Essential Oils for Birth/Labor

newborn baby

I’ll start off by saying that oils during pregnancy is an entirely different subject that I’ll talk about in the next couple of days. This isn’t medical advice – again – but the info I’ll share I’ve read or learned so I hope it is helpful. I’ve also found a lot of contradicting advice (some oils are said to be okay in some places and other places they are listed as oils to avoid!) so bear with me, I’m assuming some comments will come out of this post (and as always they are very welcomed).
So the list is incredibly long when this subject comes to mind – but the reason I’m going to focus on it birth/labor right now is that I was privileged enough to be a doula at a birth last Monday morning. I of course came to the birth, oils in hand, not knowing whether or not I’d be using them, but brought them along just in case. The Mama was to a pushing point when I arrived. I did use a little bit of Jasmine (can speed up contractions) on a cotton ball on her pillow because she’d requested in a previous meeting that she’d love her birth to be just a little bit more magical and she loves essential oils and was hoping for some yummy smells. So in my opinion that was the yummiest one that is actually great to use during birth. The nurse, that was in the room with us, almost immediately threw the cotton ball away, but she was ‘nice enough’ when it came to other things so I didn’t make a peep.
The last birth that I was oh so honored to be present for – I did use my oils – it was another hospital birth. I brought cotton balls along with me since sometimes Mamas in Labor aren’t into certain smells…that makes the smell easy to get rid of. We used a lot of Lavender at that birth – the Mama was really digging that smell and making great associations. We did use a bit of Jasmine when things progressed. The nurses were all really pleased with the smells in the room each time they came in. Many of the things I have read mentioned that Clary Sage is great for birth – but I didn’t have that at the time of the first doula experience. I do now but I didn’t use it with the Mama at Monday’s birth. All of these oils are good for the labor process and birthing but could be potentially dangerous for a pregnant Mama. Present Time is a good oil to help the Mama focus on giving birth. Into the Future could also be beneficial for birth – to help let go of fear and trauma. The tranquil roll-on is another oil that is great for releasing tension. Lavender, Orange, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile are all great for massaging on Mama. Lavender stimulates circulation and is calming and an antiseptic. Valor is another great oil for delivery to help align Mama’s hips and could also be used on baby after birth.  There are many great oils that can be diffused during labor/delivery, diffusing would be more effective than a cotton ball but not as easy to get rid of the smell quickly if Mama has an aversion. Maybe if you are the Mama and you plan to diffuse something while you are birthing you could do some research and figure out what you might like and would be most beneficial to you. A great oil for transition is Basil. I guess you’d probably need to have someone there that was really focusing on which oils to use or just educate your doula, provider, or partner on when to use which oils and for what purpose – that is of course if you wanted oils to be a part of the birthing process. Clary Sage can be used around the ankles to help with dilation. Dragon Time, Fennel and Sage are also great for your uterus.

For placenta retention Basil may be a good oil to use and for expulsion try Jasmine.

An anointing oil that can be put on the baby’s crown after birth is Frankincense. Gentle Baby is a sweet oil that can be used throughout pregnancy for Mama. It is great to use on stretch marks and could be used during birth as well. Of course you can use Gentle Baby after the birth as well…for bonding, etc. I’ll talk more about Gentle Baby in my post which will touch more on using oils with your baby.

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