Said to be the most wonderful and rewarding thing you can ever do; but may ultimately be the hardest. Your overwhelming feelings of love and adoration can get a little blurred by the feeling of total exhaustion, post-labour pain and emotional turmoil. Being a new mummy, particularly for the first time is a daunting prospect, and despite how prepared you may think you are there will no doubt be many factors you have forgotten to consider. Here are a few suggestions of how to use Aromatherapy to ease the transition into motherhood, and overcoming some of those difficulties in the early weeks.
Emotions are running high in the first few weeks of motherhood. The challenges of a new baby who needs hourly nursing, coupled with lack of sleep and exhaustion; can often make you feel anxious that you are not coping, with a nagging worry that your baby may be suffering as a result. All perfectly normal feelings. A soothing blend of Essential Oils will help stave off your anxieties, to calm your mind and help to relax your body. Earthy Frankincense has a calming effect on the emotions whilst bitter-sweet Neroli will reduce anxiety; with the delicate scent of Mandarin to balance the synergy. Add 3 drops of each oil to a 10ml Rollette of Grapeseed Oil and apply to the wrists, neck and temples as required.
Exhaustion & Sleep
It’s very easy for people to say “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but this can be difficult when your mind is on over-drive, pondering the ever-increasing stack of housework, bottles to be sterilised or relentless visitors who keep appearing at the door. Particularly if you’ve experienced a long and complicated labour, you may feel as though you can’t properly recover. Sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on the brain function, not to mention the physical fatigue making everyday tasks appear too taxing. It’s no wonder sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture! It is crucial that you get some rest when you can. If you need a little help to ease your mind gently off to sleep you could try a blend of Lavender, Chamomile and Neroli in a bath; just 2 drops of each. Or just a touch of Lavender on your pillow where you rest your head. Sweet Marjoram is also a very warming and soothing oil which can be added to a bath with Sandalwood for helping to treat the physical exhaustion too.
As with most ailments –prevention is the best cure, and never truer than when it comes to stretch marks. From the fifth month of pregnancy an expectant mother can smother their belly, bum and bosoms daily with a nourishing, pregnancy-safe blend of Mandarin and Neroli in a base of Rosehip oil. Rosehip is high in the essential fatty acids which helps retain the elasticity in the skin. It can also help to fade existing marks and pigmentation. Just add 20 drops of each Essential Oil into 50ml of Rosehip and apply liberally. For an even richer base you could warm some Cocoa Butter to a liquid state, pour in your oil synergy and leave to set. The key is to keep the skin as hydrated as possible.
One of the huge downsides of a natural delivery is the aftermath of your undercarriage! It may not seem like it at the time, but it is amazing how quickly this area will heal. You will definitely be feeling bruised and sore, maybe have tears or stitches, and quite possibly those much loved haemorrhoids; however there are some simple steps you can take to ease your pain. A daily bath of Lavender and Helichrysum, just 2 drops of each; will help to reduce inflammation, alleviate the bruising and accelerate the healing process. You could also place a drop of these oils onto a towel to line your underwear. Helichrysum will also help to slow post-partum blood loss and reduce the haemorrhoids.
Sore, cracked Nipples
Ouch! Breast feeding can have its challenges without the added hindrance of painful nipples. Blend 10 drops of Myrrh and 15 drops of Geranium into 30ml of Coconut Oil. Myrrh is anti-septic and anti-inflammatory, Geranium is skin nourishing and known as a good healer, whilst Coconut is one of best emollient oils for adding moisture to the skin. You could also try warming a little Beeswax and adding your oil blend to it before allowing to set. Apply after feeding and remember to remove prior to the next.