Giving birth is a profoundly personal experience, and so is your decision to use essential oils for labor and delivery. I’ve been using essential oils since before kids, so it was a natural progression for me, and one that I’m so glad I had an arsenal for. Numerous factors can alter your experience. Some you will choose and some may unfold spur of the moment, but being ready with the best essential oils for that special time of labor and delivery can help create a calming environment, even in the midst of chaos. At the very least? You’ll have plenty of staff checking on you – the nurses always said they loved coming in my room because it was so calming and peaceful, and smelled great too!
I know my upcoming birth experience will be unique to me. After all, I’ve never had two babies at once. And since your birth experience will be somewhat unpredictable you will want to have various options available to you.
Your sense of smell will be heightened during labor, so having those options is important. If you are considering using essential oils for labor and delivery, read on for some blissful essential oil selections and a variety of scent delivery methods to give you choices for your personal labor experience.
Essential Oils for Labor and Delivery
Essential Oil Delivery Methods
It’s all hands on deck when your contractions start, so it’s best to have your essential oils for labor ready ahead of time. Your sense of smell will be hypersensitive and scents you liked the day before may make you nauseous in the heat of the moment. Having a variety of essential oils for labor and various ways to enjoy them will give you the options you need to customize your birth experience for how you feel in that instant.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Using a diffuser to disperse essential oils as a fine vapor throughout the air so they can be absorbed gently into the body through the respiratory system is the preferred method of using essential oils while pregnant. This method is both safe for momma and baby. Unfortunately, hospitals may not allow you to use essential oils for labor and delivery with this method.
It is best to check with your O.B. or the hospital before relying on this method of delivery. Thankfully ours allowed it and we brought in our own diffuser and some favorite blends!
Essential Oil Aromatherapy Inhalers
An essential oil inhaler is a cylindrical tube with a cotton wick. You can place about 10-15 drops on the wick for each inhaler with the essential oil scent of your choice. If the scent becomes overwhelming you may easily cap the inhaler and tuck it away.
The great thing about these essential oil aromatherapy inhalers is that they’re so easy to toss in a purse or diaper bag and always have with you!
Essential Oils Massage Blend
You may want to have a massage blend for early labor. It’s a great way to enjoy essential oils for labor and delivery. You will find relief while your partner or birth coach rubs your feet, lower back, or shoulders and the scent you choose may help relieve nausea or other symptoms.
We’ve got a whole post on postpartum care oils and recipes with an incredible labor massage oil recipe!
The Best DIY Belly Oil for Pregnancy
Though I don’t believe stretch marks are completely preventable (most of it has to do with genetics) I do believe you can take care of your skin for the least amount of trauma when expecting. A skin-nourishing oil helps with all of that dry, itchy skin that is so common in pregnancy, and with the best essential oils for relaxation and calming.
In a clean bottle, mix 6 ounces of your favorite carrier oil (I use a mix of whatever I have on hand and my favorites are sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil) and then add 20-30 drops of Fresh Mommy Blend. It smells amazing and seriously, does wonders for your skin! I use this post-shower even when I’m not expecting.
You can create your own room mister ahead of time in a glass spray bottle. Spritz the air in your room or directly on your sheets for a calm, uplifting scent that isn’t too overwhelming.
We always like to have this DIY essential oil sanitizing spray with us, especially when in the hospital (or traveling) too!
Essential Oils for Labor
If you are currently pregnant and are interested in essential oils you may want to check out my list of Top 10 Essential Oils While Pregnant That are Completely Safe. These would all be good choices to use now and as essential oils for labor and delivery. I also have a list of my Top 5 Essential Oils for Nausea When Expecting that will come in handy.
I have narrowed down my lists below to some specific choices that I will be using for my birth experience. These oils are what I believe will be the most effective in reducing nausea, lifting my mood, creating a calming atmosphere (because that’s certainly important!) and easing the pains of labor.
Lavender Essential Oil for Labor Pain
The Tisserand Institute, lead by one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy Robert Tisserand, stated new research confirms that Lavender oil helps with labor pain. The Lavender group in the study inhaled diluted essential oil for three minutes at three different stages of labor and experienced a significant drop in pain levels compared to the placebo group.
I will be bringing Lavender to my labor and delivery for sure. And if you don’t have Lavender essential oil already I highly recommend not only having it for your birth, but also for all of its wonderful medicinal purposes.
I’ll be using Lavender in a diffuser, and in a roller bottle during my early labor. Luckily my hospital allows diffusers and Lavender has a calming effect that will help me keep my cool in those early hours. Also, the Tisserand Institute stated the study showed that Lavender essential oil has no negative effect on the duration of labor.
In fact, many holistic birth coaches, doulas, and midwives believe more relaxed women have quicker labor and delivery. Sign me up.
Fresh Mommy Blend
You may know by now that I have been into essential oils for years. And during one of my previous pregnancies, I joined my favorite essential oil company to bring my Fresh Mommy Blend to other mommies in need.
The scent is calming, stress-relieving, and there are so many awesome health benefits. I will be bringing it diluted in some fractionated coconut oil for hubby to use as a massage oil. The warm floral scent is so comforting it will surely balance my emotions on the big day.
Lemon Essential Oil
Any citrus scent is a mood lifter and Lemon essential oil is no exception. As a bonus Lemon essential oil is effective with nausea. A 2014 controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial proved that the use of Lemon essential oil reduced nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
I’ll be bringing some Lemon Oil in an inhaler for any moments I may be feeling low or sick to my stomach.
A couple of other great citrus oils, wild orange and grapefruit, can have similar effects. An absolute FAVORITE diffuser blend for me is Lavender, Grapefruit and Peppermint essential oils. I call this my jet lag blend and it’s perfect for lifting the mood, especially in the hours following delivery.
Peppermint Essential Oil
There is scientific evidence that smelling Peppermint oil will relieve nausea symptoms. I think I’ll be using my Peppermint essential oil in a room mister – or even my Jet Lag blend would be great for this – so I can mist my pillow toward the end of my labor.
The minty scent can help to stimulate the brain and reenergize your body for that final stretch. I’ll also be bringing it in an inhaler for another option to fight nausea. Since I always have a carrier oil with me, we can use as a massage oil if needed, too. Peppermint is especially effective for headaches when placed on your temples, back of the neck, wrists, or in an inhaler.
Clary Sage Essential Oil to Keep Labor Going
This is a shortlist of the essential oils for labor I plan on personally bring for my delivery, but there are many more essential oils you could consider.
For example, you may want to bring Clary Sage in case your labor slows. Clary Sage Essential Oil can stimulate uterine contractions and may be useful in a topical blend to keep labor moving along.
Essential Oils for Labor and Delivery – Conclusion
Whatever you decide to do with essential oils for labor and delivery be prepared ahead of time. I want you to feel empowered at the moment of your delivery to use or not use whatever oils you want. It is not a failure to decide not to use a particular essential oil; or not use any essential oils at all during your labor.
Being prepared will give you options and a sense of control as you plan to bring life into this world. I wish you a safe and healthy birth experience and hope these essential oils for labor help you have a blissful delivery experience.