Essential Birth

Last week I wrote about some essential oils that you can use during pregnancy to help you through the rougher patches like nausea, heartburn, fatigue, backache, insomnia, anxiety, and more! Now for the Big Event! Every woman anticipates labor and birth with a mix of excitement and dread. It is The Big Moment! BUT…Labor! Whether it’s your first or your fifth, labor is no fun. Add to the mix the anxiety and fear surrounding the pain and the what ifs, and there is a lot of emotional stuff going on here too. Fortunately, nature planned well! Most of the time labor goes just fine and mom and baby are well and healthy at the end of the day. Plus we are provided with plenty of helpers along the way. Some of those helpers come in the form of essential oils. (Next week–Post partum)

Here are the oils I recommend for labor. Keep reading below to find out why.
Roman Chamomile
Clary Sage
Ylang Ylang
Grounding Blend (Balance)
Calming Blend (Serenity)
Joyful Blend (Elevation)
Soothing Blend (DeepBlue)

Birth Essentials


  • Most versatile of all known essential oils
  • Calming, relaxing, mood elevating, and balancing
  • Calming to fussy babies
  • Promotes restful sleep (diffuse, put a few drops on bottom of feet or pillowcase)
  • Soothes sore breasts
  • Dulls after birth pains
  • A few drops of lavender on the back of neck, feet or on a cotton ball can help calm early labor jitters.

Clary Sage

  • Although not recommended during pregnancy, due to its ability to cause contractions, if you are past your due date, clary sage can help push you in the right direction
  • Tones uterus
  • Promotes more efficient contractions
  • Soothes labor discomfort
  • Initiates milk production
  • Rub on inner ankles to stimulate contractions and promote a healthy labor pattern.


  • Affects emotional balance
  • Relaxing and sedative, calms and de-stresses the laboring mom
  • Helps with breast engorgement
  • Fosters peace, well-being and hope, creating a serene environment
  • Great to use during pregnancy for exhaustion, edema, hemorrhoids and varicose veins
  • Supports elasticity of perineal tissues

Ylang Ylang

  • Calming and relaxing
  • Affects emotional balance
  • Alleviates frustration
  • Promotes calm breathing
  • Lowers blood pressure

Roman Chamomile

  • Relieves sore nipples
  • Increases sense of courage- great for labor!
  • Creates an atmosphere of peace and patience
  • Calming and relaxing


  • Acts as a “liquid band aid” for umbilical cord
  • Calming and relaxing
  • Promotes awareness
  • Can promote the natural progression of labor


  • Uplifting and energizing
  • Helps with mental fatigue
  • Eases anxious feelings
  • Promotes concentration
  • Eases pain during transition
  • Apply on temples or abdomen during transition.


  • Soothes pain
  • Pregnancy mask
  • Supports elasticity of perineal tissues
  • Eases breast soreness
  • Promotes healthy circulation


  • Relaxing
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes healthy fluid movement
  • Promotes healthy circulation
  • Massage to soothe sore muscles


  • Relieves nausea
  • Boost stamina and restores mental alertness
  • Cools fever
  • Helps ease pain
  • Great for back labor
  • Rub on top of abdomen or lower back to help baby turn to an optimal birthing position
  • Eliminates odors
  • Drop a couple drops in the toilet bowl the first time mom tries to pee after delivery. It will help relax the pelvic floor and allow passage of urine. (If that doesn’t work put a couple drops on the shower floor and have mom pee in a warm shower.)


  • Stimulating and elevating to the mind
  • Promotes feelings of satisfaction and peace
  • Promotes a calm, peaceful and grounded environment
  • Rub on belly to ease labor discomfort
  • Rub on back to ease back labor
  • Promotes wellness in baby
  • Apply to perineal tears to soothe discomfort and promote healing


  • Evokes feelings of joy, peace, and self-confidence
  • Massage on lower back or abdomen to soothe discomfort
  • Promotes normal labor contractions


  • Relaxing
  • Helps soften ligaments to allow your pelvis to expand for baby to pass through
  • Put a few drops in a bath or massage for the lower back or abdomen
  • Rejuvenating for skin and tissues
  • Has a cleansing effect on the uterus

Grounding Blend (Balance) (Spruce, Ho wood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, German Chamomile, Fractionated coconut oil) *must have!*

  • Balances electrical energies in the body
  • Eases anxious feelings and nervousness
  • Great for newborn
  • Increases sense of courage
  • Put a drop of this blend on the bottom of feet to help keep emotions in balance- not just for mom- dad, doula and midwife too!

Calming Blend (Serenity) (Lavender, Chamomile, Marjoram, Ylang ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood, and vanilla)

  • Peaceful and calming
  • Helps with anxious feelings and stress
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Use topically, or aromatically

Joyful Blend (Elevation) (Lavandin, Lavender, Tangerine, Elemi, Lemon Myrtle, Melissa, Ylang Ylang, Osmanthus, Hawaiian Sandalwood)

  • Uplifting and mood elevating
  • Aids with anxious feelings
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes feelings of happiness
  • Promotes a sense of courage and self-worth

Soothing Blend (DeepBlue) (Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Osmanthus)

  • All around soothing and cooling
  • Try massaging on lower back during labor
  • Massage on shoulders, back, and abdomen for postpartum soothing

To Calm and Focus mother
Lavender and Chamomile are calming, soothing and relaxing to mom, helping her focus on the task at hand and relieving tension and stress.
Increase Energy during labor
Peppermint diffused or added to water and applied with a wash cloth to the back of the neck will give mamma a much-needed energy boost and help cool her down during labor. Peppermint can reduce breathing rate in sensitive babies, so don’t use this if mom is past 8 cm so it can dissipate before baby is born.
To relieve pain
Frankincense helps to reduce pain. Rub a few drops on your back or abdomen (wherever it hurts) for some wonderful pain relief. I use frankincense as my go to for all sorts of pain, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding where medications could affect the baby.
Clary Sage is known to reduce pain and increase circulation.
Lavender is a great relaxing scent that has analgesic properties. Keep a crock pot by the bed on low with about 20 wash cloths in it covered in water with 15-20 drops of lavender. Have your birth attendant or partner wring out a wash cloth and put it on your belly during every contraction. The warmth combined with the lavender is very soothing and distracting helping to reduce pain and relieve stress. As soon as it cools replace with a new cloth.
During Transition
Apply Rose or Frankincense as described above.
To Induce or speed up labor
*Do not attempt to induce labor without the medical consent of your doctor or midwife, and only after 40 weeks of pregnancy. Baby needs those last few weeks to develop.*
Clary Sage is a uterine tonic and is known to cause more effective contractions. Put a drop or two on each of your ankles to encourage a healthy labor.
Myrrh increases the strength of contractions. Add a few drops to a cotton ball to sniff as needed or rub 1-3 drops onto abdomen with a carrier oil.
Stalled labor
The scent of Myrrh on a cotton ball placed near the mothers face can get stalled labor going again. Put the ball near her pillow, on the side bar of the bed, on the side of the tub, anywhere where she can easily benefit from the aroma.
Back Labor
Apply Peppermint, diluted, to back and hips (where the pain is strongest) with a carrier oil
Breech or posterior position
Breech: Apply Peppermint essential oil with a carrier to the top of the belly and rub around the top curve of the belly making a rainbow.
Posterior: Apply Peppermint essential oil with a carrier to the lower back.
To Avoid or minimize tearing
Combine Geranium and Frankincense with 1 tsp carrier oil (evening primrose oil would work well here) a few weeks before your due date with perineal massage. For the first stage of labor mix 5 drops Clary Sage with 2 drops Geranium with 2 tbsp. carrier oil. Massage the perineum hourly. Geranium and Helichrysum are great to use on your perineum during delivery to prevent trauma and tearing. It also prevents swelling as the baby descends the birth canal. Use a few drops of each with carrier oil on the perineum during delivery. Place a warm wash cloth with a drop of Ginger over the oil after application. This will relax the tissue, reduce pain and swelling, and ease the final steps of labor.

For a Free printable guide to Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Labor and Birth, sign up below.



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