Labor, Delivery & Postpartum

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"Essential oils in the delivery room should be used in a diluted form - not so much to fragrance the room as to cleanse the air and provide a familiar, welcoming aroma for the baby.  Mix your chosen essential oil or oils with a small amount of water and use on a diffuser or on a cotton-wool ball under the pillow.  Don't overdo it; you don't need a great deal and you don't want the midwife to get spaced out!" (Worwood, 220)

Always consult with your licensed healthcare provider before using any essential oils.

Part 1: Preparing for Labor and Delivery

PERINEUM MASSAGE
"Massaging the perineum (the area between the vaginal opening and the anus) has been shown to lesson the risk of tearing during delivery.  Massage twice daily with a mixture of 4 tsp (20ml) grape seed or sweet almond oil, 4 drops lavender essential oil and 2 drops geranium essential oil for the 2 months before the birth." (Purchon & Cantele, 285)

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION - lavendergrapefruitgeraniumylang ylang
Combine 4 drops oil of choice with 1 or 2 teaspoons milk.  Add mixture to warm bathwater and relax.

Part 2: Labor
**Please note that Selah Oils does NOT recommend the use of essential oils in a birthing pool delivery due to the risk of the essential oil ingestion / harm to the newborn baby. **

ANXIETY - LavenderGeranium.
One or two drops of your chosen oil on a cotton ball and inhaled at will.

TRANSITIONING FROM EARLY TO ACTIVE LABOR - Frankincense, peppermint.
Dilute oil of choice at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage, or inhaled.

NAUSEA - peppermint
Place one or two drops on a cotton ball and inhale.

HEADACHE - Lavender
Dilute and apply topically.

STRENGTHEN CONTRACTIONS - Clary SageLavender
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage lower back.

"A 'must' in the labour ward is a ball of cotton wool with several drops of clary sage; this should be kept in the palm of the hand and really deep breaths taken from it each time a contraction begins - the relaxing benefits are enormous." (Price, 247)

STRESS REDUCER - Clary sagelavender
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage, or diffuse.

ANTIDEPRESSANT - Clary sage
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage.

PAIN - Frankincense
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage.

RELAXATION - Lavender
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage, or diffuse.

RELIEVE BACKACHE - Lavender
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage.

Perineal Area

PERINEAL SWELLING - Geranium
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage.

HEMORRHOIDS - Geranium
Dilute at a 1% ratio (1% essential oil, 99% carrier oil) and massage.

COOL COMPRESS - Geranium
Dilute 5 drops geranium in 1 cup cool (not icy) water in a non-reactive bowl.  Stir well to disperse oil.  Soak a cloth and wring out enough water so that it does not drip.  Place cloth on perineum.

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Coming home... 

So much planning went into bringing home our new babies that I just sort of forgot to make and preparations for me. I'm so thankful that my own mother came to care for me in the days after.  She made sure that I didn't neglect myself in all the hustle and bustle of new life. And she insisted that I take lavender baths every 2-3 hours to assist with the perineal tears I was dealing with.  It made all the difference.  -Brittany

Part 3: After

Episiotomy

PAIN - Lavender
inhale

HEALING ASSISTANCE - LavendermyrrhgrapefruitorangeRoman Chamomile.
Combine two or three drops of chosen oil with one or two teaspoons of milk and mix with bath water.

TREATMENT AFTER STITCHES OR TEARS - Lavender, Cypress
Add 2 drops of each to bath water.  Take one bath with this mixture daily for 5 days or until healing has taken place. (Price, 248)

C-Section

NAUSEA - peppermint
Diluted and used as a massage or inhaled.
*warning, peppermint essential oil could possibly reduce breast milk production.

Postpartum

DEPRESSION OR BABY BLUES - LavenderFrankincenseylang ylangbergamotgrapefruitgeraniumorange
Dilute oil of choice and use as a back massage.

INVOLUTION OF THE UTERUS / AFTERPAINS - German ChamomileLemon Eucalyptus
Blend equal parts of each oil, dilute and massage directly to the mother's abdomen.

References:
Buckle, Jane. Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Healthcare Third Edition, (2015). p379-383
Purchon, Nerys and Cantele, Lora. The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness.  (2014). p. 285-291
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. (2000). p. 76-77
Price, Shirley and Price, Len. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals Fourth Edition. (2012). p. 246-249
Worwood, Valerie. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (1991). p. 218-227