Essential Oil Use In Labor
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are found Inside many plants—hidden in roots, seeds, flowers, bark—are concentrated, highly potent chemical compounds. These natural compounds are essential oils. Essential oils are the essence of a plant, a gift from the earth, distilled and prepared for you to bring the power of mother nature into your life. It’s been discovered that in Ancient Rome, essential oils were used in surgery on Gladiators. Oils have been used a lot longer than most think, but they’re increasing in popularity, especially in pregnancy/labor.
How Are Essential Oils Recognized By My Body?
Sense of smell is the only smell directly connected to your brain! Aroma’s are sensed by our olfactory receptors which are uniquely enough all over our bodies. The receptors signal the olfactory bulbs to send neural input to the brain via the olfactory tract. These receptors can be stimulated by any usage method; diffused, topical use, ingested, etc. The olfactory system is also deeply connected to our limbic system. The limbic system is where emotions and memories are stored, thus making aromatherapy such a nostalgic and sacred experience. The olfactory receptors can simultaneously send signals to your brain and trigger the limbic system’s functions!
Using Oils Safely
Experimenting with different oils and blends before adding them to your labor bag is important for safety measures, and to maximize the oils effects to your advantage. Not only do you want to ensure the scent is pleasant and doesn’t have any other contradictory “scent memories” attached to it, but if you choose to use oils topically it’s vital to patch test the oils on your skin. The general rule is 1 drop of an essential oil to 3 drops of a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil is the best option in my opinion!). Because sensitivities can arise and heighten in labor, I recommend increasing the dilution ratio. Essential oils should be diluted when used in a spray bottle, diffuser, roller-bottle, and topically by any method. Certain oils may be applied on their own to non-sensitive areas like your hands and feet, but in labor you should always use a carrier oil anyways. In fact, science shows when applied directly to the skin, using a carrier oil with your essential oil increases the absorption rate by 40%!
What Benefits Can I Have From Essential Oils During Labor:
Promote your ability to cope with stressful feelings
Calm, relax, and ground you
Encourage rest between contractions
Provide energy boosts and motivation
Anti-nausea/vomiting and anti-headache effects
Strengthen contractions & stimulate the uterus
Release emotional blockages
Bring on comforting feelings of nostalgia
Create a “scent memory” connected to your ti