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Essential Oils in the Postpartum Period

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

What are essential oils, and what possibilities do they offer you? In the following post, I'll provide you with some basics about essential oils and then focus specifically on the use of essential oils in the postpartum period.

Selection of Essential Oils from doTerra
Essential Oils

Essentila Oils Basics

Essential oils are natural substances distilled or cold-pressed from plants. They offer a way to gently alleviate physical and emotional everyday discomforts and promote well-being. The use of essential oils is known as aromatherapy, which operates on the salutogenic principle: the focus is not on searching for causes and solving problems but on paying attention to protective and resource-activating factors.

Essential oils can be used in the following ways:

Essential oil application - aromatic

Aromatic: Inhale the oils directly from the bottle or your palm. Alternatively, mix them with water and use a diffuser to disperse them into the air.

Essential oil application - topical/external

Topical/External: Apply them to the skin where the physical discomfort is located or on pulse points. To enhance skin absorption, the oil should be diluted with a carrier oil.

Essential oil application - internal

Internal: Only for oils suitable for internal use (check purity!). They can be added to water or food or taken in an empty capsule.

When using essential oils, especially during sensitive periods like pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, it's important to listen to your intuition. If a scent feels very unpleasant to you, it may not be the right choice for that situation and should be avoided. Additionally, when it comes to dosage, remember that less is more. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and a lower dosage protects against side effects while still allowing the oil to work effectively.

Essential oils for use in the postpartum period

Essential oils can be wonderful companions during the postpartum period, as they offer the possibility to comfort and alleviate traumatic memories of pain and childbirth, promoting healing. They can effectively support wound healing and the hormonal adjustments in women, helping them regain their inner balance and stability.

However, since newborns are very sensitive to scents, it's advisable to apply essential oils to the mother primarily under the feet or other reflex points, away from the chest.

To provide emotional support during the postpartum period, the following essential oils can be used: Citrus oils like BERGAMOT and LEMON have mood-enhancing, refreshing, uplifting, and calming properties. They can help reduce anxiety, stress, and tension. LAVENDER calms and reduces nervousness, balancing body and mind. The sweet-smelling MANDARIN oil can provide support in times of anxiety, insomnia, stress, and irritability. ROMAN CHAMOMILE has a soothing, comforting, and deeply relaxing effect on emotions and the mind. YLANG YLANG boosts self-confidence and harmony and can have a relaxing effect during times of anxiety, depression, tension, and stress.

For common physical discomforts in the postpartum period, I've listed the appropriate essential oils and their possible applications below:

  • Postpartum depression: Citrus oils like LEMON, ORANGE, MANDARIN, or GRAPEFRUIT are mood-enhancing and help keep negative emotions in check. FRANKINCENSE stimulates the limbic system, creating emotional balance. Bei Stimmungsschwankungen und trüben Gedankenschafft schafft es ROSE zu besänftigen und aufzumuntern.

  • Circulatory problems: Have 4-5 drops of ROSEMARY in a screw-top jar with sea salt as an inhalation remedy to counteract low blood pressure.

  • Tissue firming and uterine involution support: Mix GRAPEFRUIT, GERANIUM, JUNIPER, and CYPRESS with a carrier oil to create a massage oil and apply it to the abdomen.

  • Hemorrhoids: Create an oil blend with PEPPERMINT, HELICHRYSUM, GERANIUM, and CYPRESS, mixed with a carrier oil, and apply it to the affected area. You can also add oils to quark for a quark compress.

  • Mild bath (sitting) for wound healing: Mix 2-3 drops of LAVENDER, GERANIUM, or ROMAN CHAMOMILE with bath salts, sea salt, or baking soda and add it to your bathwater.

Of course, there are many more applications for essential oils to support both emotional and physical well-being during the postpartum period.

As a Mütterpflegerin, I always carry my emergency kit of essential oils in all my postpartum care assignments to offer mothers a "wellness treatment" if they wish, providing gentle and natural support.


The information provided about essential oils does not replace medical examination or treatment by a physician or alternative practitioner. It is an offer to support well-being through wellness treatments. The use of this information and the possibility to help oneself with simple, natural remedies are undertaken at one's own responsibility.

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