Using essential oils during labor is a topic that is surprisingly controversial, but in reality, is reasonable depending on how you use them. If you are looking for the short answer. It’s yes. You can use essential oils during labor and further, during pregnancy. The key to using essential oils is moderation, especially when you are pregnant. Different oils effect different women in different ways. But, the tried-and-true methods work as you would expect. Because you are pregnant, I would suggest against swallowing the essential oils, but plenty of women have done and do it, so it’s not necessarily bad. The most common ways to use essential oils during labor is to have someone massage an oil on your lower back or where your muscles are feeling sore. You can also put an essential oil into a vaporizer or humidifier like you normally would to help you relax and feel better. There are many essential oils you may want to try out, as with pregnancies it can vary from woman to woman. However, there do seem to be a few essential oils that work for nearly everybody, and we’ve listed them below.
If you want to use essential oils during labor or pregnancy, first try these oils:
Lavender essential oil:
This essential oil is great for all your aches and pains. As a bonus, it is gentle. Many people suggest lavender oil to be one of your first essential oils to buy if you are new to essential oils. Few people develop sensitivity issues or rashes when having the oil massaged on them. It’s also not strong smelling, which is good because you do not want to distract the other people who are also helping you through your labor. When you are pregnant, your body will respond to the same essential oils differently than when you are not pregnant. Because lavender is so gentle, most people do not find that it bothers them during labor.
Uses for lavender essential oil:
Try putting a few drops on your pillow case or sheets. This works especially if there is no room for a vaporizer in your room. Once people crowd the delivery room, it will be difficult to smell the lavender if it is coming from a vaporizer. By putting some on a pillow case, you can both smell it and feel the oil without it becoming a particular distraction.
Many people use peppermint essential oil the same way as lavender essential oil. You wouldn’t want to necessarily swallow it. But, having it around to be massaged on your back or put into a vaporizer is a great idea as well. Some women will need to be careful with this essential oil though. It can mess with your milk production, although most women will not have any issues. It’s just something to keep in mind. Peppermint oil is great for nausea and one of the few essential oils we recommend for swallowing (in small quantities, always diluted).
Uses for peppermint essential oil:
Try putting a few drops in a quart or so of water. It also goes great with tea. In a vaporizer, peppermint oil does work, but it’s probably not the best way for you to use the oil. If you put a few drops into a spray bottle of water, you can spritz yourself or a cloth or pillow case. It will give you long-lasting relief from many symptoms.
Neroli essential oil:
This essential oil is great for childbirth because it is known for lessening fear, tension, insomnia, and anxiety. It won’t necessarily get rid of any aches and pains, but it will help you relax.
Uses for neroli essential oil:
With this one you don’t necessarily want to swallow it or give yourself a massage with it. It’s not going to make the immediate area you put it on any better. At least not as fast as it will with either peppermint or lavender essential oil. Neroli essential oil is mostly for those pesky mental symptoms that you don’t necessarily want to take any medicines for.
Neroli, lavender, and peppermint essential oil should be used in nearly every essential oil kit for labor or pregnancy. The rest of this post will go into other choices you have for different parts of pregnancy. There are A LOT of good essential oils out there which are good for pregnancies. But, the effectiveness varies between women. The rest of this post will go into some more essential oils for pregnancy and labor. Feel free to stop reading here if you are short on time or have something else you need to go do.