essential oils

Essential Oils During Labor

Many of my clients are really "into" oils, but even those who are not have usually heard of the benefits of using essential oils during sickness or for relaxation. Labor, while obviously not a "sickness" is a time of great physiological changes as well as possible emotional and mental strains, so essential oils can definitely shine when used during a mama's birth time. 

Obviously, some essential oils won't appeal to everyone, so I highly suggest smelling these oils BEFORE you are in labor. During my prenatal appointments with my clients, I always bring my oils for them to sniff to make sure they aren't turned off by any. And then, during labor, before I start massaging or widely applying any oil, I have the mama smell again, just to make double sure that this oil I'm about to put on her doesn't make her gag or have any sort of ill reaction.

So, which ones should you use? Here's my list of tried and true essential oils for labor, that are safe during pregnancy.



These are best if inhaled through diffusion or even on a cotton pad held under the nose.

  • Peppermint [avoid after 8cm]
  • Lemon
  • Rosewood


The labor partner or doula can give a massage using the following oils in a a carrier oil to help relieve back pain:

  • Peppermint [avoid after 8 cm[
  • Lavender


Inhale, massage over uterus, and/or dab on ankle acupressure points to help encourage contractions. [These oils are NOT for use during pregnancy, unless the mother is in active labor, as they do encourage contractions.]

  • Clary Sage
  • Myrrh
  • Jasmine


Use in a massage or diffusion for relaxation and to ease fears:

  • Ylang Ylang
  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Chamomile


Massage over uterus or soak warm clothes in water and oil and apply over uterus:

  • Lavender
  • Frankincense

Do you have any favorite oils to use during labor? If so, comment and let me know!

Your East Tennessee Doula,

Knoxville Doula, Chattanooga Doula, Cleveland Doula, East Tennessee Doula, Maryville Doula