We’ve been using essential oils in our home for a while now, from cleaning, to boosting immune health, to body and beauty products, to helping sleep and calming kids down, to stabilising moods and energy right to warding off sickness. We spritz the kids’ pillow each night with a beautiful calming blend and we burn oils in our diffuser throughout the day to help cleanse or change yucky moods. I’ve made up quite a few natural cleaning products with them, including washing powder and mould sprays, and the kids love to choose their oil for their baths each evening. I love that essential oils have become an everyday part of their lives and that they are curious to use them for different things.
I’ll put together another post of some of our favourite oils and recipes and how we use them, but today we’re talking birth and labour because that’s obviously on my mind! I thought I’d share how I’m preparing for it in case that’s of use to any mums-to-be out there.
Firstly, a Clary Sage massage oil blend.
Clary Sage is the best essential oil for labour as it helps to strengthen uterine contractions, and has a general calming effect. Roman Chamomile is a personal favourite at the moment: It is calming, relaxing and very grounding. Lavender is also a very calming oil and can greatly benefit mood.
- Glass amber bottle (Glass prevents the essential oils from reacting with the plastic in bottles and the dark amber colour prevents sunlight from destroying the active ingredients in the essential oils. I order all my glass amber roller bottles, dropper bottles, spray bottles and general bottles from here.)
- 100 ml carrier oil (I used jojoba but you can also use others such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or grapeseed oil)
- 35 drops of Clary Sage essential oil
- 10 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil
- 5 drops of Lavender essential oil
(This works on a 2-3% dilution safety ratio)
Pop the above drops into the glass bottle, fill with 100ml of carrier oil and swirl until mixed. Have your partner or birth support person massage the oil into your belly or lower back, using acupressure on lower back/sacral points during contractions.
Likewise, you can also use the Clary Sage essential oil via aromatherapy: Burn 5-10 drops in a diffuser during labour, or pop 2 drops on a tissue or handkerchief for the labouring woman to inhale as needed.
Secondly, a Labour Bag Essentials master list!
Birth can be a hugely strenuous and challenging time, and the best way to greet it is with preparation and a carefully thought out tool kit. Of course, women approach birth in completely different ways and so what works for some might not work for others. Me? I like to keep it as natural, holistic and non-interventional as possible because I believe that while medical assistance can be necessary at times, for the large part, given the right birthing environment and support team, it is not an isolated medical event to be feared but a natural, normal part of life needing very little intervention.
Third time round, I know what I’m in for and what things help my mental and physical endurance, and I’m happy to share the things in my tool kit which help to minimise the hardship and need for drugs and intervention, if you are that way inclined!
Labour Bag essentials
Clary Sage massage oil blend
Clary sage essential oil
Charged iPhone with labour music, hypnobirthing affirmations
Loose, comfortable birthing clothes and socks
Water birthing bra
Hot water bottle or heat pack
Snacks and drinks
Camera with spare battery and memory card
After labour, for baby:
Nappies and wipes
Clothes, booties, bonnets
Wraps and blanket
Oral Vitamin K*
After labour, for mum:
Comfortable, nursing friendly clothing or pyjamas or nightgowns
Food you’d like to eat
Vitamins, supplements, magnesium
Fresh underwear and maternity pads
Boardshorts for birthing pool
Change of clothes
Water bottle and snacks
*If you are planning on giving your baby oral Vitamin K instead of the Vitamin K injection.
I had such a beautiful, exciting time putting my hospital bag together; another way to mentally prepare for our baby’s arrival and to meet this special time with calmness and intention. If there are any other things which helped you during labour, I’d love to hear them!
“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or hatch”
E.B. White from Charlotte’s Web