Can I Use Aromatherapy Oils in Labour?
Aromatherapy Oils in Labour
The use of aromatherapy oils in pregnancy and labour can be very beneficial to women. I was lucky enough to experience the use of aromatherapy treatment through my hospital trust at West Middlesex Hospital when i was pregnant with my first child. Oils can have key benefits for pregnant or labouring women. In some cases used as an alternative to pain relief. When I reached 40 weeks i was offered aromatherapy and reflexology treatment to encourage spontaneous labour. This was the first thing suggested to me rather than a medical induction.
Aromatherapy in Childbirth
I recently had the pleasure of achieving a qualification through the Aromatherapy for Childbirth. This course is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. Run by the extremely knowledgeable Lindsay Woodman, a International Federation of Aromatherapy (IFA) trained aromatherapist and registered and practicing midwife Jude Davis. We learnt about 5 key oils that can be used during labour – Clary Sage, Frankincense, Lavender, Mandarin & Peppermint. Simple massage techniques were demonstrated that can be used by birth partners again incorporating the oils. It was so refreshing to learn how a responsibly sourced organic oil can really help with many elements of childbirth including:
- Calming mental chatter
- Relief for strong surges (contractions)
- Increase strength and frequency of surges
- Creating a dream space
- Helping a birthing mother to let go
Using oils in labour
There are many ways oils can be used in labour without being applied directly to the skin such as:
- In a diffuser – a lovely way to get the oil into the birthing environment
- In a bath during the first stage of labour but not a birthing pool
- A few drops of oil on a hand held fan
- Placing a flannel in a cold or warm water bath and placing this on the birthing mother
- Placing cotton wool in a jar sprinkled with a few drops of oil and opened when a mother wants to smell the oil. Ideal if suffering from nausea.
- To calm and cool use a lavender water spritz
Aromatherapy & Hypnobirthing
Aromatherapy compliments the hypnobirthing course I offer so well. It’s an holistic approach rather than using traditional pain relief options and many of the ladies I teach are looking for this. The massage techniques we learnt were simple techniques to give gentle relief to pressure a labouring woman may be experiencing. Alongside techniques that could help relax a woman in the first stages of labour.
Aromatherapy is a great alternative for women who may be allergic to pain relief options such as pethidine or other opioids, such as diamorphine and less frequently used Meptid. Oils can offer an alternative to these women who would like to have pain relief options available other than an epidural.
I so pleased to be able to incorporate my learning’s from this qualification into my hypnobirthing courses. It compliments my session around induction and informs women on how we can try to encourage spontaneous labour or use oils to aid through an induction.
Purchasing aromatherapy oils
Its so important that aromatherapy oils are sourced responsibly when being purchased. Using 100% organic oils a necessity for pregnant women. Don’t be tempted to buy cheaper oils that aren’t organic or sourced responsibly.
Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more about aromatherapy oils?
I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Hampton, Kingston, Isleworth, Richmond, Teddington, Twickenham, St Margarets, Sunbury, Surbiton and surrounding areas.
I also offer group courses and I’m taking bookings for my next course in Hampton Hill in November. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.