How an orange can ACTUALLY reduce your pain and anxiety levels in labour

Ok, maybe don't go filling your hospital bag with a pack of 'easy peelers' just yet, but I've been reading into the research behind aromatherapy use during birth this week, (you know I'm a sucker for a bit of evidence) and it's showing some exciting things. In several of the trials using aromatherapy oils, it was shown to reduce a mother's perception of both pain and anxiety (which, as we all know through hypnobirthing are directly related anyway)- and in some cases reduce the overall length of labour and bring down a raised blood pressure too! (The research has also shown that there are no current known adverse effects from using the oils below).

So, what do you need and how can you use it?

Oils can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Put a couple of drops onto a muslin or cloth and inhale as required.

  • Add to a carrier oil, like coconut oil (1-2 drops per table spoon) and use for massage or on the skin.

  • Add to a steam diffuser to inhale in the air.

  • Add 4-5 drops to 1tbsp of salt or milk and add to a bath during pregnancy. (Not such a good plan in labour as once on your skin it can be hard to get rid of if you decide you don’t like it)

And which Oils should we be using?

Finding oils that you like the smell of can help in the first instance- smell is a very strong memory trigger, and can work as a relaxation trigger if it reminds you of feeling calm. The research looked into the following oils and found them helpful for the following things-

  • Rose- Reduce anxiety and pain

  • Lavender- Reduce anxiety and pain

  • Citrus- Reduce anxiety and pain

  • Sweet Orange Peel- Reduce anxiety and pain

  • Bitter Orange- Reduce anxiety and pain

  • Geranium- to reduce blood pressure

  • Peppermint- Some mothers have reported this helping with nausea

  • Clary Sage- Some mothers and midwives have reported this bringing back surges after labour has stalled- (for this reason it's not safe to use before 37 weeks in pregnancy).

Always follow the guidelines from the manufacturer for safe use in pregnancy or consult a professional aromatherapist- and discuss birth preferences with your midwife or doctor. 

To read more hints and tips for a positive birth experience read more here.

If you are interested in taking the next step to a positive birth, Positively Birthing Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Classes run throughout Surrey and SW London- areas including Surbiton, Esher, Teddington, Cobham, Twickenham, St Margarets, Thames Ditton, Molesey, Richmond, Wimbledon, Kingston, Sunbury, Epsom, Ewell, and beyond. All bookings can be made here.

For More info visit