Essential Oil Use (Birth and Postpartum)
In our last post we talked about the use of essential oils during preconception and pregnancy. I hope that the three specific essential oils we talked about (lavender, peppermint, and bergamot) have already begun to boost your health and wellbeing during this special time of expecting.
Integrating essential oils into our lives can help create a healthier environment for our bodies and growing babies while relieving or lessening some of our pregnancy related discomforts. As a bonus, essential oils do not have to cost us too much money or time. Think simple, ladies! Ok, Let's jump right in to essential oil use during birth and the postpartum period!
Labor is defined as "hard physical work". As women, our bodies were designed for the process of bringing our babies earthside and without any intervention, most women will fare extremely well. We are so strong, mommas! Essential oils - although not necessary in the birthing room - can help in a variety of ways.
- Inhaling lavender essential oil straight from the bottle or a few drops on a tissue may help to keep you focused and calm, and may aid in keeping headaches at bay while you labor. Lavender essential oil stimulates circulation, calms, and also carries antibacterial properties, which is super helpful if you are birthing in a location with germs foreign to your body.
- Peppermint essential oil may be used for nausea during birth. This is the same idea as when used in pregnancy. I encourage mommas in labor who are feeling a bit nauseas or having tummy troubles to inhale straight from the bottle or over an empty bowl with several drops in it. By breathing in the liquid molecules, vomiting may be suppressed. This specific oil also works to stimulate urination. For those that don't know, for some women, bladders may not release easily during labor and shortly after. Simply dropping several drops of peppermint essential oil into the toilet and sitting down should do the trick. Keeping your bladder empty during birth is essential for uterine function and baby’s optimal positioning.
As a side note, notice that I did not recommend topical use of essential oils during labor and birth. We do not want to have our babies entering the world with any distinct smell except for their momma's scent. A woman's natural odor immediately following birth has a lot to do with breastfeeding success. Here's why.
What a delicate time! Let's do all we can to focus on our physical and emotional healing. We just brought a human into the world through an intense, draining, but beautiful experience! Beyond resting, staying hydrated, and keeping visitors at bay until breastfeeding is fully established, the use of essential oils may also help speed our recovery.
- Witch Hazel Pads are wonderful for healing your perineum and surrounding areas after birth. Fill bottle with 100% witch hazel. Depending on the size of bottle, include 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake and either pour or spray onto large overnight size pads. ———> These are what I recommend <——— Place “medicated” pads in a single layer into bpa free gallon freezer bags and put into the freezer. You can switch out the frozen pads as often as you like in your early days postpartum. Both the witch hazel and lavender essential oil are antiseptics and promote healing of open wounds while reducing inflammation.
- Exhaustion is also a common struggle during the postpartum period. First, I want to encourage you to forget your to-do’s and visitors and focus on you and baby. These early moments pass all too quickly, and you won’t get these precious days of bonding back! Sleep when baby sleeps and have daddy do skin to skin with baby while you shower and meet your own needs. Even if you do protect your time and space, you will still need to adjust to the responsibilities of caring for the every need of another person. This can be tiring, to say the least. Remember when you used that glorious citrus smelling oil during pregnancy to fight the anxiety and general sluggishness? Bring that bottle out again! Using Bergamot essential oil is a wonderful way to increase your energy and uplift your mood by calming the nervous system. Breathe in deeply, mommas!
There are hundreds of wonderful essential oils with outstanding properties that you can choose from, but my intention is to simplify our options. We don't need a whole lot to thrive during this journey into parenthood.
Here's to utilizing what the earth has to offer us for focus, healing, and health!
Warm wishes for a happy day!
2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
3. Photo's by Monet Nicole Birthing Stories