Aromatherapy for Childbirth

Studies have found higher comfort and satisfaction when people use aromatherapy for childbirth during their birth experience. Whether you are planning to give birth at home, at your a hospital or midwife-led unit, Aromatherapy for Childbirth has become very popular recently. Many NHS trusts offer aromatherapy to mothers and birthing people during labour and their midwives are trained and keen to use it.

Aromatherapy for Childbirth
Aromatherapy for Childbirth

How does it work?

Different scents/essential oils have different uses, some may help decreasing nausea and vomiting others reduce anxieties.

In one large study, more than 50% of mothers rated aromatherapy as helpful for coping with labour and birth. In general, aromatherapy may promote relaxation, ease anxiety, and promote greater satisfaction with your labour and childbirth experience. Currently, there aren’t any research studies showing any harm occurring to mothers and babies who used aromatherapy during labour and birth. However, essential oils used for aromatherapy have the potential to cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.

How to use during labour?

You could use your chosen essential oil or combination of oils as follows:

  • use a diffuser to diffuse the scent into the room
  • add a few drops onto a (paper) fan
  • on your hot/cold flannel
  • on a cotton wool pad/ball
  • wear aromatherapy jewellery during labour

Benefits of Aromatherapy for Childbirth

  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Non-invasive
  • May be an alternative to pharmaceutical pain-relief
  • Can be used alongside pharmaceutical pain-relief
  • May help to ease anxiety and promote calm
  • No evidence of harm for mother or baby
  • Medical professionals also benefit from the relaxing effects

To book your personal course to explore your aromatic options, please contact me!


Burns EE, Blamey C, Ersser SJ, Barnetson L, Lloyd AJ. An investigation into the use of aromatherapy in intrapartum midwifery practice. J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Apr;6(2):141-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2000.6.141. PMID: 10784271.

Tabatabaeichehr M, Mortazavi H. The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in the Management of Labor Pain and Anxiety: A Systematic Review. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2020;30(3):449-458. doi:10.4314/ejhs.v30i3.16

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