Essential Oils in Birth: Roman Chamomile
Kaelie Harris • Doula • Huntsville, AL
Roman Chamomile is used for its calming properties, both mentally and physically. It is widely used to treat anxiety and irritability as well as skin inflammation and arthritis. It is made from the flower of the Anthemis nobilis / Chamaemelum nobile plant and has a bright, crisp aroma. Experts agree, when properly diluted, this oil is very safe for children, even infants. Roman chamomile is comprised mainly of esters, which give the oil its soothing properties. Oils containing esters are generally calming, cooling and anti inflammatory. This oil can benefit many ailments, including PMS symptoms, colic in babies, irritable bowel, stress responses, respiratory illnesses, and many more.
Because of the calming properties of Roman Chamomile, I see a huge benefit in it for laboring women. This is a great oil to use during transition, which is a time that many women can panic or feel like they are not grounded. Inhalation of this oil can help them find a calm place in that time that can be stressful. Roman Chamomile could also be beneficial in taking the edge off of difficult contractions with its soothing properties.
This oil can also be extremely beneficial for the birth partner. As a doula, I have seen high stress in the partner of the birthing woman, as it can be scary to see your loved one going through labor and not knowing what to do to help. Roman Chamomile can help the partner calm down and recenter, so that he or she could be a greater help to the mother during labor.
It is also beneficial in both pre and post partum periods. During pregnancy, Roman Chamomile can help with insomnia, possibly also for Braxton Hicks contractions. Postpartum, it could be helpful for the stress that comes with new motherhood, postpartum anxiety and as a remedy for a baby dealing with irritability or colic. While information regarding essential oil use varies, the general consensus on using Roman Chamomile during pregnancy is that as long as it is properly diluted and not ingested, it is safe for use.
Always check with your care provider before using any medications- including essential oils- during pregnancy, postpartum, or for baby.