Therapeutic grade essential oils are an excellent natural support system for both new baby and mama. I wish I had the opportunity to experience their benefits 20 plus years ago when I was having my babies. But now my babies are having babies, and together we’ve done a lot of research on the most effective oils to help speed the mother’s recovery and boost the baby’s immune system. My oldest daughter gave birth two weeks ago. This is her second child, and the first was delivered via emergency cesarean section, so she opted to have a cesarean section the second time around as well. Our newest addition decided to arrive 3 weeks early, which preempted this post. We were originally planning to post before his arrival, but as they say – life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans.
Needless to say, the last few months have been spent researching and pooling our essential oils so she could be well prepared for the hospital and also once home for hormonal, pain, lactation support and whatever else comes up. Here’s what we put together:
- Gentle Baby: She’s been putting several drops on her belly throughout her pregnancy to promote skin elasticity and to also encourage bonding with the baby. This extremely soothing essential oil blend contains Rosewood, Geranium, Palmarosa, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Jasmine, Bergamot and Rose. Another benefit of this blend is that it helps balance the emotions so don’t be deceived by the name because it’s not just for babies.
- Stress Away : This was invaluable to calm any anxiety, both for her and her hubby. Stress Away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Ocatea, Lavender and Vanilla, which is not an essential oil but an essence. Just a swipe to the back of the neck and inside the wrists did the trick.
- Joy: This was diffused throughout pregnancy and beyond, as well as a drop over the heart center. A lovely blend that not only promotes bonding, but love and an open heart as well. Contained in this blend is Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose.
- Helichrysum: This single oil was invaluable on the cesarean section incision to heal tissue trauma and stop minor bleeding. A few drops directly on the incision from day one not only expedited healing but also relieved pain. You can continue with this for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Frankincense: I placed a drop in the palm of my hand and rubbed this on my newborn grandson’s feet within hours of birth as an immunity booster. This oil affects emotional balance, the immune system, the nervous system and the skin. My daughter also used it on the incision for healing
- Lavender: Well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, she is using it on the incision to reduce scarring and now that the stitches are dissolving, this helps with the itching.
- Peppermint: While she did use this in her first trimester to help with nausea (just a whiff out of the bottle would keep that at bay) and heart burn (a drop on the chest and the burn was gone within minutes), it actually also helps to relieve the bladder after child birth. A drop in the toilet promotes urination.
- Cistus: Helps to contract and strengthen the uterus. This works well regardless of method of delivery, but she found there was a significant difference in this recovery versus her first c-section. Apply 1 to 2 drops on the lower abdomen once per day for 10 to 14 days after delivery.
- Myrrh: This was applied directly on the baby’s umbilical cord, just a drop, for about 5 days to promote healing.
- Deep Relief: Often during a C-section the body reacts to the anesthesia by shaking uncontrollably, which can be a common side effect. Anyone that has experienced this knows the toll that it can take on your muscles. Deep Relief is a roll on blend containing Peppermint, Lemon, Idaho Balsam Fir, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Vetiver, and Palo Santo. She applied this to her neck and shoulders to relieve muscle knots and tension. This was also used during pregnancy for headache relief.
- Fennel: This is to increase milk production. You can apply it two different ways, directly to the breast (avoiding the nipple area) or two drops under the tongue. If you really can’t deal with the taste, you put the drops in a teaspoon of honey and ingest. She noticed an increase in her milk supply within hours of application. Word of caution, you should never use Fennel for more than 10 consecutive days. I would advise 10 days on and 2 weeks off.
- Melrose: If you’re planning on nursing or pumping you may experience milk duct clogs/mastitis. If you feel this occurring you can put a drop or two where you feel the clog and then apply a warm compress to drive the oil in. You can repeat as often as needed. Melrose is a blend containing Rosemary, Melaleuca, Clove, and Niaouli.
- Geranium: Occasionally you may find once the umbilical cord falls off, there may be minor bleeding in the area. A drop of Geranium will stop any bleeding.
- Ningxia Red: I can’t say enough good things about this drink. It is packed with antioxidants, improves cellular function, and gives energy support. Simply put, it is a nutrient dense formula for overall health and wellness. An ounce or two a day, whether you’re pregnant, young, or old, in other words it’s for everyone.
There are so many more oils that can help support a woman during child birth, whether the delivery is via C-section or natural. We’ve only highlighted those specific to my daughter’s recovery. A great resource for pregnancy, birth, infants and young children is the book Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern. Our little man is doing great at two weeks old and mama has physically had a better recovery than she ever thought possible.