Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Aromatherapy Basics ~ Setting a Mood

When considering using aromatherapy for labor and birth...or even to talk about in childbirth education classes, it is best to take a class from an aromatherapist who knows specifically about the right aromatherapy to use during this special time!

Aromatherapy oils can not only be used as inhalants but they can also be massaged into the skin. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, or blossoms of plants. Each essential oil contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines the healing properties of the oil. Some oils promote physical healing-for example, some are able to relieve swelling. Others are used for their emotional value, such as lavender, as they may encourage relaxation or make a room smell nice. The essential oil derived from orange blossom, for example, contains a large amount of ester, an active ingredient thought to induce a calming effect. 

Single essential oils are often the best for early labor, however some blends can be beneficial too.  If you are wanting a relaxing mood for Early or (early) Active labor, try Lavender essential oil.  Please note that direct administration of Lavender on the skin is generally safe for most people, however, some may have an allergic reaction.  Lavender is one of the few oils that can be used directly on the skin.  You can also obtain a battery operated pocket diffuser or use a cotton ball for periodic whiffs.  If you are considering blends for early labor, you might explore any Lavender based blend ~ remember the desire is to promote relaxation!

Chamomile is also a very relaxing essential oil and may be preferred by expectant parents.  A blend of Chamomile and Lavender is very calming.  Bergamot can be added for a refreshing feeling.

Rosemary can be used either alone or in a blend for that time in labor where concentration is needed, such as mid-late active phase or transition.  During this time also, it may be time to pull the laboring mother from the relaxed and dreamy state of early labor to a more invigorated state - a blend of any essential oil that is citrus based (such as Neroli, Grapefruit, Tangerine or Sweet Orange) can achieve this.  Marry the citrus oils with Rosemary and you have a winning combination for Transition or even Stage 2.  After all, citrus oils are stimulating - that is why they are used in morning shower gels and lotions!

Blends can give you the benefit of distraction also - the expectant mother enjoys identifying the different scents in the blend.  Ideal carrier oils to mix blends with are Grapeseed and Apricot Oils!  Not sure how to blend essential oils?  Try these two brands ~ Cappriccio Aromatics and Aura Cacia!  From blends, to single essential oils to smelling salts, we have the perfect oils and blends for every laboring mother!

No comments: