in Labor and Delivery
time has come. After nine months of anticipation you
are standing at the door, suitcase at the ready, stopwatch
in hand. Youíve timed the contractions at every two
to five minutes on the dot, and as the drama of birth
opens its curtains before your very eyes, you wonder
if all your preparations will have been enough.
is definitely one of, if not the most difficult labors
a woman faces in her lifetime. Today, much is written
about gentle, natural birthing options, which are
healthier for mother and child. By providing a proper
state of mind and natural analgesic, aromatherapy
can be used to create a memorable, magical birthing
atmosphere. This article will explain some of the
best ways to prepare for childbirth using essential
of womenís greatest fears when approaching childbirth
is that of damaging the delicate perineal tissue.
Doctors and midwives ask whether you would prefer
to have an episiotomy or risk a tear. Why not prepare
the perineum beforehand with soothing massage? Studies
have shown that women who perform daily perineal massages
in preparation for childbirth are 30% more likely
to deliver over an intact perineum. Besides making
the tissue soft and supple, the massage can mentally
prepare the woman to relax these muscles and open
outward in response to pressure, a skill that will
no doubt come in handy when the baby is making his
way into the world.
you should begin daily 5-10 minute massages at six
to eight weeks prior to term. First, empty your bladder.
Soaking for 5-15 minutes in warm water and lavender
oil can relax the vaginal wall, making the perineal
massage more comfortable. If you are doing the massage
yourself, place one foot on the seat of a chair or
the side of the bathtub; otherwise, a partner can
perform the massage while you sit back comfortably
with your back resting against pillows.
1 ounce wheat germ oil with 3 drops lavender and 1
drop geranium. (Sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and
cold-pressed olive oil are good substitutes for wheat
germ oil. You can also use a blend of the oils.) After
dipping into the massage oil, insert your thumb or
middle fingers into the vagina just enough to stretch
the perineal tissue, approximately two to three inches.
Press the vaginal wall back toward the rectum, massaging
in a U-shaped motion. Gently stretch the vagina open
for 20-60 seconds, or until you feel a tingling or
slight burning sensation. Stretch both the inner portions
as well as the outer rim of the perineum. Make sure
to wash hands thoroughly before and after perineal
massage, and discard any unused oil.
you are planning to give birth, aromatherapy can be
utilized. For use during labor and delivery, add to
your suitcase your favorite essential oils and oil
blends, an aromatic diffuser (electric models are
the best for use in birthing centers and hospitals),
flannels and bowls for compresses, and a plastic tub
for sitz baths. Make sure to practice with your partner
so that he or she is ready to serve you in your hour
of need. Discussing your wishes with your health care
provider is also a good idea, so that you donít end
up in a battle of wills just at the time you planned
to create your ideal birth environment.
following essential oils are ideal for labor and delivery.
Due to the heightened sensitivity to smell during
labor, it is best to use only a couple oils at a time.
bergamot, rose, or frankincense help relieve fear
and anxiety, and promote relaxation between contractions.
These are good oils to use in your diffuser.
is good for aches, and helps in balancing and calming
the laboring woman. After your cervix has dilated
to at least 2 cm, you may consider taking a 30 minute
lavender bath. Studies show that this can improve
progress in labor and significantly reduces the need
contractions, a foot or lower back massage can soothe
and stimulate pain relief. Add 20 drops lavender and
8 drops clary sage in 4 ounces of olive oil.
lavender, or clary sage compresses can stimulate or
strengthen contractions, and cool compresses to the
forehead keep you feeling refreshed. To prepare a
compress simply add 3-4 drops essential oil to a bowl
of warm or cool water. Drape a flannel over the surface
of the water to absorb the film of the oil. Ring out
cloth and apply to area.
drop peppermint oil offered on a handkerchief can
ward off nausea, or can be used as a pick-me-up during
the transitional phase, when fatigue may settle in.
tension is preventing you from opening the cervix
during contractions, an abdominal massage or a compress
of 8 drops Spikenard, 7 drops Jasmine, and 3 drops
lemon verbena in 4 ounces olive oil can help. Evening
primrose oil massaged directly on the cervix can also
assist in relaxing the tissues.
turn your birthing takes, allow the effects of aromatherapy
to penetrate your mind and relax your body.
Francesca Black works in marketing at Organic Items
and Aromatherapy Blends http://www.aromatherapy-blends.net
leading portals for organic products and essential