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Having a baby can be an emotive roller coaster – exciting, intense, scary, amazing, all rolled into one. Most expecting mothers may like to consider natural ways to ease their discomfort during labour. Essential oils can be one such natural means to not only combat labour pain but also to induce it. They are generally considered safe and are quite easy to use. However, it may be best to implement them only after consulting an OB/GYN.
What is the Induction of Labour?
Labour induction is a method of stimulating childbirth which can be brought about by drug treatment or non-pharmaceutical procedures. The labour processes like breaking of water, the opening of the cervix, starting contractions are usually triggered artificially. A pregnant woman who is overdue or has certain health conditions may be offered induction of labour to rule out any likely risk to her health as well as her baby’s. In such an incidence, she may not be able to select the process of induction. But some moms-to-be can opt for it voluntarily too. In any case, it is always advisable to discuss with an OB the possibility of applying essential oils in the instance of being medically induced.
Should You Use Essential Oils for Inducing Labour?
Essential oils can benefit an expectant mom in ways modern medicine may fail. Essential oils can be a great opportunity when practising elective induction, particularly in less risky pregnancies. Some of its advantages may include:
1. It Soothes
Essential oils are believed to calm both the mind and body of an expectant mom thus making the labour process easy.
2. It Energizes
During labour, a lot of energy gets consumed usually leaving a pregnant woman drained and exhausted. Essential oils may not only alleviate some of the pain but also help a pregnant woman to feel energised and more focussed to push effectively.
3. It Relaxes
These oils can help generate the feelings of relaxation and peacefulness which can be primarily useful in a volatile situation like labour. They can create a sense of control given the unpredictable nature of the labour process.
4. It Heals
These oils may encourage the course of healing naturally by taking the edge off postpartum emotions like depression. They may thus promote the overall well-being of new mothers by helping them become fitter faster.
Which Essential Oils are Good for Labour Induction?
Some of the best essential oils for labour induction are:
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is a versatile oil known for its many health benefits.
Lavender oil can successfully calm and relax a woman during labour thereby reducing an otherwise distressing process. Only two drops of this magical oil can shorten the duration of labour at every stage of its development. You can also start using the oil towards the end of the third trimester to set the stage and lessen feelings of anxiety.
Lavender oil can cause burning if used undiluted. It can also prompt nausea if used in large quantities.
2. Clary Sage Oil
Aromatherapists popularly use it for medicinal purposes.
The oil may allow the muscles to release tension and relax thus naturally charging up contractions. It can also bring about relief from pain and uneasiness. Moreover, it doesn’t possess an overwhelming scent.
Since it works fast, it is recommended to use it only for induction in the supervision of a doctor. It should not be applied neat.
3. Jasmine Oil
It is a widely used natural remedy for dealing with emotional stress and anxiety.
Jasmine oil, with its sweet alluring smell, can offer pain relief during each phase of labour thus hastening it with relative comfort. It can also intensify contractions and ensure smooth advancement of labour.
It should be used only for labour induction and not in pregnancy. Some women may find its sweet smell irritating.
4. Rose Oil
It is commonly recognised for its healing properties.
The aromatic oil can work swiftly to help proceed labour faster by stepping up the contractions. It can also provide quick relief from pain.
It should not be applied neat. Some women may feel repulsed by its sweet smell.
5. Frankincense Oil
It is well identified for its potential health assistances like relieving chronic stress and reducing pain.
It can prevent damage to the perineum and help diminish the pain during labour. Its calming abilities can foster relaxed muscles and hurry the contractions.
It is not suggested to use it undiluted.
6. Evening Primrose Oil
It is a potent healing essential oil as it contains gamma-linolenic acid.
It can have a significant impact on softening the cervix which is usually the first step in labour induction. It can further fasten the progression of labour. It can also prove useful in managing postpartum feelings.
It can cause thinning of the blood. It can also give rise to digestive issues or headaches during labour.
7. Peppermint Oil
It is known to be valuable in treating several health conditions.
Its use can bring immediate relief from pain. It can also help in combating nausea during labour. Its merits can extend even after childbirth for postpartum conditions.
Some people can find its scent a bit overpowering.
8. Geranium Oil
It is acknowledged for improving the mental, physical and emotional health.
Most people find its earthy, nutty scent comforting. Therefore it can relax the tense muscle and re-energise sparking off the labour process.
Some people may have issues with its smell.
How to Use Essential Oil for Induction of Labour?
You can use the following blends of essential oils for labour induction:
1. Rose and Clay Sage Oil Blend
This blend has a divine scent which can work wonders.
- Rose oil
- Clary sage oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Vanilla oil
- Combine a few drops of rose oil, clary sage oil, sweet almond oil.
- Next, add the vanilla oil.
- Apply the mix on the tummy to bring forth contractions.
2. Lavender Oil Blend
This fantastic blend can work wonderfully to boost things naturally.
- Lavender oil- two drops
- Chamomile oil- a drop
- Shea butter
- Mix all the ingredients.
- Apply twice in a day, preferably morning and evening, to relax and calm the stressed muscles.
3. Peppermint Oil Blend
This fantastic blend can keep the pain and anxiety in check ensuring comfort and relaxation.
- Peppermint oil
- Chamomile oil
- Frankincense oil
- Coconut oil
- Merge all the elements properly.
- Apply the blend on the aching body parts to get respite.
Ways to Apply Essential Oils to Induce Labour
Some of the ways you can apply essential oils for labour pain can be as follows:
Some essential oils like rose oil, peppermint oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil, Ylang Ylang oil, orange oil do better in diffusers. Merely place a diffuser beside your bed and pour a few drops of your preferred essential oil in it. You may also opt for a portable diffuser so that you can carry it along with you.
2. Topical Application
Dilute a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil by mixing a carrier oil like olive oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil or jojoba and apply it on the neck, shoulders and stomach to calm and soothe your senses.
Things to Keep in Mind While Using Essential Oil for Labour Induction
Certain things that you may like to keep in mind while using essential oils for labour and delivery are:
- Be sure that you use only pure and therapeutic grade oils.
- It may bear well to have a doctor around when you use essential oil for labour induction as a precautionary measure.
- All essential oils may not suit you. Find out which one will help your situation the most.
- Always remember to dilute the oil before applying it topically.
- Refrain from over-using it. One or two drops are generally enough when applying topically and three or four drops while diffusing.
Natural birthing options are gaining popularity among pregnant women as it is beneficial for both the baby and the mom. Essential oils can be a safe technique to support the progression of labour without any side-effects. This way, an expectant mother can avoid medications and experience a stress-free delivery.