Ok, I am sure that I am being an optimist here... BUT anyone got any "pre-mixed" massage oil suggestions (don't want to be worrying about mixing base oils with essential oils) for use during labour (ok, I know... it is going to stay in the labour bag and not get used... ).
Was looking at what Boots stock and they have a few Botanics and Cowshed Oils... hard to know what to choose though...
At my planned labour ward they offer these as part of their aromatheraphy in labour for pain relief. As well as TENS machines etc but not sure if this is the exception to the rule or not. NCT classes informed me that the oxfordshire trust did a large study (over 8 years) into the use of aromatheraphy in labour and it had such amazing results - 30% decrease in the need for opiate drugs for pain relief - mephid or pethadine made from opiam (that's alot of money to them!) that they've included it as part of the 'kit' for all midwives in oxfordshire.
The oils that were used included, Lavender, Frankincense, Rose, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lemon, Mandarin and Clarysage. The methods of delivery used were massage, added to baths and footbaths and then as drops on the forehead and palms of the hand.
May be worth looking into where you plan to give birth and what's available there... save you room in your bag and the expense. And knowing what's available is a huge bonus in managing your own labour - knoweledge is power ladies!
PS - Have heard from friends that clarysage although it's not the lovelist smelling (it's pretty horrid actually!) has amazing properties to speed up contractions and move labour along faster. So i'll be trying that out if things are going slow!!
Just found this that may help:
Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) is a versatile oil which can be emotionally calming, sedating, relaxing in labour. It can help regulate contractions and is also a good antiseptic. (Some manufacturers recommend that you do not use lavender during pregnancy)
Clary sage (Salva sclarea) can help ease stress and tension and make contractions more efficient. It is an anti-spasmodic oil so can relieve cramp.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is cooling and refreshing. Useful in relieving headache, nausea and vomiting.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) has many of the same properties as peppermint and mixing the two is often very effective particularly for headaches. Alone it can help relieve nasal congestion and is an effective antiseptic.
Camomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is an anti-inflammatory. It can calm and soothe the emotions.
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) is useful in cases of hyperventilation as it slows and deepens breathing. It can calm anxiety and is useful for asthmatics.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is a potent antidepressant and relaxant.
Rose (Rosa damascena) is also an antidepressant and calming for frayed nerves.
Lemon (Citrus limon) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata) are refreshing, uplifting, and cooling they can be mixed with other oils to enhance their effect.
oh i'd really like to know the answer to this too. i've just packed a mini johnsons baby oil in my bag but thinking about it, if i'm going to get my partner to massage me it may as well be with an oil that could help with pain relief and speeding up contractions.
Particularly love the explanation of the properties of the different oils
Have looked at my hospital website and:
Aromatherapy & Massage
Most of our midwives are trained in the use of massage and aromatherapy which helps support and encourage you to flow with your labour, this helps you to relax and reduces fear and pain.
I will clarify with them about this at my next midwife appointment (a week on Monday) and see what they offer and whether they have a good supply of oils. You are right - if I don't HAVE to pack my own, then it might be a good thing. Although saying that, it might be nice to have some for home use...
Just wanted to let ladies in on something they were discussing in my antenatal class that I hadn't thought of when it comes to massage oils...
If you plan on using the birth pool for labouring and/or birth, keep in mind that using massage oils with this is likely to make your skin really slippery and to make sure you keep this in mind when tryign to stand up/move positions etc as with your centre of gravity off balance, painful contractions, the last thing you need is someone trying to hold you up or steady and you slipping over cause you've got massage oil over wet skin.
Something I hadn't even thought about but makes a lot of sense!
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