The period of pregnancy and expecting a new life to be born into this world is one of the most cherished, yet also stressful periods of a woman’s (and family’s) life. Especially if this is the first child for the family, there is a lot of new information to be gathered and processed, many medical professionals involved, and a lot of uncertainty and contradicting advice coming from different sources. Home birth is equivalent to endangering your child. Epidural will harm your child’s brain. Play them classical music so that they develop normally. Don’t have an ounce of stress these nine months or the baby will have developmental delays. Eat this, don’t eat that. Don’t move too much, but don’t just sit around either. Can we all just let out a long, deep breath? Phew!
While not yet blessed by a child rearing experience, I have many girlfriends who have had babies, and saw them agonize over every health decision during pregnancy and immediately post birth. It made me sad to see them so frazzled, but it made me even sadder to see them so disempowered. Every corner they turned they were told by other people, medical professionals with heavy authority, what is right or wrong for their body and their baby. It feels almost as if they are denied the right to follow their intuition in making decisions about this most sacred process. The lack of information about natural pregnancy care is minimal, which also doesn’t help the issue. But doesn’t it seem logical to you that if a woman is given a miracle of conceiving and birthing a baby, Mother Nature probably gave her the best instincts on how to care for the fetus and baby?
In this post I am simply providing some resources and recipes on how a woman can empower her own healthcare and that of her baby by using natural essential oils during pregnancy, birth, and to care for the baby. When based on therapeutic grade essential oils, these recipes will become easily accessible tools to empower mothers to take back control over the pregnancy process.
Here is the list of some of the best essential oils for pregnancy:
- Bergamot: eases leg spasms and aches, supports emotional well-being, can be diffused for an uplifting effect
- Ginger: eases nausea and aches, improves appetite, supports the immune system
- Lavender: calms anxiousness and tension; induces sleep; soothes skin irritation and itching, breast tenderness and muscle aches; supports seasonal respiratory health
- Orange: Eases anxiousness, anger, nausea, sleeplessness, fatigue, and supports digestion
- Ylang ylang: eases sadness and frustration, supports healthy circulation, and induces peaceful sleep
In an eight-year study conducted by Burns and colleagues (2000), researchers found that the use of essential oils in the maternity ward helped relieve anxiousness, aches, discomfort, and nausea during labor and delivery. Soothing and calming oils, including lavender, helped women have more comfortable birth experiences. Oils can be brought into the hospital in the hospital bag or birth kit. It is a matter of a simple conversation with the helper or health care provider on explaining how to diffuse or apply oils. One of the favorites is this blend:
- Calm Mama Mist
- 20 drops Lavender
- 15 drops Orange
- 15 drops peppermint
- Add to a 4 oz. spray bottle and top with water and spray periodically in the room
For breastfeeding and nipple care, Lavender can be applied; and a spray based on Tea Tree, Lemon, and Lavender makes for an amazing all-natural hand sanitizer for mom and dad, or anyone who wants to come close to the baby. Lavender and Myrrh can be applied to the cord stump to help the baby heal faster; and Fennel can help ease baby’s colic when applied to the belly button.
This is only a glimpse at what diverse uses essential oils can provide to take care of mother and baby during the pregnancy and postpartum: no chemicals involved. With the use of essential oils and mother’s unfailing intuition, the baby can be brought into an all-natural environment from its first days. Isn’t that a wonderful way to be welcomed into this world?
For more resources, I highly recommend these two books by Dr. Mariza Snyder: The Essential Oil Hormone Solution for those women who are looking to balance their hormones and enhance their fertility and A Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils for those who are already blessed to be mamas!
For more information on how essential oils can be used during pregnancy and birth feel free to reach out:
Svitlana Ramer, PhD
Burns, Ethel E., et al. "An investigation into the use of aromatherapy in intrapartum midwifery practice." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 6.2 (2000): 141-147.