Friday, January 6, 2012

Lavender Bath: Labor and Relaxation

"I'm not getting out of this tub pregnant" was my first thought as I felt the intense relief from active labor contractions 2-minutes apart. I had just switched my laboring position from squatting with a stool to soaking in a hot bath of therapeutic-grade Lavender essential oil. I had mixed 12 drops into 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt & then added it to a full tub of water. The salt binds with the oil then dissolves into the water to disperse the oil. Without the salt, the oil would just float on top of the water as oil & water don't mix. I hadn't intended on having a water birth, but that gift of relaxation after 36 hours since my water broke was all too convincing. Lavender is calming to the nervous system, thus reduces pain & undoubtedly played a major part in the 45 minutes I spent in the tub before my baby girl was born underwater. The smell alone will act on the bodies' tension by stimulating the brain centers that control the bodies' stress response. Aside from being gentle enough to use neat & diluted on children, it is an easy to recognize sweet, floral smell that takes me back instantly to a feeling of relief when I catch a whiff of it. The beauty of it is you don't have to be in labor to experience a spa-like retreat in your own tub for cheap!
Written By: Skye Burditt

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