as well) 
  • 3. I prepared a jar of bath salts to bring to the hospital. You may not be interested in going in the bath during your labor, but it was a lifesaver for me. You may need to check with the hospital as some don’t allow it (or they do up to a certain point) and some rooms don’t have them. My jar had epsom salts with essential oils of Lavender and Rose. If you are trying to help the labor along, you could add Jasmine.
  • 4. I made a blend for back massage/back & shoulder pain in a dropper bottle. The blend I made had Avocado Oil, Peppermint, and Jasmine. 
  • 5. I packed a diffuser to have in the room with me as well as brought a diffuser necklace to wear during labor. You could add a blend or single oil that helps you feel energized. I’d suggest the Boost Blend, Vetiver, Wild Orange or any other scent you feel gives you that extra boost of energy. Bring extra pads if you use a diffuser necklace or bracelet so you can change it out with something more relaxing like Love & Peace, Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang Ylang or another oil you feel relaxes you. You could also just have the oils close by and ask someone to hand you whichever bottle you feel you need and smell it from the bottle or premade personal inhalers.
  • 6. I brought Peppermint Oil to have a few drops applied with pressure if I began to have back labor. You could use Frankincense if you want to stay away from Peppermint.
  • 7. I brought an after delivery blend of Coconut Oil, Helichrysum, Frankincense & Lavender to massage into areas to help with stretch marks and healing as well as to help with postpartum contractions/cramping pains. 
  • 8. I also read about the benefits of soaking feminine pads in a solution of Witch Hazel, carrier oil, 10 drops Lavender and 10 drops Frankincense and then freezing them to assist with pain and healing during postpartum recovery. 
Of course you will be busy after your little one arrives, but when life gets to a normal rhythm, I’d love to hear how everything went for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions as well. The links to the music and books I used are listed below.