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Aromatherapy during Labor for Natural Pain Relief

Updated on December 22, 2015

The Uses of Aromatherapy

The use of aromatherapy as an alternative form of health is very popular and is now also recognized for its benefits in pregnant women, during pregnancy and labor. Aromatherapy is also known to help in pain relief. Aromatherapy is gaining in popularity due to the fact many women want to avoid taking drugs so seek for alternative methods for relieving pain. Aromatherapy massage during labor helps your relaxation and calmness. The pains that come with contraction can be relieved by a massage with essential oils at labor. It also helps the woman to cope with fear and anxiety because it has a tranquilizing effect on the nervous system.

Pregnancy and Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Massage For Natural Pain Relief

The expert should be the one doing the massage for you. Sometimes your husband, if he is near by and knows what to do should take up the task. The right kind of essential oil that is safe for this condition should be used. This is helpful in the first phase of labor and the movements are soothing when the contractions reduce that one noticed during menstruation.

Three drops of chamomile or lavender oil in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of light carrier oil will do the magic. This massage should be done gently especially if the pain is severe as applying pressure will only worsen the pain.

For lower back pain associated with labor, use three drops of camomile or lavender oil in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil and massage the back with hypothena eminence of both palms with a little pressure. In an anti-clockwise direction, move the hand and continue to slide through the skin. These movements are particularly helpful for pains from contractions felt at the lower part of the back.

Massage and aromatherapy can easily be combined to give the best of both methods during labor. Get a small bottle and fill with either organic oil or plain, unscented lotion. Add the appropriate essential oil for any stage of labor.

Aromatherapy in pregnancy

Aromatherapy and Labor

In first phase of labor, the physical pain is less intense and often occurs at equal intervals. However, many women feel anxious, nervous or fearful, particularly if this is their first pregnancy. Lavender oil is mostly used for this phase of labor because it has ability to calm the nerves.

We have discussed a lot about pain relief with essential oils in the first phase of labor. The second stage of labor is the stage of active labor. During this phase, the contractions become more and intense and the pain also increases. It's important to stay relaxed, since anxiety and fear cause the body to work against itself. Excessive fear can make labor take longer. Use lavender oil with a drop each of rose and herolic to keep you relaxed during active labor.

Towards the end of the second stage i.e. at full cervical dilatation, the pain and contraction is most intense, as the baby begins to crown. This phase is the most difficult. Many women feel symptoms such as nausea, shaking and feeling out of control and they scream a lot. In addition, by now, they are exhausted and dehydrated. They need to relax, get past the fear and relieve the exhaustion associated with transition. Lavender is helpful for relaxation, while at this stage and peppermint help them overcome the exhaustion. Consider combining lavender and peppermint at this stage of labor.

As soon as dilatation is full and its time to start pushing, Aromatherapy oils can help invigorate them to give them the energy they need to push the baby out. Peppermint and rosemary are good for this purpose. Consider putting a drop of each onto a cotton ball and breathe in as needed. A few drops of lavender or rose oil is added to chilled rosewater. Dip a small towel into this mixture then smooth it over the forehead down the face and neck, gently and rhythmically. The flowery aroma is very comforting and helps to take your mind away from the labor pains.

Aromatherapy and The Women's Lifecycle

Some Studies of Using Aromatherapy During Labor

In an uncontrolled prospective study reported on the use and effectiveness of aromatherapy in a large referral maternity unit in the United Kingdom over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1998, 8058 women received aromatherapy during labor under the supervision of midwives trained in aromatherapy. It was used for a variety of purposes: to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain; to reduce nausea or vomiting; to enhance women's sense of well-being; and to improve contractions during labor.

Records were kept meticulously about the oils that were used, the mode of administration, as well as the indication for use. Mothers and midwives reported on the effectiveness of the oils in their effectiveness in dealing with the problems to which they were indicated.

61% of the women received aromatherapy (lavender, rose, or frankincense) to relieve anxiety and fear, 50% of both mothers and midwives found it helpful, and 13% found it unhelpful. Rose oil was rated helpful by most-about 71%, followed by lavender (50%). Lavender and frankincense were used for pain by 537 women, of whom 54% found lavender helpful and 64% found frankincense helpful.

Essential oils have a range of possible adverse effects on the woman, as well as on others in the room, because they are volatile and produce vapors that are inhaled by everyone in the room. One percent of women in the research reported undesired effects associated with the use of aromatherapy; all were minor (nausea, rash, headache, or rapid labor). It is not clear whether they were caused by essential oils, other factors, or by labor itself. But the research is reasonable scientific prove that aromatherapy works so well for labor.

When the contractions and pains in labor become very intense, a simple touch with essential oils is very soothing and helps the woman go through the entire labor ordeal because of the feeling of safety it creates. The benefits of aromatherapy are a good reason women all over the world are grateful about alternative medicine.


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  • sukkran profile image

    Mohideen Basha 9 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

    hi, nice hub,

    regards, sukkran