I feel like I say this all the time, but I wish I had found essential oils before I was pregnant and had given birth.
Pregnancy is the one time in your life when you are likely to need medication to cope with the massive changes that your body is going through, and the one time in your life when there isn't really a great deal you are allowed to take.
The same goes for labour and delivery. While you are allowed pain relief, it's not always just about the pain relief during labour. It's about your body being able to contract effectively, to progress through the early stages of labour, and onto transition and delivery.
I read a lot when I was pregnant with S, possibly too much. So I knew all about so many things that could and would happen during labour, and following it. It was not good for my nerves! Driving to the hospital for my induction was the most nerve racking thing I had done, because I had absolutely no idea how my body (and my mind) was going to respond or be able to deal with it.
There are some things that good old pain relief just can't take care of, like your nerves, or the strength of your contractions. In my case I had syntocinon to strengthen my contractions, because I was induced, but lots of people don't get that kind of help (and even if they do, their body might not respond to it like mine did).
So here are the five essential oils that I wish I'd have had to hand when I went through my two labour and deliveries:
Balance is my number one essential oil to have on hand during a stressful day, and I can think of no more stressful day than the day that you are going to give birth.
I love doTERRA's Balance blend because it is great at creating a sense of calming and well being. Spruce, one of the oils in the blend, has been used by Native Americans to bring harmony to the mind and body. Ho Wood, Blue Tansy and Blue Chamomile can soothe sore muscles, promote circulation and relax the body while the Frankincense supports cellular health and over all well being.
I apply this at least twice a day as I love the way it helps get me back into balance and ready to tackle the next task head on.
Clary Sage is a great essential oil for working with and supporting the female reproductive system. It helps to improve the function of the uterus and can help the body to produce strong and effective contractions. This would have been a must have in my bag because my body takes FOREVER to get from 2cms to 4cms, and then I go from 4cms to 10cms in less than an hour.
Basil is a little underrated in my opinion. When I started reading into it and saw how much benefit it can have, I wondered why we don't talk about it more often.
Basil is another oil that is extremely useful in supporting the female reproductive system. It is great at helping the body through the transition stage of labour (when your cervix dilates from 7cm to 10cm). This is frequently talked about as the most difficult part of the labour, when a woman is likely to be feeling overwhelmed.
Lavender is recommended for use for those in pre-term labour as it can help support the reproductive system and bring the body back into balance, enabling the body to ease those unwanted contractions.
Lavender also stimulates circulation, so it can be helpful during the second stage of labour, the delivery.
Personally, I really wish I'd had Lavender when I was in those first few days post partum. Lavender is incredibly soothing and I really wish I'd have been able to add it to the bath to help to ease the stinging of those scrapes and grazes that inevitable come with a vaginal birth.
Geranium is an oil that you want to have on hand a few weeks before you give birth. It can be really helpful in supporting the perineum so that during labour it can better cope with the stress and strain of the delivery. I would add 5-10 drops to 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil or other carrier oil and rub a small amount into the perineum in the weeks leading up to, and during, labour and delivery.
Those are my five favourite essential oils for labour and delivery. Are there any more that you think are essential to add to your hospital bag?
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