Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to ease labour pains and help you feel empowered and strong. Many women use essential oils to support them during natural birth.
Keep any aromatherapy in the bath or in an oil burner, so it can be removed if you need it to be (some women find that scents they usually adore are unbearable during childbirth). Your birthing pool should also be free from aromatherapy oils as some are unsuitable for babies.
Natural Mumma’s empowering birth blend
Jasmine essential oil – Jasmine oil is uplifting, wonderful at relieving pain and encourages stronger contractions. It also helps lactation, which is ideal for those who hope to breastfeed.
Rose essential oil – Rose is beautifully soothing and reassuring. It instils confidence and helps you to stay relaxed and focused. It also helps maintain regular contractions and softens ligaments ready for the birth.
Neroli essential oil – Neroli helps relieve any feelings of fear or anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Add two drops of each to a tablespoon of milk (dairy, soya or nut) and swirl around in your bath water. This can be used as soon as labour starts to help strengthen contractions, provide pain relief and soothe your nerves. Jasmine essential oil should not be used prior to 37 weeks as it can promote labour. As your skin will absorb the oils, the benefits should last you through the labour. You may also like to blend 2 drops of each in an oil blender alongside a tablespoon of carrier oil.
Aromatherapy for induction
If you have past your due date and baby is still showing no sign of emerging, then you might like to try some gentle methods for easing things along. Firstly, trust that your baby will come along when they are ready but if you are feeling uncomfortable then a little gentle coaxing may help things along their way.
Add 4 drops of clary sage essential oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and ask a friend to rub this mixture into the soles of your feet. This would be a lovely job for your birth partner to do, as it will help you to stay connected. During the foot massage, sit back and breathe deeply. Take the time to visualise your beautiful baby. Imagine that your cervix is softening and opening and think about your baby emerging into the world.
Clary sage should only be used after 37 weeks, as it can promote labour. Please also take care after oil has been applied to your feet as it could cause you to slip. After the treatment, put your feet up and allow the oil to sink in for as long as possible. When you are ready to stand up and move about, be sure to dab any excess oil away first using a soft towel.
This same blend can be used if your labour is progressing slowly to encourage stronger, more regular contractions.
Freelance writer, author and poet