As a doula I have a veritable bag of tricks and one of my favorite things in my bag are essential oils! They help set a calm and relaxing mood, support the natural labor process, are lovely for massages and so much more! These are my favorite essential oils for labor and delivery.
Using Oils During Labor and Delivery
- Diffusing– Some people like to diffuse oils in the delivery room to develop a calm supportive atmosphere. While this can be lovely and definitely works for many it does have downsides. Many times during transition a smell that was loved during the beginning of labor can be be hated, it may even make the laboring woman feel nauseous.
- Inhalers– This is the method I prefer to use for aromatic effects of essential oils. I get either an essential oil inhaler or I add 1-3 drops of essential oil to a damp washcloth. This can then be laid on the back of the mothers neck, on her chest, used to wipe sweat from her face, and so much more. If, later in labor, she decides she no longer likes the scent you can just cork it or toss the rag. No trying to clear the whole room. The cons of this method are that it usually requires a helping hand to hold the inhaler or move the washcloth around. This can be done by the partner or doula.
- Massage– Massage during labor is wonderful and adding the essential oils to it can help support a calm, happy, and healthy labor.
Essential Oils For Labor and Delivery
- Lavender & Stress Away– These are my go to oils to provide a calming atmosphere during labor. When the mother is in labor I let her smell them and choose which one feels best to her at that moment. Doula Tip: Practice using essential oils to calm yourself before labor. Listen to guided meditations while diffusing a calming oil once a day. Or repeat an affirmation, mantra, or scripture. Do a relaxing activity while diffusing a calming oil. That way when you are in labor your body associates the scent of the oil with being calm and relaxed!
- Peppermint– This is a wonderful oil to perk you up when you are hot and tired. I really like to use this for my clients during the transition phase of labor or right before the pushing stage. Most women feel exhausted and discouraged by this point and a whiff of peppermint helps perk them right up. This one is great applied to a cool washcloth and laid on the back of the neck to help keep cool through the last phase of labor.
- Copaiba– This is another one that is wonderful for relaxing and supporting muscles. I like to include a few drops of it in Sensation Massage oil and rub on the mothers belly and back. I like to give mothers a shot NingXia Red or a spoonful of honey with a drop or 2 of Copaiba Vitality when contractions become more intense. This helps give them a bit of energy and helps them and their muscles relax.
- Clary Sage– I like to diffuse or use a few drops in massage oil to help support slower labors. During pregnancy it is best to avoid clary sage but when it is time for baby to arrive clary sage is an excellent support!
- DiGize– This is a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli and supports the digestive system. I like to let mothers inhale this during transition since transition can occasional cause tummy troubles.
Other types of oil
You might be wondering what other sorts of oil could be used to aid pregnancy. There are so many oils out there, not all of them essential, but some of them just as good for your health. CBD oil, for example, is derived from hemp and is used to treat aches and pains often associated with pregnancy. It acts as a very good massage oil, and also comes as a lotion. CBD is full of beneficial terpenes, but what are terpenes you ask? Essentially, terpenes are volatile organic compounds (read aromatic) found in everything from lemon to pine. In lemons, the terpene is called limonene (like the candle scent) and in pine it is called pinene (very inventive I know). In CBD, there are over 100 different types of terpene, and they are all completely natural. They can provide either a calming or mood-lifting effect, making CBD almost as essential as essential oils!
These are my favorite oils to use on my clients during labor and delivery and are the ones always in my doula ‘Go Bag’.
Getting quality essential oils is important! Many essential oils you get in the store are adulterated with harmful chemicals that aren’t good for mother or baby. For this reason I choose to use Young Living oils for my family and my clients. Most of the oils I talked about in the post come in the Young Living premium starter kit, which is how I always recommend people start with essential oils. You can find out more about Young Living and why I choose them here or if you know you want the oils you can go ahead and purchase them here.
When you purchase Young Living oils through my link you become part of my team and gain access to exclusive classes and member groups!