Labor of love: 7 ways to use aromatherapy for pregnant women


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Labor pain is said to be the most severe pain in the world and every woman who passes through labor, wants to make it as pleasant and less-stressful as possible. Pregnant women love to surround  themselves with comfy things and pampering items that relax and soothe their labor and evoke a sense of familiarity in the birthing place or hospital in which they go through childbirth. Aromatherapy can do wonders to a pregnant mother as it can calm and rest the body and mind with its variety of aromas and herbs.

Aromatherapy for pregnant women – Things to note: Though aromatherapy can be replace drugs or act as relaxants during childbirth, they can be harmful sometimes. This is because some essential oils have strong scents which affect the senses of women and cause stressful conditions like menstruation, painful labor, contractions of uterus, miscarriage etc. To avoid such troubles, stay away from strong scents that you do not like before labor. Even the aromas that you like before labor can turn resentful during labor. So, consult with your doctor or an expert aromatherapist before inhaling or using any essential oil during childbirth. Especially, you need to stay away from a few essential oils like Basil, Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Origanum, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Similarly avoid herbs like rue, golden seal, mistletoe, poke root, wormwood, sage, calendula, cotton root, male fern etc. NEVER ingest any of the essential oils.


Essential oils to choose from: You can choose essential oils that are mild in aroma and yet have a therapeutic effect on your mind and body. You can choose essential oils that are pain relievers, anxiety-relievers, anti-depressants, fear-eliminators, relaxants, oils with calming effects and body soothing properties. Below are some oils to choose from for use during labor:

1. For pain relief: Pain can be very stressful during labor. A woman’s blood pressure and stress levels increase when the pain intensifies. To alleviate painful and depressing labor, you can use Geranium, Rosemary, Chamomile or Lavender. These oils have pain-relaxing properties that can reduce pain and relax the body.

2. For depression: Pregnancy and postpartum depression can be treated with oils like Geranium and Neroli. Both the oils have anti-depressant properties which helps with anxiety, fear and apprehension tension during labor. Geranium also helps with breathing by improving circulation.

3. For feminine health:
Uterus contractions can be very painful and depressing during labor. Rose oil can be used as an uterine tonic to support labor and alleviate the traumas women undergo during it.

4. For relaxation: There are several essential oils to achieve relaxation and mental balance. Some of them are Lavender, Bergamot, Rosemary, Geranium and Chamomile.

5. For emotional upliftment: Women can become really depressed during labor. To steer clear of labor blues, use a strong scented oil like Ylang Ylang. Since this is a strong scent, you need to try and check if you are comfortable with it several months before labor. It is a great option for lowering blood pressure and hence can help with labor. You can also use Jasmine for its uplifting properties.

How to use oils? Ok, let’s assume you have chosen your oils and are ready to use them. Now the question is, how would you use an essential oil? Below are two ways:

6. Spritzer method: Make a spritzer by combining two drops of your essential oil/s with four ounces of water. Pour the mixture into a small spray bottle and shake well. Then, store the container in the refrigerator until labor day and use it in the following ways:

  • Spritz into your bath water and soak in it on your labor day
  • Spritz on your handkerchief and keep it with yourself all the day
  • Spray a little bit into the birthing room to freshen the air around you during labor
  • Make your feet clean and fresh by spritzing on it. You will feel good about it during labor

7. Bowl method: Fill a small bowl with hot water and add your essential oils into it. Place it somewhere in your birthing room or other place where you can both inhale it and from where it can be easily removed.