Labor pains can be relieved using different methods. You can be either actively involved in this process, changing various positions or use some visualization or vocalization during childbirth. Many pregnant women who went to prenatal classes learned about these active methods of labor relief. However, there are some other, passive methods you can also try out. The mom doesn’t have active role here, but rather passive, giving birth in water or trying techniques and methods such as acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, or even hypnosis. Another passive treatment for the pain that can be used during childbirth is TENS (transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation).
Aromatherapy has been in use for centuries as the way to relieve some pains. The theory is that pleasant smells or essential oils can stimulate limbic area of human brain and thus promote relaxation of the body and decrease the pain. Stimulated brain is supposed to produce certain neurochemicals and these substances in the blood are actually responsible for the effects on the human body. The right combination of essential oils are believed to positively modify production of endorphins and thus significantly lower the pain during labor.
Conventional medicine doesn’t rely on aromatherapy as proven method of pain relief and some doctors even claim that high concentrations of essential oils used in these treatments may reach the unborn child.
Essential oils used in aromatherapy are derived from different plants. These can be used in concentrated state only in vaporizers or on the facecloths, handkerchiefs or on the pillows. Other uses, such as massage or baths, require a person to mix essential oils with some basic or dispersal oils first. Pregnant women are advised to smell the oils before use and then try to combine their own mixture. Certain essential oils combine well with other while there are some whose combination might make you sick. Since no one would want that, especially mom-to-be, the best idea is to smell everything. For baths or massage, use some good quality base oils, such as: sunflower, almond, avocado, wheat germ, apricot kernel, soy or jojoba oils. Combine these with several drops of your favorite essential oil or combination of essential oils and you are ready.
Essential Oils for Labor Pains
Aromatherapists advise using relaxing combinations of essential oils for women using the oils for labor pains. The most frequently advised is lavender oil, used either alone or in combination with orange, chamomile, sweet geranium, mandarin, nerolu, rosewood, rosemary, cedarwood, myrrh, jasmine or frankincense.
Essential oil of orange can also be combined well with lemongrass or geranium. Other combinations to try for childbirth pains may include: jasmine, sandalwood and ylang ylang or nerolli, sandalwood and rose.
Clary sage essential oil is not recommended for pregnant women, unless during slow labor, when it is believed to speed up the delivery.
Peppermint oil is not suitable for pregnant women using some homeopathic remedies and its use should always be discussed with both homeopathic and aromatherapy practitioners.