Aromatherapy is being offered to women in labour at Southmead Hospital as a natural pain relief … midwives have been trained to mix a range of oils to ease symptoms for women giving birth at the hospital and in their own homes.
The oils … have been found to have therapeutic effects and are used in massage, in a bath or dropped onto a smelling stick.
Bergamot, jasmine, lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, clary sage and frankincense are being used by the midwives to ease symptoms such as nausea and back pain.
… being more relaxed during labour generally helps the birth progress more smoothly.
… a woman who had planned a natural birth and opted for the essential oils could turn to an epidural afterwards should they need it.
… It is hoped that offering women aromatherapy will support the drive from the Department of Health for more women to give birth naturally.
The oils will generally be used in lower risk births … which is generally the criteria for women giving birth in their own homes or in the birth suite at Southmead, which is run by midwives rather than doctors to make it a more relaxed environment.
Previously midwives had only been able to offer women gas and air in their own homes but the aromatherapy provides more options.
Essential oils costs less than 50p per person …
It would be great if this could be implemented across Australian hopsitals - public and private. It seems that the UK has a huge drive at present to increase the rates of normal, natural birth. What is preventing Australia from following suit?