Essential Oils for Mum, Birth, Baby and Early Childhood growing pains.
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
Labour and Delivery
A few drops of Tea Tree oil in warm water is all you need to clean and disinfect your baby's world, starting with the birthing pool. You can also make a spray of water and Tea Tree to wipe down high chairs, car seats, crib railings and baby toys.
When labour begins, use an essential oil diffuser to fill the air of your birthing space with an aroma that creates a calming and welcoming atmosphere.
Neroli, bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, white fir and cape chamomile are lovely… and I really like frankincense for this. As a sacred oil and portal oil, frankincense opens us during transition periods and welcomes us to new places and stages of life.
The essential oil of marjoram is a very good analgesic and muscle relaxant during labour. Have your partner massage a 10% dilution of marjoram and lavender in jojoba oil on the pelvic region of the lower back in rhythmic circles.
Let Bath Time Wait
The first few precious moments after birth is a time of celebration and bonding with your baby. Try to let this moment last for hours! It is common for medical staff to whisk away the newborn for a quick bath. Washing a baby's skin immediately after birth is unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive. Bathing lowers the baby's already falling body temperature, and infants have a very limited ability to create their own body heat in the first few hours of life. Neonatal experts urge us to let the bath time wait; "Washing a baby soon after birth clearly contributes to a fall in body temperature, and for this reason it is difficult to justify this practice." Instead, let your baby rest on your belly under a warm, dry blanket and let the skin contact keep the little one's body temperature up.
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology gives an even stronger reason for delaying that first bath. Researchers reported that the white waxy substance, called vernix, that coats a newborn's skin is a valuable part of the infant immune system. Vernix is a wide spectrum antimicrobial agent that protects against bacterial and fungal infections, like B streptococcus and E. coli. The researchers advised, "Delaying the bath and keeping the newborn together with his or her mother until breastfeeding is established may prevent some cases of devastating infections caused by these bacteria."
Loving the Mother’s Body after the Birth
After the birth, essential oils can help you cool, heal and feel relief.
Make a little bottle for your bathroom of 30% virgin coconut oil, 55% organic jojoba oil mixed with 15% peppermint essential oil. This will help your lady parts recover and ease you back into your normal daily routine.
Here are a few more useful and beautiful oils that support healthy, new motherhood:
• A few dabs of Neroli oil in a diffuser or as a pillow spray will help the family ease into new rhythms.
• One drop of fennel oil taken internally in a glass of water or with a spoonful of honey will increase breast milk production.
• Reduce the pain, inflammation and itching of hemorrhoids by applying a 4% combination of German Chamomile, yarrow and cypress in organic jojoba
• A 15% combination immortelle, rose otto and seabuckthorn berry in jojoba oil will heal stretch marks.
Botanical Baby Care
Essential oils provide simple solutions to common childhood issues, and can help you prevent exposing your child to chemical medicines, painkillers or antibiotics. There are hundreds of effective and easy to use essential oils. My favorite oils to use with babies are Roman and German chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus and rose otto. The general guideline for using oils on infants and young children is to keep the mixture of oils and carrier oil to a 1-2% dilution: 7-12 drops essential oil per 2 tablespoons or 15 ml of organic carrier oil.
There are only a handful of oils best avoided by little ones younger than 2 years old. These oils are: anise, citronella (which is not an authentic essential oil), clove (undiluted), laurel, lemongrass, Melissa, oregano, savory, pines and spruces. Also, you should avoid applying peppermint to infants because it is very cooling, like an ice cube, and can unsafely lower body temperature. As the child grows and is able to more efficiently regulate body temperature, you can start using peppermint – it is effective as an antibiotic and pain reliever for knocks and bumps.
It is very important to store your temptingly pretty bottles of essential oils out of the reach of children. Essential oils are very potent! Most oils taste like a pine tree, so they are unappealing to a child's palate. For safety and ease of use, be sure to store all essential oils away from children and keep them in bottles with integrated drop-dispensing lids.
Teething can often challenge a baby’s immune system and may be accompanied by swollen gums, ear infections, colds, diarrhea and irritability. Raising your little ones dietary intake of phosphorus and vitamin C can be very helpful during teething. To relieve discomfort, massage into the cheeks and jaw one drop of the essential oil of Roman Chamomile or lavender diluted with one drop of jojoba oil. To calm inflammation, half a drop of organic clove oil diluted in virgin coconut oil can be applied to the gums. These oils will also boost the child's immune system.
Eucalyptus oil has a long history as a treatment for congestion from colds, infections and allergies. There are two great ways to use this oil. Rub a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil all over the bed sheets, rather than on the baby. Or, add a few drops to a vaporiser going in the baby's room. As the baby inhales, the nasal passages will open and clear so that your baby can breathe freely.
Ear aches can also be treated with eucalyptus oil. Place 1-2 drops on a cotton ball and gently insert it into the ear for a few hours. You can also massage diluted lavender around the jaw and the area behind the ear.
Babies' soft, delicate skin is sensitive and can be easily irritated. When you clean and moisturise your baby, it is important to avoid petroleum based products frequently marketed for babies, like baby oil. Infants need to be cleaned, though, and essential oils can help you with that.
For belly button healing use one drop of undiluted tea tree oil, widely heralded as a gentle cleaner, and some warm sun on the area for just 2 minutes.
Babies can be cleaned and protected, even from diaper rash, using a warm, damp cloth along with a mixture of Roman Chamomile in a carrier oil with a little bit of Calendula.
We all love a good massage and babies do, too. Massage stimulates circulation, gets the lymph system moving, improves the immune system and relaxes and calms baby, preparing for deep sleep. I like jojoba or pure coconut oil as a massage oil, adding a little bit of lavender oil as I massage the baby's feet.
Colicky tummies are unpleasant for babies and tough on parents. A change in mom's diet is the first step to easing colic. Try eliminating from your diet the common childhood allergens to determine which foods upset your baby's tummy. These foods are: dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, wheat and fish. Also, you can add ginger and fennel to your diet to pass along the tummy-calming elements to baby through your breast milk.
In the meantime, as your diet takes effect, you can help your baby's digestion by dabbing a few drops of Colic Calmer to your little one's lower back and feet – places where her little wandering hands can't reach.
2 tablespoons jojoba
2 drops German Chamomile
3 drops Lavender
3 drops Cardamom
3 drops Fennel
3 drops Ginger
A responsible use of essential oils will bless you and your baby with good health. Always trust your intuition and common sense as you care for your child. As your knowledge of plant botanicals grow, your intuition and attunement to your child's needs will also strengthen. Let your mother's and father’s intuition guide you.