The idea that your everyday scented candles reflect true aromatherapy is a misconception. Most scented candles are made with chemically created scents, whereas aromatherapy entails the use of essential oils— not synthetic ingredients—to bring forth gentle, positive changes within the body by way of topical application or inhalation. These essential oils contain therapeutic properties such as analgesic, antispasmodic, sedative and tonic for the uterus/reproductive system, all of which offer support during the labor and delivery experience.
In a study conducted by Oxford Centre for Health Care Research and Development at Oxford Brooks University, a total of 8,058 mothers were evaluated over an eight-year period. It was reported that aromatherapy was increasingly popular with the mothers and over 50 percent of them found aromatherapy to be helpful and reduce the need for additional pain relief. The study also demonstrated that aromatherapy may have the potential to augment labor contractions for women in dysfunctional labor. Essential oils are safe to use during childbirth, but it’s best to consult with a certified aromatherapist to receive the most appropriate aromatherapy creations for your labor and delivery needs.
—Nicole A. Tucker, Lic. LCC, certified aromatherapist, licensed natural healthcare practitioner, creator of the Birth Support Kit and private aromatherapy consultant.