I discovered therapeutic grade essential oils when my second daughter was about 5 months old. Honestly, I was just looking to get out of the house, desperate for a break. I attended a few classes at a friend's home and immediately knew these oils were something I wanted to have at my fingertips! In fact, I wish I had found these oils much sooner.
Although I had a relatively healthy, uncomplicated second pregnancy, my body was still 5 years older than when I had my first daughter. During the final months I had a pretty painful, inflamed SI joint. I was tired all the time. Although blessed with a positive, natural birth, our lives were quickly challenged with a colicky baby who cried, what seemed like, all the time. Eventually I went on an intense elimination diet (no gluten, dairy, corn, soy, etc.) which did help her digestion and therefore overall temperament. We were okay but it wasn't easy. In fact, most days felt really hard as my nursing hormones fluctuated, I was hungry all the time and running on a pretty empty tank. Of course I tried to prioritize my basic needs of good nutrition, gentle exercise, etc. but those things often felt like extra work too. Knowing what I know now about the infinite ways essential oils can support new mothers and how incredibly easy they are to use I think they could have been a game changer for me as a new mother and us as a family in transition. At least I can share what I've learned with new and expecting mothers - if you know someone who is going to have a baby I happen to think a collection of therapeutic grade essential oils make the perfect gift too!
Here are some of my top tips on using essential oils as simple, safe support for the postpartum year. Please note, I am referring to doTERRA essential oils which are CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) and, therefore, generally safe for topical, aromatic and internal use even while nursing and healing from birth.
LAVENDER- use lavender on pulse points, bottoms of feet, back of neck to relax and rest. I diffuse lavender with vetiver or cedarwood to help fall back asleep especially when waking up multiple times at night. Lavender can also be used in relaxing bath to de-stress. Lavender is gentle enough to use diluted on babe as well for baby massage, earaches, teething, diaper rash. Ask your partner to massage your back and tight nursing shoulders with lavender + massage oil as a simple way to connect when you are both tired. Or just lather yourself all over with lavender-infused massage oil after taking hot shower any chance you get!
FRANKINCENSE- a beautifully grounding oil, like balm for your fragile spirit post-birth. In fact, people use frankincense to anoint new babies on forehead once they have arrive earthside. For mom, use frankincense to calm frazzled nervous on third eye, along spine or pulse points. Frankincense also is also rejuvenating on cellular level so it is an excellent oil to massage into stretch marks or for healing scar tissue and skin repair. Massage into c-section scar or just over womb space along with lavender in a massage cream, oil or lotion. It's pretty easy to make a homemade postpartum perineum spray for tender tissues “down there”. Finally, along with drinking plenty of water, you can apply frankincense to temples or scalp to relieve stress headaches.
DIGESTZen Blend- Mom's digestion as well as baby's can be quite sluggish after labor. In the first few days, women are often given laxatives to help get things moving which is fine. However, poor digestion can also linger as moms' “rest & digest” nervous system is strained waking up at night or managing diverse needs during the day. DigestZen blend contains oils of peppermint, fennel, ginger, caraway, coriander to keep healthy digestion moving along. Massage directly onto abdomen for mom or place a drop under tongue when feeling any bloating or belly discomfort. Dilute 1 drop with tbsp carrier oil for baby or children.
CITRUS OILS- Lemon, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot or CitrusBliss blend. Citus oils are cleansing & energizing. Great to diffuse during the day in the kitchen for energy boost or even just rub a drop or two in your palms, hold up to your nose and take a few deep breaths....reset.
PEACE & SERENITY blends- these are 2 of my all time favorite blends to help me decompress, feel more at ease, trust that things okay and support a restful sleep. Peace blend is part of doTERRA's Emotional Aromatherapy system and is a combination of oils from the flower (ylang ylang, lavender) and mint (clary sage, marjoram, spearmint) as well as earthy frankincense & vetiver. It smells divine and helps release feelings of overwhelm. Serenity blend can sooth tension, relieve restlessness & calm irritability- includes oils (lavender, roman chamomile, vetiver, ylang ylang, cedarwood, marjoram & hawaiian sandalwood). Diffuse at bedtime to help shift gears or wear like a parfume on wrists, back of neck and over heart to stay centered during the day or to make a subtle suggestion while holding a cranky baby!
CLARY SAGE or CLARY CALM- known as the “woman's oil”, clary sage is an herb that has been used to support uterine and hormonal health for hundreds of years. Clary sage is known to soothe nerves & emotions during times of stress. It can be used to support milk supply and yet it also has a cooling energetic which can relieve hot flashes in nursing women. It is thought to produce feelings of equanimity & tranquility which are rare states during first year of motherhood! doTERRA also has created one of my personal all-time favorite blends which I used as my menstrual cycle started to return after having my daughters and I continue to apply this blend over my low abdomen and back of neck each month to calm waves of PMS. I would marry this oil if I could and can't recommend it to new mothers strongly enough!
These are just a few of my go-to oils that helped me get through that beautiful but messy and exhausting first year of motherhood. I still use all of these oils on a daily basis so they are well worth the investment and it feels both reassuring and empowering to have natural, effective solutions at my fingertips, day and night for the whole family. Feel free to reach out and message me to learn more about how essential oils can support your journey into motherhood so you can feel "like yourself again" sooner than later.