Top 3 Essential Oils for Birth & Beyond
Yoga has so many benefits for pregnancy and birth (I have written about this previously here). In pre-natal yoga I often talk about how classes provide an opportunity to learn and practice tools and techniques that we can draw upon during labour, to assist us in having a positive birth experience. As I increasingly incorporate essential oils into my life on and off the yoga mat, I have started to view them as an extension of this yoga toolbox.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essentials oils are pure extracts from plants and are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs. Plants produce essential oils to fight and heal threats such as mould, viruses and bacteria. In other words, they’re nature’s defence mechanism for plants and we can use them too. They have been used throughout history for their health benefits and contain many healing properties. Rather than creating side effects or masking symptoms, they get to the heart of the issue and empower families to take control of their health naturally.
In a similar ilk to the plastic free revolution that’s happening right now and the surge in demand for organic food products, I feel like people are starting to go back to basics with their medicine cabinets. Reducing the toxic load on their bodies, whilst embracing more alternative health solutions such as essential oils, if and where possible.
MEET FREYJA, doTERRA ESSENTIAL OILS LEADER
One of my beautiful Pre-Natal Yoga Mummas recently asked me what essential oils would be best for her to use during her birth. Such a great question that inspired me to reach out to Freyja Pickward - Mum of 2 beautiful boys, Laken 2.5 years & Tekoa 6 months, and a dōTERRA leader and essential oils consultant.
doTERRA is not only the world’s largest essential oils company, they also produce the purest oils. Each batch goes under vigorous internal an third party testing for purity, they also source their oils indigenously whilst supporting local farmers.
Here’s what Freyja had to say on Essential Oils: Birth & Beyond:
Increasingly I get asked “what oils are good for labour?” I find this question difficult to answer as there are so many oils that can benefit the birth and recovery process, and it does depend on how the birth unfolds. I feel it’s important to emphasise that the oils are multi-faceted, so whilst they are great for labour, they also have many other uses and benefits. You may originally purchase them with the intention of using them for your birth, but you’ll also use them afterwards and then start to integrate them into your everyday life.
Let’s start with Clary Sage. When I think about labour I like to think about the stages in which it happens & Clary Sage is your supporter in the early stages, effective at getting your contractions firmly established, (Myrrh is also great for establishing contractions). It would be a bit extravagant to buy a 15ml bottle of Clary Sage just to help establishing contractions, but fortunately this oil also has incredible benefits during pregnancy and post-natally.
Clary Sage helps rebalance your hormones, start milk production, alleviates emotions associated with postpartum depressions, reduces the pain of cramps when your period returns and strengthens your hair (much needed when it starts to fall out 3 – 4 months post birth). Furthermore, it will help any frigidity, insomnia, muscle fatigue or infection. For non-pregnant women, this oil is so handy to have on hand at the time of the month.
STAYING CALM & FOCUSED
Secondly, I would recommend either Lavender, or doTERRA’s grounding blend, Balance. These two oils help to promote a calm atmosphere, reduce anxiety and increase focus. If you can, try before you buy as the sense of smell is very subjective and each individual will find different smells relaxing. If neither of these work for you, you could try Ylang Ylang (especially if you suffer from high blood pressure), Chamomile or Hawaiian Sandalwood.
In terms of how you can use Lavender outside the birthing suite, the list is endless! Reducing anxiety, soothing skin irritations (including rashes, bug bites and stings, blisters, boils, burns, chicken pox), promoting sleep, calming teething pain and preventing grinding, reducing stretch marks and wrinkles, grounding emotions, stimulating hair growth and reducing inflammation. It also helps soothe breasts – I’ve had mastitis three separate times and healed it quickly using only lavender oil, hot water and allowing my baby to continue feeding from me often. The uses for Lavender are extensive. (Surfside Edit: I recently started mixing lavender with a carrier oil to soothe Skye’s teething. Works so well! )
doTERRA’s blend Balance is equally as supportive for you and your kids when it comes to emotions, behaviours and supporting everyone’s bodies through change and big feelings - it tends to get the nickname tantrum tamer. (Surfside Edit: I have been putting Balance on the bottom of Skye’s feet when she’s feeling emotional and throwing tantrums. When I do this I also put it on myself to help me deal with whatever is being thrown at me [sometimes literally!] It works wonders on both of us and acts fast).
KEEPING COOL & BABY POSITIONING
Peppermint is what I used during labour for cooling and back pain. It can also be used during labour to help flip Bub if he/she is trying to come out breech or posterior. If baby is in the breech position, apply Peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, to the top of the belly and rub over the top curve of your bump as if you were drawing a rainbow. If Bub is posterior, apply the peppermint and carrier oil to your lower back.
Peppermint is the oil I use most commonly at home, particularly for congestion, hay fever, headaches, feeling too hot, sunburn relief, sore muscles and digestive issues. Please note though if you are breastfeeding you should be careful not to use too much as it can decrease your milk supply. I’ve used it a lot while breastfeeding and haven’t been majorly affected by it, but someone more sensitive might find their supply drops. If your milk supply does decrease, for whatever reason, you can boost your supply by using either fennel or basil oil.
Transition is a difficult part of labour, which we still seem to forget about even second time round. I can’t say I was thinking much about using oils during this part of labour as I was quite distracted, but this is where your birth partner comes in. If you want to use oils in your birth, include it in your birthing plan (if you have one), or simply make sure they have the right oils ready for supporting you throughout. Then you have two options - Frankincense or Basil.
I have heard extremely positive things about using Basil for transition and it is also great for increasing milk supply. My personal choice though would be Frankincense as its uses are so incredibly varied. Its biggest claim to fame is its ability to help promote healthy cell production - from minor headaches, to more serious injuries, conditions and diseases - it is a go-to oil. It’s the best option for any infected wounds and scars to clean and prevent scarring. After labour it also helps you recover from any trauma and encourages the regeneration of uterus tissue. Frankincense is an oil that I strongly recommend everyone has in their essential oil ‘medicine’ cabinet!
The oil that I would most encourage for post-birth is Helichrysum. I am so thankful for this oil as it did an amazing job of healing my fourth degree tear. It is often referred to as “liquid stitches” or “liquid band aid”, and is by far the most effective oil for healing tearing and scars. It prevents and assists recovery from haemorrhaging, helps heal bruising, broken blood vessels and is used for tissue repair, cleaning and healing wounds, dermatitis, infections, lymphatic drainage and shock. I’m not sure where I’d be without this oil. (Surfside Edit: I wish I had known about this oil 21 months ago, I feel this is exactly what my body needed post-birth).
FREYJA’S TOP 3 OILS FOR BIRTH & BEYOND
There are so many oils to choose from, but if I was birthing another baby and had access to only three oils, I would choose: Clary Sage, Frankincense and Helichrysum.
So there you have it, the lowdown on Essential Oils for Birth and Beyond. For more tips on how to incorporate essential oils into your life, follow Freyja on Instagram @flourishEO or join www.surfsideyoga.com.au/groups/surfsideoils
To learn more about essential oils and practical ways to incorporate them into your life, join us at one of next essential oils workshops. Taking place on Friday 4 August or Friday 8 September at my place in Mona Vale, these events are FREE for friends of Surfside Yoga. Click below to book, or if you have young babies and children then email me to organise a 1 on 1 during the day.
HOW CAN I GET HOLD OF doTERRA ESSENTIAL OILS?
If you’re likely to purchase more than 3 essential oils over a year, you get the best deal when you become a member as you benefit from a massive 25% off retail price. You pay a one off joining fee of $35 to become a member, or this fee is waived if you're purchasing an Enrolment Kit.
Check out the Australia Kits. The 'Home Essentials Kit' is the most popular kit and comes with the 10 most popular oils, in full-size bottles, plus a diffuser - and saves you over $200 on the retail cost of these oils. There are no minimum monthly orders, or selling required.
Or if you would rather purchase single oils then you can do that too!
ENROLL & GET 25% OFF OILS
- Click this link http://mydoterra.com/loukelly
- Click Join and Save
- Choose your country and language
- Click 'Local'
- Choose Wholesale (NOT Preferred Member)
- Enter your personal information, including your Australian Business Number. If you don't have an ABN, just leave it blank.
- At *Enroller id*, enter my ID 4181406: (it should display my name)
- Click verify
- Set up a password
- Click over to the next page
- Select the kit you'd like to order
- Enter your Credit Card details and process your order.
PURCHASE SINGLE OILS at RETAIL PRICE
- Click this link https://www.mydoterra.com/loukelly
- Click 'shop' and follow the prompts
As always I’m here to help support you on your journey from pregnancy to birth and beyond, feel free to drop me a line with any questions or queries at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. Did you use essential oils in your birth? I'd love to hear about your experiences!