New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Essential oils during the childbearing years

One thing that I have been becoming more interested in, is the use of essential oils during our childbearing years. I am teaching a class on this and thought I'd add info to this site as well.

Oils affect our bodies in a couple of different ways.  One way is just through the aroma.  Here's a good explanation of how this works.   

"Mechanisms of action of each essential oil is related to its
complex active substances. One of the means of action is the aroma of
these oils sent as a signal to the olfactory bulb which has close
anatomical ties to the limbic system. The limbic system is the
emotional center of the brain, where all major emotional expressions
are generated. The limbic system influences the endocrine and the

Oils can also be absorbed through the skin.  It takes about 20-40 min for this to take effect.  Essentially that is about the same amount of time it takes for a Tylenol to work.  One of the best places for an oil to absorb is the foot since there are numerous pours that allow better absorption.

Ingestion is also a possibility, but I like to play it safe and not use this one unless I know a little bit more about the oil and how to use it.

The other thing to take into account is that essential oils are in and out of your system fairly rapidly, in about 60-90m.  Thus they may need to be reapplied frequently to have an effect.  The effect of essential oils is also dependent on how pure the oil is.  While more expensive, therapeutic grade oil should be used.

I'll be adding more posts on specific oils, so stay tuned....

I occasionally research the safety of alternative medication, including essential oils, so I've decided to post what I've found at my website. I'm not a doctor; although I make every attempt to ensure that the information here is accurate and up-to-date, please read my disclaimers at the bottom of this page.
Disclaimer: Most alternative medications have not been thoroughly researched, particularly in regard to pregnancy and birth. Herbs are drugs, and some caution is necessary. I am presenting this data as is, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, and am not liable for its accuracy nor for any loss or damage caused by a user's reliance on this information.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.