Now I've made no secret of the fact that two of my passions are working with postpartum women, and essential oils!
So, I thought it was time to bring my two loves together and share with you my favourite essential oils for supporting the postpartum period. I personally didn't get the oils in my life until my youngest was 8 months, and their effect on my mood and life was nothing short of amazing. If only I'd had them in my life sooner! So following a tonne of research personal experience with these blends (I can attest to how supportive they are) - I want to share them with you all.
My top oil blends for supporting the postpartum period:
After birth bleeding - Create a blend of Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum in some fractionated coconut oil, and massage into the reflex points on the ankles. Do this a few times each day. Helichrysum is wonderful for revitalising the skin.
Perineal healing - Have you heard about using a spray or squirt bottle to soothe and clean this area when toiling following birth? You can actually help support the skin's own healing processes simply by adding Lavender, Frankincense & Helichrysum, diluted with some fractionated coconut oil & distilled water, into either the squirt or spray bottle. Spray the area a few times daily. Both Lavender and Frankincense are soothing and support skin.
Pain & inflammation (down there!) - You may have heard of the 'pad popsicle', where you wet and freeze a sanitary pad to place into your underpants to soothe your lady garden. Well, you can pimp that popsicle by adding 3 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense.
Haemmorhoids / Varicose veins - Make up a spray bottle with distilled water, a few drops of fractionated coconut oil and Cypress, Geranium, Clary Sage & Helichrysum. Shake bottle before use and spray the area each time you use the bathroom.
Sore / cracked nipples - this is an issue every new breastfeeding mother will deal with at some stage. Helichrysum, Myrrh & Lavender, diluted with fractionated coconut oil and applied to the nipple between feeds will promote healing and provide some relief. Just be sure to wipe it off before your next feed with more fractionated coconut oil.
Blocked ducts - Unfortunately blocked ducts were a constant for me in my breastfeeding journey. I found Lavender & Frankincense diluted with coconut oil, applied to the area and (very) softly massaged toward the nipple gave so much relief. I believe for me the blocks cleared faster when I used this combination of essential oils vs. moisturiser alone.
Lactation - to increase supply - I used fennel, basil, clary sage and geranium, diluted in fractionated coconut oil & some warm water, then applied to the breasts using a washcloth (avoiding the nipple) really supported me during this time. Heat / warmth is said to help promote supply and you will find fennel in many of the breastfeeding teas.
Lactation - to decrease supply - Use 4 drops of peppermint oil with a small amount of fractionated coconut oil, added to cold water and applied with a washcloth. Peppermint is believed to reduce milk supply, and combining this with cold waters should theoretically help to reduce supply (I didn't try this myself as this was never an issue of mine!).
Mood support - This can vary from person to person (depending on how they are feeling), but I loved Balance, Will Orange and Frankincense to support my mood when I felt stressed, anxious, down and frazzled.....so I still use it a lot! I actually make up a roller bottle of this for all my friends that become mum's.
To support restful sleep - Lavender Peace and Vetiver. Vetiver is sleep magic, and the oil that I first fell in love with. After 3 hours of broken sleep for 8 months after having my daughter, 2 nights of using this oil in the diffuser each night and both kids were sleeping through. I also love to use it when I'm feeling really anxious or stressed.
If you would like to learn more about how the oils can support you or someone you love, book a wellness consultation with me. It usually takes about 30 minutes and I point you in the direction of the best oils for your situation. The consult can be in-person or via Skype.
*Fractionated coconut oil has had the long-chain fatty acids removed via hydrolysis, meaning the oil remains a liquid and does not solidify at room temperature. The process also extends the oils shelf life.