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Aromatherapy: making labor easier

Posted By Kim Roman
September 11, 2014

This is sponsored content.

Tennis balls, hard candy, acupuncture, belly dancing…across the world and throughout the years, women have been trying all kinds of different ways to deal with the pain of labor and delivery without using pain medications. From the interesting (jiggling the abdomen by shimmying a cloth back and forth) to the tried-and-true (Lamaze breathing), there are tons of recommendations out there to help calm the fear and relax the body—two important factors in achieving a natural birth. One of the more popular methods is the use of aromatherapy. To get the most out of essential oils during labor and delivery, it’s important to understand that your mind and body have specific needs throughout your birthing journey. Different oils can target and affect different areas of the body, so building a “birthing kit” is a good option for optimizing the use of essential oils throughout your labor.

During labor, aromatherapists often use different oils, depending on how far along you are. Labor is usually broken down into three stages, the longest of which is stage 1. During stage 1, contractions come with increasing regularity and strength and the cervix gradually effaces and dilates in preparation for birth. Because stage 1 can last so long, it is sometimes broken down into three phases: early, active, and a transition phase.

In early stage 1 labor, as the cervix dilates to about 3 cm, the most important thing for the body to do is relax. It is important to choose aromatherapy blends that will relax the mind and body, allowing labor to progress while resting and saving strength. Essential oils that are most effective for early labor include lavender and chamomile.

In the active phase of stage 1 labor, as the cervix dilates from 3cm to 7cm, contractions become stronger and closer together. Relaxation is especially important because this stage is when many women begin to struggle with pain management and progression. As fear starts to set in, the pain can become amplified and the body may start to tighten up during each contraction, causing dilation progress to slow down or stall. Aromatherapy should focus on pain relief and keeping the labor going. Essential oils that are most effective for active labor include clary sage, frankincense, and jasmine.

Finally comes the transition phase, when the cervix goes from 8cm to 10cm, at which point the cervix is fully dilated. For most women, transition is the toughest—but shortest—part of the first stage of labor. Contractions come hard and fast, with little rest (usually 30 seconds to 2 minutes) in between. This is the time when encouragement, confidence, and focus are key. Choose essential oils that will allow you to concentrate on the task at hand. Uplifting scents and ones that will help with clarity are the best choices; delivery through an aromatherapy spray is likely to be more effective than an oil. The best essential oils for transition are citrus oils, peppermint, rosemary, and sandalwood.

Sounds like a lot? In all reality, it is. Labor is a beautiful and amazing journey that cannot be approached with a “one size fits all” attitude. Simple use of one or two essential oils may help a bit, but when you carefully craft an aromatherapy plan that is built for each phase of labor you are going to have a much more positive outcome.

Luckily, Anna Naturals has you covered. We’ve done the work for you already and created our Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Kit, which includes five unique, precise essential oil blends to provide support throughout your entire labor. Enter below to win the Natural Mama Must-Haves Kit, which includes out Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Kit, plus our favorite pregnancy and postpartum products (over $150 in products total!) and a $50 Amazon gift card, too!

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About Kim Roman

Kim Roman is the mother of a toddler and creator of Anna Naturals, providing all natural and organic products for pregnancy, nursing, and everyday use. After her personal success with herbal remedies, she developed a sensational line of herbal teas and bath and body products that smell and taste amazing—without the use of harsh chemicals, GMOs, or additives.

Comments

  1. I’m most excited to try the All Natural Goat’s Milk Soap.

    Reply
  2. I would love the energy spray.

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  3. Wonderful I could use this I’m due Dec 20th

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  4. The Boobie Basket on the Anna Naturals website definitely looks like something I would use!

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  5. I’m soon to be first time mom,due in October.I’m obsessed with natural oils.I would love love love to use these .

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  6. Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Kit!!!

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  7. The Blissful Birth CALM.

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  8. The Blissful Birth kit 🙂

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  9. I’d be excited to have any of these things! Especially the Blissful Birthing Kit. I’ve already had one in unmedicated birth and am interested in trying oils to help me stay calm and focused the next time around.

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  10. Definitely the shrink my feet would be the one I’d be most excited about… I didn’t have that issue with my first but definitely did with my second. Thanks.

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  11. All of the products sound absolutely wonderful! I’m especially excited about the Focus. I was really out of it after the birth of of my first daughter and I’m hoping this could help with my 2nd.

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  12. I love this! As someone who is very curious about essential oils and aromatherapy but don’t have the time to do the research right now, I love this step-by-step guide!

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  13. I would love to try all of these products, but I am most excited about the Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Set. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. I am excited about the Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Kit

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  15. I’ve been reading more about essential oils and I need to learn more! I won’t be delivering again, but curious how these can help us with better sleep and even me with some hormonal issues.

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  16. So happy to hear how many of you are interested in the Blissful Birth Kits! Aromatherapy can be a useful tool for a natural birth. We actually have a few ladies here in the office that are expecting in the next few weeks/months who can’t wait to use the kit themselves. 🙂

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  17. I love to have the blissful birth aromatherapy kit because it has so many great essentials for the baby and the parents! Thanks so much for this giveaway!

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  18. I’m planning on going natural with this delivery. I was interested in essential oils during labor & love that they have put together a pack of everything that would be needed for labor! This is great!

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  19. The aromatherapy kit!! Sounds wonderful!

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  20. Would love to try the aromatherapy kit. I’very been wanting to try essential oils, but can’t afford to buy any right now.

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  21. I’m a soon to be first time mom, due in November, and I’m really excited about the Blissful Birth Aromatherapy Kit! Thank you!

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  22. I think I could use a little Glowing Mama…

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    1. Couldn’t we all 😉 – I have to admit, it’s one of my favs!

      Reply
  23. This is interesting and great for those who choose a birth plan with no medication. I have several friends that are expecting so I will be passing along this information to them.

    Reply
    1. That’s great to hear, Shelley! Definitely interesting stuff and good for your expecting friends to pack in their “bag of tricks” for an unmedicated birth.

      Reply

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