Birth is one of my favorite topics. I have dreams of becoming a doula one day, but until then I will reminisce my own birthing experiences. My fourth and final baby was my favorite delivery, so I wanted to share how I used essential oils during childbirth!
*** written a couple of months after giving birth to my fourth baby, my only boy!
When I started preparing for labor this last time, I knew I wanted to try using some essential oils when the time came. I read a lot about what worked for other people, and what to try. When I went into labor, we grabbed our trusty box of oils and our hospital bag and off we went.
I get motion sickness easily, and being in labor and driving down our twisty gravel road (extra fast, since my husband was terrified I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time), I started getting queasy right away. I grabbed my Digestzen and slathered it all over my belly, then dumped a drop in my hand and put my palm over my face and inhaled DEEPLY. It helped almost instantly.
It felt soooo good and it was such a familiar, comforting smell that I had been using every day of the pregnancy. My contractions were about 4 minutes apart when we left our house, and it’s a 70 minute drive to the hospital. We made it there in about 50 minutes. By the time we got there, my contractions were about 2.5-3 minutes apart.
I was breathing through them really well and was actually pretty surprised at how I was doing. My previous birth (my third daughter) was incredibly intense and painful and FAST so I was afraid of that happening again. On the way to the hospital I pulled out my Serenity oil blend and inhaled it. That helped me breathe and was really calming.
Something else that seems weird, but I think absolutely helped me so I can’t leave it out . . . is that on the drive there I got my Frankincense oil, dropped about 3-4 drops in my palm, and put it all over “down there.” I had read that it really helps prevent swelling and tearing during birth, and heck, WHY NOT? Even if it did nothing, why not try it? So I did, and this is the only time I didn’t end up tearing badly during delivery . . . so who knows. I really believe it helped. Some midwives use it to massage the perineum during labor and delivery. I didn’t ask mine to, but I’m sure she would have!
I got in the tub and my husband dropped in some lavender oil. We sat in the dark bathroom, in the tub, while I labored away. It felt AMAZING. I can’t begin to describe the relief I fell when I plunge into that hot water while in labor. I have labored in the tub for at least some amount of time for each of my 4 babies, and it’s just incredible.
I would never give birth in water because I think . . . ew . . . I wouldn’t want to be sitting in all of that liquid and blood and crap (literally) that comes out when you push out a baby! But to each their own.
For me, laboring in the tub until I’m ready to push just helps so much. The lavender was calming, and when my midwife handed me a cool wash cloth for my forehead, I dropped some on the cloth as well to breathe in. My husband was a rock star and rubbed my back while I was in the tub. When I felt I was finally ready to get out and try pushing, I didn’t make it far. I dropped to the bathroom floor and had to get through a few contractions before I could move.
I wanted to try pushing in a squat, so I moved onto the birthing ball and started pushing. My husband rubbed more Deep Blue rub all over my lower back and belly. HEAVEN. I had my husband leaning over the bed and in front of me, my midwife beside me, and a visiting midwife student behind me.
I was leaning on the girl behind me and she was whispering into my ear, “Great job Kelsey, you can do this. You’re doing great.” Just hearing that little voice softly in my ear was awesome.
I told her afterward that she helped me so much to get through it. My husband asked if I wanted to try any more oils. I couldn’t decide what I felt like I needed, so I had him grab the Serenity and the Citrus Bliss, two kind of opposite effect oil blends, and I took a whiff of each.
Instantly I knew what I needed – CITRUS BLISS. It’s an invigorating blend of oils and I dumped it in my palm and inhaled very deeply. It was just what I needed at that point where you are so close to having a baby and don’t know if you can do it any more. It really gave me that extra energy right at the end, I LOVED it. The serenity I knew instantly wasn’t what I needed – not to relax – but something to get me GOING.
I pushed some more and my water broke (in a massive gush all over the floor, and even under the bed and onto my husband’s shoes – ha). I knew it was almost time to meet my little man.
His heart rate was dropping quite a bit, so my midwife suggested I get on my hands and knees on the bed and push that way instead. I somehow got there (how anyone, including myself, change positions in labor, I’ll never know). I pushed on my hands and knees and was able to deliver my healthy baby boy, watching the entire thing through my legs. It was incredible. I’ll never forget it. As soon as he came slithering out I could see he was for sure a boy, and I just lost it.
They placed that tiny baby on my chest and got me all cleaned up. I had a teeny tear on the inside, not even worth stitching up – this news was like Christmas morning to me.
Honestly, I was beaming and so surprised/thrilled when they said I wouldn’t need stitches. That is always the worst to recover from for me, so I was excited.
Almost immediately after the birth I chugged down some coconut water, which tasted amazing (I don’t usually ever drink it plain because I don’t like the taste). It really helped rehydrate me right away. I always ask for cranberry juice too while in labor and afterward. I don’t know why, but with all of my babies I have craved it.
There are more details I reserve for my private family blog, but that’s about what happened! My son was born. I couldn’t even believe I had a little boy after those three girls. He was perfect and soft and warm and I loved on him for hours before we even moved to our recovery room.
There you go, a birth story and some essential oils mixed in. I really felt like the oils helped me a ton this time around. They helped me focus, and breathe, and relax my muscles. They were comforting and invigorating and just exactly what I needed at different moments. I used a good range of them, and each one did something different for me. I am glad that I chose to implement them in my birth experience and only wished I had known about them for all of the others too!