Essential Oils at Birth
When one uses essential oils in a Birth Environment make sure the Mother:
1. Smells the scent before using, each time you plan on using the item. This means every time you open the bottle. A mother may like the scent in early labor, but not in transition.
2. All of the oils must be safe for use in labor and delivery. If this means taking a class, reading books, etc.. make sure you do that. If you are a professional then make sure you act accordingly. It is not appropriate to get your essential oil education from the company selling the product. Invest in a real education. The cost of the class is a business expense, and will enhance your practice.
3. The oils are not directly applied unless properly put in a carrier oil at the correct dosage. In aromatherapy less is really more. When you are offering parents solutions they can apply topically make sure you know what you are offering.
I often suggest the scent be in a mist that can mist a towel or something that can be REMOVED if the scent offends the mother after use. Sometimes smell preferences change during labor. There are as many ways to administer essential oils as there are essential oils. Every way we can administer the oil makes it more usage, practical, and available to our community. The following ways are ways you can use them at a birth.
Compress – 2 to 6 drops essential oil per 6 to 8 ounces of water (very hot or cold, depending on the purpose of the compress). Dampen the compress and place over the injured area.
Cotton swab – Put 1 to 2 drops essential oil on a cotton swab, and apply directly to the affected area. Or wave under moms nose ( I usually, in the case of nausea show mom where the emesis pail is and where her spearmint or peppermint coated cotton swab/ball is so she can smell it when she wants too).
Footbath – 2 to 6 drops essential oil 8 to 16 ounces of very hot water
Massage oil – Add 5 to 15 drops essential oil to each 30 ml carrier oil. (1 to 3 drops essential oil per 5 ml carrier oil is adequate). The amount of essential oil is lessened in labor.
Remember to always be safe and ask permission when you work with essential oils in any environment.
Please be safe and be professional.