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Essential Oils in Birth: Lavender

Kaelie Harris • Doula • Huntsville, AL

Lavender is my all time favorite essential oil because of its calming and relaxing properties. Lavender's botanical name is Lavandula Angustifolia and is derived from the flower of the plant. 

Lavender can be extremely helpful in birth for many reasons. It can help with fear and anxiety, helping the mother recenter and refocus. It can help calm her mind and help her to focus on her birth. It can help to induce sleep and rest when needed during the birth process. Lavender can also help with nausea. It can also be used as an anti inflammatory and can help reduce pain related to inflammation. 

Lavender also has tonic properties, which promotes feelings of happiness and wellbeing. These feelings are helpful in labor, which can be an uncertain or scary time for some reason. Because of this, it is helpful for the birth partner as well. 

This oil blends well with other oils, and when blended with ginger it can be hugely helpful for nausea and vomiting. 

Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, so most people are already familiar with this oil and associate it with a relaxing and calm atmosphere. I personally use this oil all of the time to help me unwind and decompress after a long day. 

Lavender can cause an allergy, so if using this oil in pregnancy or birth you would want to have allergen testing beforehand. If applying topically, make sure this oil is well diluted (no more than 2% dilution). This is a great oil to use aromatically with a personal inhaler. You may want to avoid using this oil in a diffuser because it can cause allergy in some people. 

Always check with your care provider before using any medications- including essential oils- during pregnancy, postpartum, or for baby. Sources:

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