Top 10 Essential Oils for Labor and Delivery
Having a baby is an intense – exhilarating – crazy – exciting – emotional – scary – amazing event, all looped into one. Every feeling on the planet is felt by a mother who is giving birth. And after having two kids myself, I can honestly say I would go through it all over again, due to the immense love I have for those babies.
For me, personally, during my pregnancies, I wanted to do everything I could to be as healthy and natural as possible, for myself and my baby. I wanted to eat healthy, stay emotionally strong, use essential oils – and I even chose to go through the unmedicated route for each labor and delivery.
Being that I was already on a path of using essential oils in my everyday life, I knew that I wanted to use these amazing plants to help me through my babies’ “Birth Days.” After tons of research, I learned that there were essential oils for everything – including ones I could use while having a baby.
Now that I’ve had two successful “oily births,” I found it important to share with you the top 10 essential oils for labor that helped me tremendously through every stage of birth. These oils could be something to consider packing in your birth bag, and have on hand when that very special day arrives.
Peppermint was my favorite oil to have throughout my entire pregnancy, by far. Mainly because the minty aroma of Peppermint was very soothing to inhale during the first trimester, and helped keep my tummy settled while I was in labor. On top of that, Peppermint is very invigorating, and helps keep you focused on breathing through each contraction. I’d use this oil by applying it over my tummy or on the back of my neck, as well as inhaling it directly from the bottle, or diffusing it in the room.
Clary Sage was one of my favorite oils to help move along my labor process. I was 10 days late with my son, and towards the end there, I diligently applied Clary Sage over my wrists and ankles. The aroma is floral yet fresh, and brought me a lot of inner peace, knowing that my baby would come at the perfect time. Once labor did start, I applied it over my belly to keep encouraging this beautiful and natural process.
Like Clary Sage, Jasmine was also one of my favorite oils to use during the starter stages of labor. Once my due date arrived, Jasmine was right by my side, being applied and diffused with the hopes that baby would come swiftly and safely. Jasmine is also known for its hormone supporting properties, which in turn can help an expecting mom to start experiencing the beginning stages of birth naturally.
Lavender was one of my favorite oils to use throughout my pregnancy. Because it is one of the most calming essential oils, I loved to apply this oil over my belly during the second and third trimesters. Every time I’d feel a Braxton Hicks contraction, I’d apply Lavender, and it would help relax my muscles and ease my mind. During labor, I also had Lavender going in my diffuser. It helped me sleep through minor contractions, and helped keep my mind at ease once labor started to intensify.
Frankincense was, by far, my most used essential oil during labor and delivery. It is very powerful to support healthy emotions – so when I felt like I couldn’t take one more contraction, I simply inhaled this oil to help me keep it together. My midwife also used tons of Frankincense diluted with olive oil on my perineum once the baby started crowning. This allowed my skin to be moisturized and elastic so baby could come out with ease. Once baby was born, I also applied Frankincense over the umbilical cord until it stopped pulsating.
Citrus Fresh was an amazing essential oil for me to use during labor, especially when I was feeling exhausted. This oil is a blend of fruits that, when inhaled, can bring about a burst of energy and clarity. Many moms have long labors, and struggle to keep their minds and bodies awakened and refreshed during the process, and Citrus Fresh was definitely the oil that helped me power through each labor with both of my children. It is also a very uplifting aroma, and brings joy to the heart during what can seem like a frustrating or fearful process.
Panaway was by far one of my favorite oils to use during contractions. This is a blend of oils that, when applied, leaves a cooling yet warm sensation to the skin. During each natural contraction, my husband or midwife would apply Panaway over my back, and lay a hot compress on top of it while applying pressure. I also loved applying it over my neck and temples to soothe any occasional tensions I might have experienced after hours of labor. The aroma itself is very minty-fresh, and it helped keep my mind in a state of full awareness throughout the whole labor process.
Gentle Baby is a must-have oil for every expecting mom, and every mom in general. Throughout my pregnancy, I applied this oil over my tummy, mixed with some coconut oil, to help keep my skin smooth, moisturized, and even-toned as it kept growing throughout the weeks. During labor, I had this essential oil going in one of my diffusers. And once baby was born, I would apply this on my baby’s feet and tummy to help them sleep, to help them remain comfortable, and to keep us both at total peace.
Valor is my “birth warrior” oil. This one is a blend that gave me courage to power through my labor and delivery like a boss. Since it is known to be extremely supportive for self-confidence and positive emotions, I had people applying this oil all over my spine and chest during labor. I also would inhale this oil directly from the bottle, especially when I was in transition. This oil was also one my husband and family members used on themselves, as well, to help them emotionally get through the wild experience of watching me push a 7-pound baby out of my body.
Lastly, Stress Away is a must. This blend is pretty self-explanatory, yet necessary to have for everyone who will be present at during the labor and delivery. My midwives, doula, family, and myself all had their fair share of Stress Away. It allowed the atmosphere to remain peaceful, and kept emotions at bay. Because let’s face it – labor is hard, it can be scary, and everyone even feels helpless at times. So having an oil like this to use can be a great asset to the experience.
I personally cannot imagine what my births would have been like had I not had these oils in my birth bag. Not only for myself – but for my husband, for my birth team, for my family, for my baby. Nature has a beautiful way of meshing perfectly with the human body, even when your body is going through one of its most natural and primitive experiences through birth. Since plants are so beneficial for our bodies, minds, and hearts, using these 10 essential oils during your labor and delivery will make the experience that much greater.