How can an orange reduce your pain and anxiety levels in labour?
It was a statement that grabbed my attention from Hypnobirthing teacher, student midwife and mum of one Megan aka @positivelybirthing
Having had an incredibly positive experience with hynobirthing with my own daughter - bar the moment my husband decided to 'ramp things up' by putting on David Guetta (something that still makes me wince today), I have subsequently been much more open to what else really can help support us through the journey.
Megan's post shared how research has demonstrated that the use of aromatherapy and essential oils can actually alter the sensations you feel during labour.
In several trials it was shown to reduce a mother’s perception of pain and anxiety, and in some cases reduce the overall length of labour and bring down raised blood pressure.
Here are Megan's top tips on what you need to know to get you aromatherapy ready...
How to choose the right oils to use:
Find oils that you like the smell of and that remind you of being calm. Smell is an incredible memory trigger so choosing an aroma that takes you back to a place of calm can help with relaxation.
Also remember that it is hard to get the smell off your skin so be sure to chose something you won't want to banish a few minutes in.
How to use the oils:
There are various ways you can use essential oils...
- Put a couple of drops into a muslin and inhale as required
- Add to a carrier oil, adding 1 - 2 drops per tablespoon and massaging onto the skin
- Add to a steam diffuser to inhale
- Add 2 - 3 drops to a bath or birthing pool (although check with your midwife that they are happy for you to do this if in a birth centre or hospital)
The oils to consider:
Rose / Lavender / Citrus / Sweet orange peel / Bitter orange: Reduces anxiety and pain
Silvia: May reduce the overall length of labour
Geranium: Can reduce blood pressure
Peppermint: Helps with nausea
Clary Sage: Some mothers and midwifes have reported that this brings back surges after labour has stalled. For this reason it is not safe to use it before 37 weeks in pregnancy
Please do speak to a qualified aromatherapist before buying any oils as some are not safe in pregnancy. They will also be able to help tailor the right combination for you to surround you with the most gorgeous of aromas when welcoming your little one into the world.
Follow Megan @positivelybirthing for amazing inspiration to empower you to strive for a positive birth experience.
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