Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Aromatherapy in Childbirth

In labor with our twins...(July 24, 2003)
The bath
Essential oils
Coconut water
3 midwives
1 doula
2 excited sons (ages 7 and 4)
1 supportive husband
4 hour homebirth

"Aromatherapy is easier to administer and costs very little. It changes the whole atmosphere of the birth room. It is not just the mother who can be more relaxed, but the staff caring for her feel calmer and happier too.
Aromatherapy is not a magic charm. But it is one way in which a midwife can communicate warmth, sensitivity and friendship in an institutional and medical environment" .
by Sheila KitzingerThe Independent, Health Page 21 Oct 1999

Maggie Tisserand recommends; clary sage compress to the lower abdomen.
Apply warm, replace when cooled.

Nursing Times - March 2, 1994, Vol. 90, No. 9, "Using Aromatherapy in Childbirth"

Summary: A study of 500 women in the delivery suite. Essential oils used: Lavender, Clary Sage, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Frankincense, Jasmine, Rose, Lemon and Mandarin.
Methods of Application:

(1) *Spray of 100 cc water with 2 drops e.o on face sheet, pillow, or bean bag or
(2) 4-6 drops oil in bath or 2-3 drops of oil in footbath or
(3) Inhalation or
(4) Massage with 2 drops in 50 cc of almond oil.
Results: Overall satisfaction with the "aroma" -helped eliminate the hospital smell which decreased anxiety.
Lavender - reduce maternal anxiety, pain relief, lighten mood, calm contractions if woman needed rest (Early in Labor)
Peppermint- Nausea & Vomiting
Clary sage - Increase Contractions

74% of women used no other form of pain relief

My Favorite Essential Oils for Labor

Clary Sage– relieves tension, helps to increase speed of contractions, helps with after pains and expulsion of placenta
Jasmine– helps with milk supply, excellent for perineal massage mixed with carrier oil, dulls uterine pain
Lavender– all purpose calming and pain relief oil
Myrrh, Frankincense, & Spikenard– Ancient oils to help aid in childbirth. Emotional clearing and fear reduction
Neroli– Relaxes, reduces fear, insomnia, tension and anxiety
Rose– Uplifting, soothing, grounding, creates a sense of euphoria
Peppermint– Uplifting, awakening, anti nausea
Basil– Grounding, awareness, mental focus
Citrus Oils– mood lifters, energy, helps to restore gentle breathing
(my favorite citrus at births is Pink Grapefruit)
Miracle Menthol Salve-helps with back labor tremendously, helps with nausea and breathing