Aromatherapy and Childbirth: A Natural Combination


Mothers-to-be delivering at the St. Elizabeth Family Birth Place will be pleased to find a new holistic service offered during their labor and delivery: Aromatherapy.

“Aromatherapy is a wonderful option for patients during their labor, delivery and postpartum,” says Jocelyn Laake, assistant nurse manager of the St. Elizabeth Labor and Delivery department. “It can be used along with traditional medicine or as a stand-alone option for natural birth patients.”

Research has shown that using essential oils can help to ease some of the symptoms of labor and delivery, including:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea or upset stomach

Essential oils can also be used to enhance contractions as an alternative to Pitocin.

“Our team wanted to give our patients alternative options when it comes to symptom management,” says Jocelyn. “Essential oils are one way we can help our mothers have control of their labor and their experience.”

Stephanie Dunn and Katlyn Devereux, both RNs at St. Elizabeth, are helping to spearhead the new essential oil curriculum at the Family Birth Place. Both nurses will soon become Clinical Aromatherapist RNs and are working to train the Family Birth Place and Postpartum nurses to incorporate essential oils into both natural childbirth classes and postpartum care.

Aromatherapy: Is it Safe?

As always, patient safety and education are a top priority for St. Elizabeth. The oils used are proven safe for prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum mothers.

“All of the oils on our menu are certified 100% pure therapeutic essential oils,” says Jocelyn. “We have a binder for each oil that gives us the exact breakdown of that oil, including any safety or allergy issues, as well as the recommended usages for labor such as inhalation, foot bath or massage.”

The Aromatherapist RNs walk patients through the oil menu and help them choose oils that can help to relieve symptoms or provide comfort. Mothers-to-be can create a customized spritzer with their chosen essential oils which is theirs to keep.

The oils menu includes:

  • Clary Sage
  • Frankincense
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Rose

“Our goal is always to have the entire family involved in the birth experience,” says Jocelyn. “This is a stepping stone for our natural childbirth community and an opportunity for all family members to get involved in the birth experience.”

For more information about the aromatherapy options offered at the Family Birth Place, please call the Baby Line at (859) 301-2229 or visit us online.