Essential oils from our wonderful Mother Nature’s herbs have long been known and touted as having phenomenal positive effects upon the body and promoting it’s natural functions. Every stage of life and circumstance, it seems, can be added to or increased in efficacy with a magical drop or too of just the right tonic or scent.
We often hear about others using certain essential oils on a daily basis for detoxifying their bodies treating illnesses and conditions. But you can also use essential oils for birth, assisting you during your labor in order to stack up every positive form of defense on your side.
Seven Essential Oils For Birth
I believe essential oils have their place and are greatly beneficial. I’ve used them myself. There are hundreds that I could write about and study for you.
You can find thousands of pages devoted to all of the beneficial aspects and properties of essential oils. I did a few hours of research myself in order to refresh my memory on the topic.
But one thing you usually WON’T find are all of these sources backing up their claims with documented results. Yes, I agree, that this does NOT discredit such claims as being factual or not, in my book. But I don’t want you to read something and feel unsure still because of the lack of clarity with anything.
So I’ve chosen just seven that I personally found published backing on as well, covering both bases of natural and medical aspects for your peace of mind.
I’m NOT saying there aren’t thousands more of legitimate articles in journals that I couldn’t find, or thousands of years of tribal knowledge that I’m imperfect at perceiving from my modern-society-western-world-skinny-little-white-girl livelihood. (Well, not so skinny lately from baby #3 🙂 )
But I AM saying that you can take references like these below and put them in your doctor’s face, explaining why you’re choosing to have pain management options from naturally occurring substances with minute to no harm, rather than a chemically derived compound with KNOWN side-effects injected into your body. But hopefully you won’t have to do that.
This essential oil, let alone just the scent itself is probably the MOST popular and well-known substance commonly used for relaxation. You can find it in lotions, bath salts, massage oils, scented candles, air fresheners, etc. Why? Because it’s proven time and time again to promote relaxation, ease tension and produce a calming effect when you breathe it in, no questions asked.
A study in the Journal of Medical Association Thailand, College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2012, is just one example of the validated effects of lavender oil. It’s shown to:
- significantly decreases your blood pressure
- lowers your heart rate
- reduces the temperature of your skin
- you have a more active and fresher mood
Many of these signs indicate reduced autonomic arousal, or in other words, your body’s natural defense against stress–lavender oil will enhance your ability to combat stress.
This essential oil is great for general pain relief. You can rub it on your belly, lower back and pelvis. It will give you cooling effect much like peppermint does and other topical analgesics do.
A study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Topical Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nizwa, 2014, compares frankincense against traditional Aspirin, and it shows a GREATER aptitude for a patient in dealing with pain than the commercial pain killer does. I never take aspirin anyway because of its associated harsher risks.
This essential oil is not very well known. It’s commonly used as support for your perineal tissue during your labor and birth. Application of it ‘down there’ is said to reduce your chances of tearing and trauma due to its natural healing properties. This essential oil has been more difficult for me to fully understand and find a lot of information on for you.
I did find a few studies, including one from Chemistry & Biodiversity, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova, 2015, that mainly dissected its antioxidant and phytochemical properties. It has great abilities in reducing free radicals, which are essentially the tiny compounds that cause us to age (though the subject is debatable). What this means is that this essential oil is able to fight off the things that make it difficult for our cells to grow and function optimally from a variable damaging perspective.
So I can see how it is somewhere in the pathway of having an effect upon our perineal cells to be stronger during such dramatic times, but it’s not a clearly direct correlation to me. But for someone like me that has torn twice, it’s definitely worth adding to the prevention list.
Another essential oil that’s on the debatable table for me, is myrrh. I read in a separate article about how myrrh is able to help stalled labor and open up the cervix; there was even a sourced study discussing the fact. But I was unable to find that exact source, even from the original journal it mentioned. However, it was from a time when not all journal publications were drafted to the web. So it may very well exist.
But what I was able to find is a connection between using myrrh and progressive rectal treatments with suppositories. Gross as it may sound, the addition of myrrh to the treatments described in the study published in Drug Discoveries & Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, 2011, provided much better patient satisfaction. It’s broad and generalized, but it also means that the patient’s bodies were able to take up the myrrh and use it in a manner to naturally help along their normal physiological process. In other words, it helped their bodies do what they were supposed to do. So I can connect those two attributes together, even in relation to help progress a labor and delivery.
First of all, clary sage oil is not normally suggested to be used during pregnancy because of its capacity to induce labor and stimulate contractions. However, this fact makes it GREAT for use during your labor. It reduces your cortisol levels and acts as a natural anti-depressant when applied topically to an acupressure point on the inside of your ankles.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research, College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, 2014, verifies that assertion, even in older women not going through childbirth at the time. Cortisol is the main component produced when we’re stressed, inhibiting our normal hormonal pathways that are crucially fundamental during childbirth. Thus removing the presence of excess cortisol, our labor and birth can progress better.
Praised as the complete woman’s essential oil, rose oil is said to provide comfort to the sexual organs and even relax the ligaments in your pelvis, providing greater room for your baby to be expelled. I couldn’t find a resource that verified this directly.
But what I did find was two studies (Complimentary Therapies in Medicine, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, Kashiwanoha, 2014, and Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Science, 2015) that support:
- a significant increase of brain activity that led to a woman’s change to a comfortable and relaxed capacity
- a big decrease in a woman’s perceived level of pain
It all feeds back into that pathway of keeping the tension gone so that the hormonal pathways function properly. When you’re more comfortable and able to engender a sense of calm, your brain’s interpretation of pain is lessened.
Also known as orange flower, this essential oil is easily studied as being one that reduces your fear, tension and anxiety levels–all tying back into pain management.
A study in the Journal of Natural Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, 2015, confirms it’s central effects against pain and inflammation (a major cause of pain). While another study in Physiological Reports, Marywood University, Psychology and Counseling, Scranton, 2004, coincides its use with lavender essential oil, also supporting the previously discussed. Short and sweet with this one.
These are just a few of the many essential oils that I’m sure will be tremendously helpful for you during your labor and delivery. Perhaps even using just one will make a significant difference for you in being able to cope with your labor and move forward to achieving your natural baby birth.
To summarize for you:
|Essential Oil||Benefits||How to Use|
|Lavender||calming and relaxation||breathe it in|
|Frankincense||analgesic pain relief||rub on your belly and back|
|Helichrysum||antioxidant support||apply to your perineum|
|Myrrh||helps stalled cervix||rub on your pelvis|
|Clary Sage||stimulate contractions||apply on the insides of your ankles|
|Rose||comfort and lessened pain||apply anywhere|
|Neroli||reduces fear and anxiety||inhale like lavender|
Be sure to read all labels and directions for ANY essential oil that you choose to use during your pregnancy or labor and delivery. Some may cause irritation to your skin when applied that may create a big annoyance or inconvenience for your during your labor.
Excluding the clary sage, test them on small areas of your skin beforehand to know it you may have a minor reaction to them. You don’t want to end up with a big rash or severe itching across your middle when you’re trying to focus on having a baby. Safely try them beforehand, though people having reactions are very minimal.
Where Can I Get Essential Oils?
Many people love doTERRA, a popular brand of essential oils. I really like them too. But I have found a secondary source of excellent essential oils, just as high quality, that are much cheaper for you. Essential oils can be expensive! So why not clearly take advantage of some that are just as reputable, without the huge name to hang onto? They work just as well for me.
I suggest Mountain Rose Herbs. They have even more than just essential oils. But you can find all of these individually in various quantities to suit your needs.
- Lavender – 1/2 oz. (15mL) $10.25
- Frankincense – 1/2 oz. (15mL) $20.50
- Helichrysum – 1/8 oz. (3.5mL) $42.00
- Myrrh – 1/2 oz. (15mL) $23.50
- Clary Sage – 1/2 oz. (15mL) $22.25
- Rose – 1/8 oz. (3.5mL) $63.00
- Neroli – 1/8 oz. (3.5mL) $64.75
I hope you’ve learned something that will help you with your labor and delivery. I hope that you take advantage of knowing that even something as simple as breathing in a sweet scent can make a world of difference for you while you’re helping that baby arrive.
Our bodies were created by the functions of nature. Helping them to continue functioning properly with other blessings from nature only makes sense, especially in extreme times when you can use all the help you can get.
How many of you have used essential oils during your pregnancy and birth? Help me show the new mothers searching that they are a worthwhile benefit to have on your side.