Your birth should be exactly the meaning of those words: YOUR BIRTH. Every mother, every baby, every family is unique, thus you have the power to make your birth truly your own. Yes, you get to choose the people there with you, perhaps you’ve already made your birth plan and you’ve chosen your medical professional. But you also have the opportunity to choose the comforting sights, smells, and people who support you and your beautiful new baby. We will particularly delve into how essential oils can make your labor and birth plan more comforting and unique.
Birth Beautifully with Essential Oils
Why should I use essential oils?
Essential oils are a concentrated hydrophobic (science word for oily) liquid that has a particular scent. These oils are extracted from some type of plant species, meaning they are completely natural. Incorporating items that are all-natural or organic into your birth is a great idea because they have very few (if any) side effects. Furthermore, essential oils appeal to our sense of smell. If you think about it, the nose is the fastest way to the brain, so essential oils take effect quickly. Furthermore, smell is a critical part of memories, so perhaps one of these essential oils will always remind you of the day your beautiful baby was born. In other words, these essential oils are proven to be a compliment to any birth plan, keep reading to find out which ones you want to incorporate!
Clary sage has an earthy and slightly floral smell. It is known to increase salivary oxytocin levels as much as 50 times compared to the women who did not use this essential oil during labor when tested. Think of this essential oil as your body’s natural oxytocin, the hormone responsible for causing stronger and more frequent contractions. You may also know this hormone by its synthetic version, Pitocin, which is often given to women whose labor is progressing very slowly or not at all. So, clary sage will help you get that baby out faster, with its ability to increase the strength and frequency of contractions.
Not only does it smell nice and increase oxytocin levels, but it actually has medicinal properties which contribute to stress reduction. If you are a mom who has pre-eclampsia, clary sage will help keep your blood pressure down. However, please take caution. While clary sage can lower your blood pressure, it can cause it to drop too low. Your beautiful baby still requires good blood flow and hypotension (low blood pressure) can cause headaches and vomiting. While clary sage has incredible medicinal properties, be mindful of constant use.
80% of women have nausea or vomiting during labor, whether it is a vaginal delivery or C-section. This brings me to the next essential oil you must have, peppermint oil. Peppermint has a component called menthol that helps to keep food down and inhibits the vomiting response when smelled. Luckily many hospitals have begun carrying an all-natural peppermint product, called NoMo Nausea Bands, for its patients experiencing nausea or vomiting. NoMo Nausea Bands use the highest menthol concentration found from Indian oils. Their peppermint aromatherapy in combination with pressure at P6 is clinically proven to stop 80% of nausea or vomiting in pregnancy. Plus, all you have to worry about is sliding a band on your wrist! No need to keep track of taking pills, simply put on a NoMo Nausea band. I recommend having your own for your delivery day because they are only $12.99 for TWO wristbands and you can find it at your local BuyBuy Baby, Amazon, or even www.NoMoNausea.com.
While I’m sure those of you with birth plans have them wonderfully laid out, I’m going to tell you a secret: The birth plan never goes as planned. While that may seem scary to some, it is also what makes your birth unique. Regardless, labor and planning and being a parent for the first time or again can cause stress. Lavender oil, AKA Lavendula angustifolia, has a high linalool concentration which can help reduce stress. Lavender oils from Bulgaria have the highest percentage of this stress-reducing compound. Bulgarian lavender oil is used NoMo Sleepless Nights Kids, a wristband from CVS, that employs the oil on a targeted zone on a child's wrist helping them fall asleep easily and naturally. Luckily these could also work for you in reducing stress during your labor and delivery.
How do I use essential oils? Do I need an essential oil diffuser?
Here at NoMo Nausea we often discuss using essential oils during pregnancy and labor, but not all are created equal. A candle that has a pretty smell will not elicit a medical response or a physiologic change. Please make sure your essential oils are pure and do your research on how they are extracted or where they come from. If you find a company and a scent you love, please consider buying more of the same lot number because many times these oils are outsourced and even the same plants won’t have the same smell unless the batch is exactly the same. Next, try using a diffuser (I love this one!) or simply rub small amounts of the oil on the inside of your wrists and temples. Always check with your hospital that it is not a scent-free zone, as you may not be able to bring a diffuser or that your doctor or nurses are not allergic to certain scents.
So, consider bringing a NoMo Nausea Band or essential oil with you on your birth day and check out other things you might need here. Remember, enjoy your birth day because you, your baby and your family are unique. You have the opportunity to make this day completely yours and your new child’s, whether that’s through the people there, your medical professionals, essential oils or your own NoMo Nausea Band.