Essential oils for Labor & Delivery

The best thing you can do for your body during labor and delivery is to relax and remain calm.  It can be difficult to do that when you are working hard to bring your baby into the world, so essential oils can be a huge asset to your birth plan to help you labor naturally! 

You certainly need to be educated and know which oils are safe to use and how to use them-which is why you are probably here! Welcome! First of all, I’m very picky about the quality of the oils I use. Young Living has a rigorous standard called Seed to Seal ensuring that their essential oils are 100% pure therapeutic grade.  I would not be using them on my body or my baby otherwise. Why? Because I want to know that the essential oils I’m using are not adulterated with other synthetic ingredients. I have learned that not all essential oils are created equal.

Essential oils used for labor and delivery are different from the ones you use during pregnancy because they specifically support the uterus! The information below has been gathered from multiple sources of EO safety as well as women who have experienced their benefits in their own labors.

* Parts of this list have been adapted from Common Scents Mom

Clary Sageeoslabor2

Clary Sage is used in the last weeks of pregnancy and in labor ONLYIt is a powerful essential oil that supports the respiratory, muscular and uterine body systems. You can use alone, or, together with other oils mentioned below.

Inhale: Put 2-3 drops onto a few cotton balls and put near the bed OR birthing area.

Topical: Dilute in fractionated coconut oil and rub onto the skin. Put a drop or two on each on your ankles to encourage a healthy labor. Some women find the scent of this oil helps to distract them during contractions and feel more calm.

Lavender, Orange, Peace&Calming & Ylang Ylang

These oils are great for maintaining a peaceful environment.  The more relaxed your body is, the better labor is able to progress.  Using these oils has a relaxing effect on the body and can help bring a sense of calm in the delivery area.

Inhale/Topical: Diffuse any or all of these oils in your birthing room.

Roller Ball Recipe:

5 drops Ylang Ylang                                                 10 drops Peace&Calming

5 drops Orange                            OR                        5 drops Lavender

5 drops Lavender

Apply to wrists so you can smell as often as needed throughout labor.


Apply Lavender to abdomen and back directly or diluted in a carrier oil like olive oil as frequently as desired. This is a great way to incorporate back massage into labor.

Bring a crock pot with you to your birthing room.  Add 15-20 drops of Lavender onto a couple pinches of salt and fill the rest with water. Keep it near the bed on low with about 20 wash cloths. Have a designated person wring out wash cloth to place on your belly during every contraction. The warmth combined with the lavender is very soothing and a good distraction. As soon as it cools replace with a new cloth.


Marjoram is great for helping you feel more comfortable during actual labor.

Topical: You will want to dilute and apply to your lower abdomen with every contraction or as often as needed throughout labor.

Even after labor and delivery, if you are a nursing Mama, Marjoram will still feel good diluted on your lower abdomen as you begin breastfeeding. Use on abdomen during every nursing session for the first 1-2 weeks postpartum.

Peppermint & Deep Relief

Peppermint is great at boosting your energy, especially since labor can be so exhausting.

Inhale: Simply inhaling a drop of peppermint for quick energy is always helpful.

Topical: When in labor, dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the back of your neck to help provide a cooling effect. You can also roll Deep Relief on to your neck, shoulders, hips, and lower back! You can also drop 1-2 drops onto a cool damp washcloth and lay that on the back of your neck.

Ingest: You can add Peppermint Vitality to your ice water or hot tea to help aid in digestion, too. Some mamas find that placing 1 drop on their tongue as needed throughout labor helps maintains balance in their belly.


Oftentimes we can lose track of the ultimate goal during labor-having your baby! Grounding is a blend of Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, and Sandalwood which can help re-center you and re-focus your mind.img_7400

Inhale: Diffuse in the birthing room or dilute and apply to wrists to smell as often as needed.

Topical: Apply to the bottoms of your feet, especially your big toes.

I like to also encourage mamas to talk to their babies during labor. Tell them you want to meet them and that they are loved! Babies pick up mama’s vibes.


Geranium is a fantastic oil to help bring balance to your mood. It smells like sweet flowers!

Inhale: Diffuse in the birthing room or dilute and apply to wrists to smell as often as needed.

Topical: Apply to the bottoms of your feet, especially your big toes. You can also dilute this in coconut oil and rub onto your shoulders.


This is one of those must-have oils in general, but it’s also great for your perineum after birth.

Topical: You can apply this oil to the abdomen periodically throughout labor. Mix with coconut oil to rub along perineum as baby is crowning. Especially be sure to apply this oil to the abdomen after the birth of the baby, before the placenta is expelled. You might want to make up a roller bottle ahead of time of 15 drops of Helichrysum and fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil to make for easy application!

“Love before drugs” can potentially help induce labor. Being intimate with your partner helps to prime the cervix and perineum for labor. So, get snuggling!

Love before Drugs Labor Prep Recipe:

1 small mason jar of unrefined organic coconut oil

20 drops Helichrysum

Use as personal lubricant and for perineal massage.

Frankincense & Myrrh


This is a fantastic oil to inhale and topically apply for balance and calm.

Inhale: Diffuse in the birthing room or dilute and apply to wrists to smell as often as needed.

Topical: Make up a roller bottle with 10 drops of Frankincense & 10 drops of Myrrh, with the rest filled with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to abdomen with every contraction or as often as needed. Also rub along lower back and hips.

It’s always a good idea to make sure your birthing location is ok with the use of oils beforehand. It could be helpful to print out a list of your birthing oils with instructions of how to use them as a reference for anyone assisting you in your birth. Also have an open discussion with your healthcare provider about how you intend to use the oils during your labor so they can be fully aware of your birth plan.

Many of these oils that I mentioned in this article come in an incredible starter kit that Young Living specially designed for everyday use of essential oils. It comes with a practically free diffuser and 11 different oils. If you are considering incorporating essential oils into your life than there has never been a better time. As I mentioned before every oil has many different uses. We use them for all things in our home from cleaning, diet, wellness, etc. Our home is completely free of harmful endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and we have never felt better. Here is what it includes:

When you are ready to begin your journey to wellness, hop on over and learn how to get started with essential oils today.



Gentle Babies by Debra Rayburn

Clinical Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Childbirth by Denise Tiran

Labor Encouragement with Essential Oils by Ashley Musil

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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