I'm not a doctor. I'm not a midwife. I'm a birth doula, and I've been experimenting with essential oils at births for years. I made a blend that I want to share, and I want to remember, so I'm delicately placing it here.
Please remember I'm not a healthcare provider, so not a lick of this is medical advice.
The oils I've chosen for the blend are lavender, rose, clary sage, jasmine, & coriander with fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil as a carrier. Why these oils?
Lavender is the ultimate 'go-to' oil. It is calming, welcoming and, in general, most people are fond of the aroma. It can help with circulation, anxiety, stress, cramping, and the list goes on. Postpartum, this oil aids in alleviating exhaustion, and helps with physical healing & encouragement (which we can all use a dose of as parents).
Rose is calming and an emotional healer during labor and postpartum. It has a powerful sweet aroma that I really prefer in a blend, rather than flying solo. It is a uterine relaxant and can help to soften ligaments and expand pelvic bones.
Clary Sage, not to be confused with sage, can be a uterine support as well as a respiratory support. It may help stimulate contractions, and prior to the creation of this blend many of the mamas that I have worked with have used this oil during their births. If a mama is hyperventilating this oil can come in handy.
Coriander might seem like a funny choice, but it can be helpful for a nauseous mama and/or be a boost to a very exhausted mama, both during labor and postpartum.
Jasmine, sweet jasmine, is one of my all time favorite oils. It is calming but has also been said to bump up contractions. If labor is slow-going I like to have mama take a jasmine sniff.
This is the first teeny tiny bottle of my birth love blend (photo cred to @saltybreastmilk). She was my very first 'tester' and this was her feedback, "I really liked this blend, I was in prodromal labor for weeks and it gave me something to focus on during contractions until the real thing kicked in. I used it a lot during active labor because I was so scared it would stop again. AND, I still use it occasionally because of the fond memories, it just smells so good to me!"
If you can smell things, you probably have moments when you are brought back to a place or time because of a smell trigger. Sense of smell (aka olfaction), like taste, is part of your chemosensory system. Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, found inside of your nose. These neurons are part of your limbic system. The limbic system is a set of brain structures on either side of your thalamus (under your cerebrum). The limbic system supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory and olfaction. Even if you just want to smell your birth love blend, you'll reap the rewards.
When using essential oils with laboring mamas I like to use cotton ball sniffers; they can easily be thrown away and/or removed from the room if smells don't resonate well.
I'm giving away two of these teeny 'birth love' blends. Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing on Friday (9/23/16); winner will be chosen at random. If you have concerns about using essential oils during your pregnancy please consult your provider.