Ways to support women who are unable to have their birth partners with them during labour
If a woman is unable to have her birth partner for support during childbirth, for any reason, it can at the very least put her on the back foot, we feel for women in this situation, simple and effective aromatherapy can help. The least faff is to simply utilise the aroma of essential oils, influencing mood, hormonal and biochemical production, bringing body and mind back into homeostasis.
Use just one drop of an essential oil on cottonwool or a tissue and tuck into clothing so it can be smelt whenever. If the aroma is not liked the rule of thumb is don’t use it.
Lavender Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera or Lavandula alternifolia This essential oil’s clean accessible aroma may support calm, relaxation and can be helpful after a shock or difficult news.
Frankincense Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacra is used for meditation and can help calm frightened or fast breathing and it’s also lovely to use alongside Hypnobithing techniques.
Peppermint tea or Peppermint essential oil Mentha piperita or both can be used to help reduce nausea. It’s a really strong aroma so be careful you don’t use more than the recommended 1 drop. Peppermint essential oil is also contraindicated for those with heart conditions or with G6PD.
Lavender hydrosol spritz
A hydrosol is a by-product of essential oil distillation and is gentler than essential oil. It is water-based and contains the therapeutic water-soluble parts of the distilled plant. Lavender hydosol is wonderful in a spray bottle. Unlike essential oils it is safe around the eyes.
A Lavender hydrosol spritz is cooling and refreshing during the heat of labour and especially useful to cool the face and shoulders if the woman is using a birthing pool.
This article on the Birthrights website has clear information on how Coronavirus affects rights to maternity care in the UK and was updated January 12th 2021.