On August 27, we welcomed baby girl, Carly Elizabeth, into our lives! I felt very fortunate this time heading into labor and delivery that I had some expectation on the experience, so I was able to prepare a hospital bag with essential oils that I knew I could use to help with relaxation, pain, and postpartum care. I’ll admit that reading similar blogs from friends who are also Young Living distributors about their own labor and how they used essential oils greatly prepared me for my own delivery. I am very grateful for those women taking the time to share their recommendations, so I hope for those curious about using essential oils you can find some comfort with these during your labor and delivery.
Diffusing/Aromatic: Gentle Baby
There are only a handful of essential oils that you can use aromatically with new babies and Gentle Baby is a perfect blend for relaxation for mom during labor as well as after labor. Gentle Baby is by far one of my favorite blends. Every Dr and nurse that walked into my delivery room remarked at how nice, calming, and wonderful the room smelled. One of my concerns diffusing was having the hospital staff ask me to turn it off, but everyone said our room was so lovely they wish they had a diffuser for themselves.
Topically: Lemon, Valor, Clary Sage, Geranium
There are so many options for labor and delivery. I used the reference book by Debra Raybern, Gentle Babies Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy to navigate understanding more about how to use oils throughout my pregnancy and during the delivery.
Lemon: I will not be shy about saying that I fully anticipated having an epidural at some point during labor. Having been through labor before, I knew this would be a part of the process for me. If you’ve ever had an IV or spent any time in a hospital you know that they tape parts of your arm, or back in the case of an epidural, and the tape takes FOREVER to come off. I read from a fellow Young Living distributor who went through labor to bring Lemon to help remove the sticky mess safely. It worked wonders after that first shower to help safely remove tape from the IV in particular. I ended up being very fortunate and got the epidural about 20-30 minutes before I had the baby, so I did not have much need to remove tape on my back.
Valor: My main focus of using valor was for anxiety related to stress with labor. Even as a yoga teacher there really is only so much you can do to relieve and help train yourself for the unknown or as we offer in yoga, “Ishvara Pranidhana” –surrender to the unknown. This is one of the greatest teachings in the yoga sutras that helped me tremendously in my days leading up to labor. A combination of Valor on my big toes as well as reflecting on many of the readings and mediations that I took from a book by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Beautiful Bountiful Blissful. This book is a true gift for any yogini who is preparing for labor. I’ve read it several times over the years, but really found great solitude in preparing for labor. In one passage she focuses on the medical portion of labor and how women in the West can truly allow themselves to have hospital staff take over for their delivery. This reminded me that labor and delivery is really about you and the baby working together to be welcomed into the world. It’s the process that you create for yourself through things like aromatherapy, mediation, movement learned in prenatal yoga, strength from your partner, and connection to the baby that can help create an aid and experience no matter what that may be during labor to relieve anxiety. You and the baby do the work – the Dr. is really there to just catch the baby. I was fortunate to practice yoga until the end of my pregnancy and used the mantra: Inhale- Joy Exhale: Fear to help release excess anxiety about the unknown of labor. I’ll also add that to help my labor along I did a series of acupuncture treatments to help induce labor during weeks 38 and 39, which I credit for having such a fast labor and quick delivery. I’ll be honest though, the treatments are not for the weak and took lots of yoga breathing to get through since they were not very relaxing or comfortable.
Clary Sage: My husband and I joked throughout my labor that he was serving as an apprentice doula with all of the day before education he had to do learning what oils to use, where, and why to help me during labor. He did a great job. We applied Clary Sage every couple of hours to my ankles (Vitaflex points) to help with dilatation. I’m not sure if this did much, but I did dilate very quickly and I’m very much in the school of thought that anything helps!!!
Geranium: I used this a lot in the hours after delivery and in the hospital to help with postpartum care. The oil can be used, according to the Gentle Babies book, to help the uterus as it recovers from labor and after birth.
I also had a handful of other oils on hand just in case I wanted them. Peppermint for nausea, Lavender for sleep and relaxation, Thieves for an immunity boost for postpartum in the hospital, and Purification as an air cleanser.
Ingesting: I did not need to ingest any essential oils during labor, but the acupuncturist did suggest to me a few days before I had the baby to ingest Eucalyptus for some lung congestion. I was cautious of this with the warning that women in their third trimester should not take it, but he said the only reason not to do so would be that it has been known to induce labor and since I was 39 weeks that was no longer a concern.
One of the Young Living products that I have been using postpartum is Ningxia Red. Ningxia is a wolfberry superfruit with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices to deliver a whole-body nutrient infusion. This powerful formula includes wolfberry, which is touted for its health-supporting benefits, while ongoing research continues to reveal exciting new properties on this ingredient. I read one of my friend’s blogs that said it helped her tremendously with energy after she gave birth, so I ordered a case of it in my Essential Rewards (monthly buy program) to use. NingXia Red when taken daily can help energize, fortify, and revitalize the body and support overall health and wellness, from head to toe. When I feel a little morning or afternoon slump I’ll poor a packet of this over a glass of sparkling water. Nursing a little one requires you stay well hydrated when you are up around the clock, so this is a great alternative to water and to help keep you moving!
Enjoy these resources! If you have any questions or want to connect on Young Living oils that I used throughout my pregnancy or learn more about how to purchase contact me at email@example.com.
Musings on CrossFit, yoga, training, and essential oils!