Pregnancy and birth are a joyful experience, but mommas need to remember that self-care is a top priority. In those first six weeks after you welcome your tiny bundle of joy into the world, your body needs extra support to deal with the sleep deprivation and other stressors associated with motherhood. It is perfectly acceptable to take time to care for yourself and your precious baby. One is not mutually exclusive from the other and placing a priority on recharging your own battery is not selfish. It is the hallmark of a great mom.
Essential oils can play a helpful role in administering self-care following birth. In this post, we will discuss the essential oils that are the most useful postpartum. While we are happy to offer our thoughts on essential oil must-haves for postpartum recovery and care, it is always best to conduct your own research and consult with your obstetrician or other healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or using essential oils.
Postpartum Care Vital to Mom’s Health
Adjusting to motherhood can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time moms. Dealing with a lack of sleep while caring for baby round the clock, combined with the physical after-effects of labor and delivery, is a lot to handle. Proper postpartum care plays a crucial role in the physical and mental health and well-being of moms.
A recent clinical study compared one group of women who received comprehensive postpartum home care and another that did not receive the same level of care. The moms who benefited from follow-up care and support in their homes in the 60 days following birth showed a reduction in physical and emotional issues frequently associated with the postpartum period, including postpartum depression and lumbar pain.
Moms, it is OK to take time to rest, eat healthy meals, and exercise. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, or other trusted friends and family members during the postpartum period. We all need help now and again, and knowing when to seek help does not make you a bad momma. It makes you a wise one.
Essential Oils’ Role in Self Care
Essential oils have many uses and applications, including some relating to postpartum care. We have created a handy list of the top 4 essential oils and their possible uses as part of a postpartum self-care routine for moms.
- ClaraDerm™ Spray
Let’s be real about it, ladies. Giving birth is hard on our bodies and can leave us feeling more than a bit sore and broken. Claraderm spray is great for soothing our sore lady parts. It includes a blend of Lavender, Frankincense, and other essential oils. It is especially helpful for women who required an episiotomy during delivery. Just spray it down there several times a day for the best results.
- Fennel, Basil, and Clary Sage Essential Oils
Breastfeeding mommas can experience a little more anxiety and stress than their bottle-feeding counterparts, especially if they are not producing enough milk supply or are having complications like sore or infected breasts. Adding a few drops of Fennel, Basil, and Clary Sage essential oils to a roller bottle and applying directly to the breasts around the lymph area can help. Just add 10 drops of each to a 10ml bottle and fill with a carrier oil. Make sure to only apply it to the lymph area and never directly to the nipple and avoid applying it before you breastfeed. The best time for application is immediately after a breastfeeding session with baby.
- Ningxia Red
Adding a daily shot of NingXia Red® to your diet is a great way to benefit from the power of antioxidants. Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants is not only important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, but it also plays a role in helping to stave off postpartum depression. Antioxidants also boost the immune system, helping to keep mom healthy during those crucial first days at home with the baby. NingXia Red supports energy levels, which is important for mommas suffering from sleep deprivation due to round-the-clock care of their newborns.
- Immune System Support
In addition to NingXia Red, mommas may find it helpful to incorporate some other supplements into their postpartum diets that support a healthy immune system. Some suggestions from the Young Living Essential Oils line of products we recommend:
– Super B includes all eight B vitamins critical to our health and well-being. Our bodies do not store B vitamins, so they need to be replenished daily.
– Inner Defense is designed to promote healthy respiratory functioning.
– Life 9 combines 17 billion live cultures into one high-potency probiotic formula and can help encourage and maintain normal intestinal function.
– MultiGreen works with the glandular, nervous, and circulatory systems and helps support vitality.
– Super C comes in regular and chewable tablets and contains. Vitamin C is crucial to a normal immune and circulatory system.
Newborns are amazing creatures. With their newborn baby smells and crinkly-skin, their cuteness factor is off the charts. Mommas can – and should – take full advantage of their friends and family members’ preoccupation with the tiny bundle of adorability to indulge in some self-care. So hand off that baby and go sneak some you time as often as possible!
One of our favorite ways to unwind comes from the Oil + Glass essential oil recipe book and is super easy to make and use. You will need the following to create your own Mamma Calm Roller:
- 15 drops Stress Away essential oil
- 10 drops each of Lavender, Patchouli, and Frankincense essential oils
- 5 Drops Valor essential oil
- 5 Drops White Angelica essential oil
- Carrier oil
- 10ml roller bottle
Add all of the ingredients into the 10ml roller bottle and fill with a carrier oil. Use as needed throughout the day to refresh yourself and provide a feeling of calm.
Another great way to pamper yourself is by adding a few drops of Lavender in your hair during breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. It can help keep you and your precious bundle of joy happy and relaxed, which is beneficial for proper digestion.
Sleep, Precious Sleep
It is hardly news to moms – especially new moms – that they do not get enough sleep. Within the first 18 months postpartum, it is not uncommon for mothers to lose an average of 109 minutes of sleep each night. Babies require round-the-clock attention and care resulting in moms being on-call 24/7.
While it is true that your sweet little fussy bear will eventually sleep through the night, that is not much consolation when you are walking around like a zombie from lack of sleep.
One of the things we recommend to all new moms is to follow the age-old advice of sleeping when the baby sleeps. Yes, it may be tempting to wash all the bottles or throw in a load of laundry while the baby is snoozing, but taking care of yourself is far more important than any chores. If you find yourself unable to relax long enough to fall asleep, consider putting a little Lavender or Jasmine on your wrist or pillow. There is more than one study supporting the benefit of certain essential oils for improving relaxation and sleep.
Tips for Nursing Mommas
Breastfeeding mommas have some extra care instructions for essential oil use. Always dilute when using on baby and only use oils that are baby-safe. A great resource to use when finding out what oils are gentle enough for use on your precious babe is “Gentle Babies” by Debra Raybern.
When nursing, some oils should be avoided. They include:
- Blue Cypress
- Deep Relief
Essential oils that are safe for use with baby and deemed beneficial by Raybern include Chamomile, Lemon, and Eucalyptus.
Dealing with clogged ducts or breast engorgement? Lavender essential oil, when diluted 1 drop to 4 tablespoons of carrier oil, can be gently massaged into the breast area but never directly on the nipple. It is best to apply the mixture immediately following a feeding. Be sure to wash the oil off before nursing baby again to avoid accidental ingestion.
The Bottom Line
Being a mom is hard work, ladies. It does not matter whether it is your first time or your fourth time. Please do not be hard on yourselves! Love yourselves, love your babies, and most of all, enjoy this time with your precious ones because they grow up fast!
Want to learn more about the joys of essential oils at any stage in your life? Get exclusive access to our OILY Education and Resource guides when you become an On Call Essentials member.