Essential Oils Practices for Labor - Everyday Essentials

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essential oils and pregnancy

Essential Oils Practices for Labor


Using essential oils during labor is a very personal decision. There are so many factors that effect what will happen during this time, even if you have had children previously, each experience is unique. During the labor process your sense of smell is heightened and things that you thought would help calm you could now be irritating. If you are considering using essential oils during labor, you’ll want to give yourself several options in order to not be limited by the choices you’ve made prior to being in labor. If you are currently pregnant and looking for tools for your labor, check out our Pregnancy and Nursing Chart.

doctor and pregnant woman

A few good ideas during labor are:

  1. The use of an aromatherapy inhaler. If the scent is overwhelming, it can be easily capped and removed so the scent doesn’t become an issue. Use a total of 10-15 drops on the cotton wick for each inhaler.
  2. Massage oil for your birth partner or coach to rub your feet, back and shoulders during the initial stages of labor. If you choose not to use your massage blend during labor – you can always use it later. Keep the dilution low, 1% or up to 9 drops total essential oils to 1 ounce of carrier.
  3. Use a room mist, that creates a calm & positive environment with a few spritzes of scent. This will dissipate quickly so it isn’t overwhelming. Spritz your bed linens or the air in your birthing suite.

essential oil bottle surrounded by white flowers

When making your choices for your labor kit, you want to choose oils that are uplifting, reassuring, calming and have a scent you enjoy. Here are a few essential oils that you may choose during labor:

Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. You must choose essential oils that are soothing to you and will fit into your birth plan! You can’t allow yourself to feel badly, either, if you don’t end up using your essential oils. Things happen, and labor & birth aren’t a time to second guess yourself. Allow your instincts to take over – this is what our bodies were made to do! Check with your birthing center or hospital if you have plans to bring your diffuser, some may have rules regarding items like this. Having a plan can reduce anxiety and give you a greater sense of control during your labor! May your birth experience be a positive one with lots of love!

Mama’s Favorite Massage Blend

Only for use during labor, as clary sage can stimulate uterine contractions.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Massage on areas of concern.

Stay Focused Room Mist

Only for use during labor, as clary sage can stimulate uterine contractions.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Combine all ingredients. Stir or shake into a mist spray bottle until well combined.

Positive Room Mist

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Combine all ingredients. Stir or shake into a mist spray bottle until well combined.

Allow the oils to “marry” with the witch hazel. This is a great project as you pack your bag. It only takes a few days to blend together nicely. Shake well before each spritz!

If you have any questions, concerns or want to know more please contact us at [email protected] or come on over and join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.


25 thoughts on “Essential Oils Practices for Labor”

  • I have used Marjoram with a carrier oil straight on the belly to help with labor pain. And thing else that you know might help with pain?

    1. Hello! You would only want to make sure to use pregnancy and nursing safe oils, but black pepper and Frankincense Carterii may help.

  • Please also keep in mind that labor inducing oils like clary sage, should only be used in a personal inhaler unless in your own home, as you never know if someone nearby might be trying to prevent early labor or your Midwife might be in early pregnancy themselves. Having labor promoting oils in the air might cause complications for others.

    1. Absolutely, Sierra! Actually, the essential oils mentioned in this post blend lovely together. If you want a diffuser blend, try 3 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Chamomile Roman, and 2 drops of Orange Sweet. Using an aromatherapy inhaler may even be better, as it is considerably more convenient! You can add one of the suggested oils onto your inhaler wick, or make your own blend ~ whatever you love best! Pregnancy can sure mess with your smeller, so you may have to experiment a bit to find the aroma that is perfect for you 🙂

  • In 2017, I gave birth and brought essential oils to inhale. In the hospital, one of the midwives said to avoid lavender as she had been reading about how lavender’s relaxing properties can prolong labor by relaxing muscles that need to be working hard on contracting. Is there scientific research information on this one way or the other? A blend I hoped to use, I ended up not using due to this recommendation, but if I give birth again or for other mothers, I think this would be helpful if clarified. I also know and understand that the midwife was not a certified aromatherapist, and my birth experience was still amazing without lavender, so no hard feelings there.

      1. Thanks! To help empower other mothers and mothers-to-be to understand their essential oil options and advocate for themselves if they are concerned about what is being suggested, here is what one of the aromatherapists sent to me:

        “I know of no studies that indicate that lavender could prolong labor. Many birth professionals suggest lavender for use during labor. As referenced in the American Journal of Nursing Science. Vol. 5, No. 2, 2016, pp. 37-44. doi: 10.11648/j.ajns.20160502.11, the use of lavender essential oil during labor has been shown to decrease discomfort and anxiety during labor.

        You can read more about this study here:

        Please listen carefully to your health professional’s advice, because they may have a very good reason for your uniquely specific health needs to avoid lavender, but at least you will be able to have an educated conversation with the information presented here.

        From personal experience, I would also recommend having multiple essential oil options for yourself in labor, not just because what smells nice now may not be nice during labor, but also because of instances like this when your medical professional support team may advise against certain oils.

  • In regards to the Mama’s Favorite Massage Blend, what could you substitute for Vanilla since its such a rare/expensive oil? Or would you just leave it out?

  • I love the spray mist idea, especially to put on the linen in the birthing suite – I’m going to do that for sure!

    1. Thanks for asking Heather. The massage oil would have a shelf life equal to whatever carrier oil you use. Most have a 1 year shelf life if stored properly but this can vary. The room spray would have the same shelf life as the witch hazel you plan on using. One that contains alcohol will certainly last longer. I hope this helps!

    1. Yes, Cydney I am sure that would be useful! 🙂 Always consult with your midwife or physician before incorporating natural alternatives into your labor, birth and postpartum routine!

  • Hi! Thanks for this! Especially the pregnancy chart. Can I switch the witch hazel with a carrier oil and make it into massage oil? i dont have vetiver or vanilla for mama’s massage blend =/

    1. A massage blend would be nice. Be aware of how your sense can change during labor & you may no longer want to smell the scent. I advise using items that can be removed from the space – so if you do become opposed to them they don’t have to linger! 😉

      1. Hi Christina. Thanks for replying. I changed my mind bout the massage blend. Its actually for my SIL and i think she’ll be extra sensitive to smell in labour. Im making her a clary sage massage w almond oil in a 10ml roller bottle. Would 2% be too much for her? And also equip her with peppermint for focus and maybe orange too? Thats just for the smell tho not massage.

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