Top Ten Essential Oils for Labor and Delivery

Y’all know how much I love my oils. Can’t get enough of them. Essential oils were, well, essential for me during the morning sickness of pregnancy and they were a top priority item in our labor bag. I promised you that I would detail what oils we used during labor and how we used them. So … without further ado … I present the top ten essential oils for labor and delivery*

EOs for labor and delivery

1. Fennel and Clary Sage // These oils can help spur on labor once it has begun. When I was trying to get labor going, I took these oils internally (one drop of each, two times) and rubbed them on the inside of my ankles. I was in for-real labor 5 hours later. Fennel and Clary Sage can also be combined with Ylang Ylang and Peppermint and rubbed on the pinky toes to keep the contractions coming.

2. Lavender, Peace and Calming, and Gentle Baby // This is my absolute favorite combination to diffuse. It helps relax mom, dad, and baby. It is so soothing. We diffused a combination of 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Gentle Baby, and 5 drops Peace and Calming during early labor at home, throughout the entire labor process in the hospital, and during our stay in the Mother/Baby Unit. We still diffuse this combination every single day.

I also applied lavender to my feet during early labor to help relax me so that contractions would continue to comeย on strong.

3. Thieves and Purification // These oils have antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities, so we diffused them for germ-combating purposes. We diffused this combination (15 drops Thieves, 10 drops Purification) when we first got into our hospital room to clean the air, and again once we were moved to Mother/Baby Unit. Any time we knew visitors were coming, we diffused this combination in order to avoid exposing little George’s new immune system to an influx of germs.

4. Peppermint // Peppermint was helpful when I was feeling exhausted during labor. I would inhale the peppermint directly from the bottle and it would wake me right up! I also inhaled peppermint to help ease the nausea brought on by transition. Dave would just hold it under my nose when I felt queasy and it often helped settle my belly.

5. Valor // I put five stars by this oil ***** See? You must have this for labor, y’all. It’s incredible. Valor is often called “chiropractor in a bottle” ย because it helps align the bod. The smell of valor is also invigorating and, in a weird way, encouraging. We used this oil topically more than any other oil. We put this oil in a roller bottle for easy and abundant application. Dave would rub it on my feet, thighs, lower back, and shoulders. The combination of the smell and it’s aligning properties really helped me pull through some of the tougher contractions.

Although this doesn’t fall under the “labor” category, Valor was also extremely helpful during early postpartum. It helped my back and hips get back into their, shall we say, pre-pregnancy positions. During those first midnight feedings, when nursing was entirely discouraging and my fatigue was seemingly insurmountable, I would apply Valor to the back of my neck and wrists to help me refocus and stay positive.

6. PanAway // I remember the function of PanAway by thinking of it as “PainAway”. Get it? It’s almost the same word, and PanAway is used to take pain away. Pretty nifty, eh? Anyway, PanAway is awesome for sore muscles, aches, and bodily pains. During labor, then, Dave would use PanAway in combination with Valor on my feet, lower back, hips, and neck. It really did help ease the pain of contractions. I could tell when we didn’t use it between contractions because they would be much more intense.

7. Frankincense // Good for use on the perineum to help prevent tearing. We also used this on George right after he was born. We mixed one drop of Frank with a carrier oil and rubbed it on George’s head within 10 minutes of his birth. Frankincense helps boost the immune system and promotes brain development (Remember how the wise men brought Frankincense to Jesus? There’s a reason for that. They knew that Frankincense was super helpful in keeping babies healthy and encouraging their development after birth). Frankincense also just smells good, which is nice to have amidst the other, less-inticing smells of labor …

8. Ylang Ylang and Geranium // Ylang Ylang can be used to advance labor. Ylang Ylang in combination with Geranium is great to use on mama’s stomach after delivery. It helps tone and tighten the uterus and helps slow bleeding.

9. En-R-Gee // En-R-Gee helps with energy, but you probably already reached that conclusion ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it also promotes vitality and alertness. We diffused this during the pushing stage; it was when I was most exhausted but needed the most energy and stamina.

10. Roman Chamomile // Dave would put some Roman Chamomile on a cold washcloth and apply it to my forehead during transition. This is was so immensely helpful, I can’t recommend it enough. The Roman Chamomile would help me relax and it felt refreshing when paired with the coolness of the washcloth.

Have you ever used oils in labor? What would you add to the list? Do you have any questions?

*Some of the oils we paired together because they work better in combination for labor, so it actually adds up to more than ten. Math was never my strength.


  1. And you think I was a beast during labor?!?!? You are amazing!! I am bookmarking this for next time (whoa, slow down there killer) and I’ll be slowly adding to my oil collection from now until then. This is seriously a goldmine! Go you!

  2. Pinning to pinterest ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the list!

  3. Did you give birth in a hospital? They were okay with you using them, especially diffusing them? I hood ours around here will allow if – this is a great list. I have some stocking up to do for the future. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I used peppermint!! I felt soooo lightheaded in labor (turns out it was due to my enemia, but the hospital midwives didn’t figure that out till after i gave birth). I was dizzy even lying down and there was nothing anyone could do. I kept feeling like I was going to pass out, so my doula put some of that on my hand so that I could sniff it whenever I need to. Like a gentle smelling salt. (They had me do smelling salts during my second birth after I lost a lot of blood, and that’s quite a jolt it gives!!)

  5. First time mama to be and first essential oil user here – any recommendations on where to find/purchase all these wonderful things? I’ve never used essential oils before and definitely want to incorporate them into my childbirth plan and everyday life after that. But I have no clue where to start!

  6. How were the oils received in the hospital? I am a first time mommy to be and want a hospital birth but want to use my oils so I was just curious!!!

    • Just thought I’d chime in here…

      Some hospitals don’t mind having oils used at all! Sometimes there can be some objected to the diffuser, though. If that is the case, you can use an “old tyme” method to diffuse your oils:

      Ask for a basin and a gauze 4×4 (the nurses will know what you mean).
      Fill the basin with water.
      Put your oily drops on the gauze pad.
      Float the gauze pad in the water basin.

      Voila! You have your own makeshift diffuser for your oils. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. AMAZING resource list of oils here! THANK YOU! I just stumbled on your blog today and am now a follower. Love your message and your voice. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Actually I was told by someone with experience that you should NOT use PanAway during labor because it actually prolongs the labor and can stop labor completely…hence that made sense that your contractions were not as intense.

  9. This is the most helpful and thorough labor oil list I’ve found! Thank you! Time to order some oils and get ready for baby!!

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