Let’s talk about essential oils and aromatherapy… and how it may help you in your  life: physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. This time during childbirth. Here are my top tips for using essential oils in labour and childbirth.

5 Essential oils for labour

Essential oils are powerful plant medicine. The effect can be subtle and almost spiritual. Perhaps a great emotional or mental influence. And then there is the physical effect.

Labour is a time when a woman is in her power – her instinctual strength. Childbirth is very physical, but it is also an extremely emotional and spiritual experience. And here is how the essential oils come in.

Please read this article about what essential oils really are and where to get them. And this post about safety when using essential oils. (Please do not use these oils at any other time in your pregnancy than in normal labour)

1 Clary sage 

A powerful plant often used in feminine health – for various reproductive support. It is a uterine tonic and thereby enhances uterine contraction. In pregnancy it is used as a “kickstart” for labour and to get things going. At the same time it is used for pain relief. Clary Sage is calming on the mind and for high blood pressure. Get yours here.

2 Jasmine

My favourite scent is another uterine tonic supporting contractions and is a bit of a “kickstarter”. It can be used for pain relief and is antispasmodic. The scent is said to give confidence and dispel fear. It feels quite euphoric and sensual. Have read here for more jasmine information. Get yours here.

3 Frankincense 

A familiar fragrance that helps us take a deep breath and calm down. It’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. Used in labour for pain relief, anxiety and dispel fear. Get yours here.

4 Lavender

An all time favourite to relax and calm us down. This includes high blood pressure so don’t use if you have low blood pressure. It offers pain relief and is great for back ache. It relaxes the smooth muscles and can enhance contractions. Wonderful in blends to balance out other essential oils. Get yours here.

5 Bergamot 

It has fresh citrusy floral scent. Sometimes people call it the prozac of aromatherapy. It is used for anxiety, it’s uplifting but still calming. Some of the effects include: antiseptic, antiviral, anti fungal and analgesic. It is a great oil to use in blends with heavier scents such as clary sage and jasmine. Get yours here.

Other oils

Essential oils such as citrus oils are uplifting and often wonderful if feeling queasy. They are uplifting and joyful. Citrus oils are also good to use in blends to balance or if you use very heavy scents such as jasmine, geranium, woody oils or clary sage. Try out: grapefruit, lemon, mandarin or sweet orange. (Be aware that citrus oils are photosensitive – don’t go out in sun light after application).

You can also explore: cedar wood, roman chamomile (both grounding and calming. Ginger for digestion and nausea. Or florals such as rose, geranium and ylang yang. Have a look here for organic and high quality oils.

How to use them – safely?

This we will explore in our next blog so make sure you check in very soon.

Never use the oils neat. Always use a dispersing agent such as vegetable oils. 

Remember to discuss essential oils with your midwife and doula. Always check any contraindications. If you have had an assisted pregnancy with medication, other medical issues (including high or low blood pressure) or allergies please always speak to a qualified aromatherapist.


nhs guidelines

Tisserand safety article

Notes from Advanced Aromatherapy for Pregnancy CPD course with Neal’s Yard Remedies

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