Easing Postpartum Symptoms using Aromatherapy

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The postpartum period, also called postnatal refers to the weeks immediately after a woman has given birth. During that time, the woman’s body returns to its pre-pregnancy state by producing contractions that cause the woman’s uterus, which held the fetus, to shrink. Because those changes usually take place over the six to eight weeks after a normal vaginal delivery, the postpartum period is also estimated to cover six to eight weeks.

In addition to the physical changes, soreness, and fatigue that accompany childbirth, the woman also experiences significant emotional and psychological changes as she begins to care for the infant.

What Essential Oils Can I Use After Childbirth?

Some of the essential oils that are recommended to use after childbirth are:

Breastfeeding

Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat -- everything your baby needs to grow. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Therefore, breast and nipple care is essentially vital or breastfeeding mothers. Cracked nipples are a common problem which they are not only painful but there is the possibility of infection. A good massage oil to prepare is:

Calendula Oil - 10ml
Camellia Oil - 10ml
Rosehip  - 30ml

Confinement

In Asian practices, mothers undergo a postpartum period which is also known as “confinement” immediately after giving birth. During this period of confinement, which usually lasts from 30 days to 60 days, mothers have to abide by a set of practices to assist them in recovery from pregnancy and childbirth. Some of these practices may include prolonged rest, a special diet, and rituals to revert the body back to its prenatal shape.

One such practice was to ensure that the mother keeps her body as warm as possible, to prevent catching a chill, which is believed to cause rheumatism at old age. Warm oils like Ginger and Lemongrass are thought to improve blood circulation, therefore using such oils for hot teas and warm baths are recommended during confinement.

Perineal Care

For vaginal delivery, the area around your vagina may feel bruised and swollen especially with tear or episiotomy during birth. Keep the area clean with plain soap and water during your regular shower. Application of ice pack can help in reducing swelling.

Engorged Breasts

For the first few days after delivery, you will produce the first milk, known as Colostrum which is rich antibodies to protect the newborn against disease. Subsequently, you will start to experience breast swelling as the milk supply starts to increase and changing from colostrum to breast milk. This is when some women will experience engorgement especially if the baby cannot latch on well.

To help milk flow, take a brief hot shower or use a warm herbal compress to massage the engorged breast.

Postpartum Constipation

High progesterone level due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and prenatal vitamins such as iron supplements are some of the reasons leading to sluggish bowel movement after child-birth. Consume adequate fluids and high fibre fruit, vegetables and whole grains are preventive description against constipation.