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Thursday, July 28, 2011

My experience with orange, lavender and peppermint for this last birth

This last birth that I was doula at was one that used oils quite extensively so I thought I'd share how they helped.

We used lavender oil a lot.  She liked the scent of it anyways, and she felt like it was comforting, so she would use it during a contraction.  We just put it on a cotton ball and would hold that by her nose during a contraction.  She said she felt like it helped her relax and was not distracting like massage was during a contraction.  We also put some in the tub that she labored in for a good part of her labor.  From studies I've read, lavender has a calming effect and women like using it.  It didn't decrease their pain level, but it did increase their satisfaction.  For this reason, I think lavender effects out ability to cope with labor, not by decreasing the pain, but by decreasing our stress and anxiety. 

I also used peppermint oil when she was nauseous.  I was excited to try this one, because so often nausea is an excuse to not permit women to eat or drink during labor and the  medications given for it are not very helpful.  I found that it worked fabulously at this time.  Again, we put some on a cotton ball and had her breathe in the fumes.  It helped decrease her nausea after about two contractions.  And it never came back.  She also sipped some peppermint tea.  This is one oil that I am going to continue to experiment with for sure.

During pushing, I had her inhale some orange oil.  This is used to uplift and energize.  I didn't think too much about it until afterwards when my client mentioned how much it helped her to refocus.  I never told her I was using a new oil or why, so I was impressed by this.  Again, this will be another one I will try again.

I also used a blend called Whisper that has both Rose and Jasmine in it.  It appeared to help, but lavender did also, so I stuck with lavender.  I would go with women's preferences on this one. 

For tearing I used a blend of lavender and helichrysum on wet warm compresses.  She didn't tear and the compresses aided with her comfort.  I will keep using these oils as both lavender and helichrysum aid in wound healing.  Until I see more research showing that it doesn't help, I'll probably make this a mainstay. Plus, the warm compresses are immensely comforting during the pushing stage.

And just to put a plug in for myself:)  I sell these oils through doterra.  You can click on the link at the top if you are interested.  I also sell smaller bottles for those who are just wanting to experiment, but not put a whole lot of money into it.  Just e-mail me if you are interested.

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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.