I’m thrilled to share that our sweet little babe has just arrived 💗 And while I’m of course overflowing with love and joy for the new addition to our family, having already done this before, I’m keenly aware of the supports that I need in order to a) physically heal, b) manage the hormones, c) manage the stress, d) get enough sleep, and e) get the breastfeeding support I deserve and need. (And I’m only highlighting some of the challenges we mamas face in the weeks and months (and years 😉) following the birth of our little ones!!)
During the recovery time, self-care is more important than ever. Connecting with loved ones, drinking tons of water, eating clean foods…these are all important and valuable postpartum recovery tips. But today I want to focus on the role essential oils can play in the healing process. Listed below are some of the essential oil tips and recipes I’m currently using to help ease my way through the beautiful and complicated process of birthing a babe into this world.
- Perineal Spray
The physical portion of recovery can be quite intense! And if you think about it, it makes sense…it took about 40 weeks for the baby to grow to the point of being ready for the outside world, and it’s going to take time for your body to heal from the experience of pregnancy and the birthing process itself. One of the many tricks I use for this process is my homemade perineal spray. I keep mine in the fridge and spray it on my perineum every time I use the restroom. Not only does it feel amazing and refreshing, but the healing properties of the spray help to expedite my recovery!
*2 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
*3 Tbsp. witch hazel
*4-6 drops frankincense
*4-6 drops clary sage
*2 oz. spray bottle
Mix everything together in the bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Shake before use.
- Oils for Hormonal Support
This is a list of 10 oils known for their hormonally supportive properties (read full article here):
- Vetiver – alleviates emotional stress, anxiety, and feelings of sadness
- Lemongrass – mood-booster, stress-reliever, anti-nausea
- Lavender – known for its powers to improve postpartum depression
- Bergamot – hormonally balancing and lifts mood
- Jasmine – anti-anxiety with mild sedative properties
- Rose – known to treat anxiety disorders
- Ylang Ylang – properties similar to Rose
- Clary Sage – promotes hopeful feelings and a proven anti-depressant
- Geranium – improves mental functioning
- Neroli – encourages happiness and used to treat depression
There are MANY ways to use these oils for hormonal support. Here are just a few of the ways I use them:
- Put a few drops in epsom salt and enjoy with my bath (regular baths are definitely a must during the recovery period!). Please note: oils are safer and more effective when first soaked in salt, as opposed to dropping directly into the water.
- Make a diffuser blend with 1-3 of the oils listed above. Experimenting is my favorite part!
- Make a roller blend.
- Sometimes I take a big whiff of one of these oils directly from the bottle! This too can provide a quick boost of goodness 🦋
- Anti-Anxiety Blend
Besides using the list above for hormonal support, sometimes an anti-stress blend is just what the postpartum recovery doctor ordered. There are a ton of different oil blends that can be relaxing, but I specifically like geranium and tangerine for my postpartum recovery. Here’s why:
Geranium has over 65 phytochemicals and is loaded with antioxidants. For these reasons and more, studies have shown that geranium can “help relieve anxiety, and bring higher levels of wellbeing.” 
Tangerine, like other citrus oils, can create an instant mood boost. It has a calming effect and can therefore be a wonderful oil for anxiety. 
I like to put a couple drops of each oil in my diffuser when I’m feeling stressed or just need a quick mood boost. I also like to keep an anti-anxiety roller around for the same reasons. I generally roll a little bit on each of my pulse points (ie – wrists, behind ears, bottoms of feet, etc) to ensure I’m getting all the benefits.
- Sleep Support
It seems that whether or not we have kids, everyone these days could do with some improvements to their sleep situation. And if you do have children, then you especially know about the importance of sleeping when the baby sleeps in order to stay ahead of becoming seriously sleep deprived.
But never fear! I have a few oils-related sleep tricks for that 😉
- First, I use my Sleepy Time blend. This blend is made of lavender and cedarwood (though I sometimes add a few drops of vetiver if I think I need a little extra support) and I usually either diffuse it in my bedroom, or use my Sleepy Time spray on my pillows and sheets. Both make a remarkable difference and I swear by the relaxing effects of this blend 💗
- Next, I use my Magnificent Magnesium Butter. This butter is seriously amazing. If you have not heard about this stuff, please do read my article about it here. In a nutshell, magnesium is a mineral that many of us could use a lot more of! While eating more magnesium-rich foods and/or taking a quality supplement can help, oftentimes the topical application can be especially effective. For sleep specifically, I rub a tiny bit on the back of my neck and the bottoms of my feet.
- Breastfeeding Support
Last but certainly not least, I want to address some of the supports oils can provide while breastfeeding. If you are choosing to breastfeed your babe, it’s likely you are no stranger to sore nipples and/or painfully engorged breasts (especially when the milk is coming in, but also later if you’ve missed a feeding or gone too long in between!).
By no means am I medical doctor or expert, but I can absolutely share the things I’m doing that have given me relief:
- Food-grade coconut oil – I make a point of rubbing food-grade coconut oil on my nipples after most feedings. This helps to prevent sore and cracked nipples going forward, and since it’s food grade, I don’t worry about my baby ingesting any residual oil on her next feeding.
- Geranium and Clary Sage – there are several oils that can help with different aspects of breastfeeding, but a combination of these two have been shown to help increase your supply . I recommend making a roller using a few drops of each oil and a liquid coconut oil or olive oil as my carrier. If using liquid coconut oil, be sure it is food grade . Apply blend to breast and lymph area. I’ve also read that applying to the spine near the breast area can provide support as well.
- A note on Peppermint oil – this oil has gained a reputation for its ability to decrease milk supply and therefore, it’s recommended to avoid use until ready to wean. 
In today’s “go go go” society, it can be challenging to slow down and be present. But honoring our bodies during the sacred time that is postpartum recovery is one of the biggest gifts we can give not only our babies, but ourselves.
I owe it to to both my baby and myself to take this time to heal 💗