Whether you are planning a natural home birth or just want your hospital or birth center birth to go as smooth as possible, essential oils are a must have for your labor!

But there are so many to choose from it can be hard to pick the ones that will benefit you the most. So, which ones are best for labor?

There are numerous essential oils for labor and endless ways to use them. Lavender, ylang-ylang, and grapefruit are a few oils that are recommended the most for labor and for so many reasons! Just keep reading to find out all the juicy details!

Why use essential oils for labor?

Using essential oils for labor is a fun, simple, and natural way to ease pain, relieve stress and put you in an overall positive state of mind on the big day.

They have been used for centuries for labor and delivery and are still popular today for the same purpose.

It’s best to come up with some awesome labor blends before the day gets here and make sure to have all your oils close by.

The beauty of using essential oils is that you can cover a variety of areas with them. For example, you can create a topical concoction for pain relief as well as a relaxing diffuser blend all with the same combination of oils if you choose them wisely.

But the blends will come later. First, lets dive into which essential oils are critical for labor. (You can pin this article for future reference!)

The best essential oils for labor

Essential oil is a great addition to any birth, but especially natural childbirth since they can provide pain relief, relieve stress and ease your mind without the use of medication; completely natural.

No oil is created equally and most essential oils can serve some purpose during labor, but there are some oils that work better than others and can make a huge difference in the extent of pain you feel, your level of comfort, and how you view it when you look back on this beautiful experience.


One of the best and most recommended oils for childbirth is lavender and for so many reasons, 1st and foremost for its relaxing, stress relieving, almost tranquil properties.

Lavender is great when used to calm a worried mind. Just diffuse it on its own or with other calming oils.

As you slowly inhale and exhale the aroma, it takes you to a peaceful place in your mind. It’s probably the best oil to use for this purpose. But the benefits don’t stop there!

Lavender is also a powerful natural pain reliever that you can use topically mixed with fractioned coconut oil (or another carrier oil) and it works magic for local pain, joint pain, migraine headaches, and back and neck pain.

Studies show that using lavender as a massage oil can reduce lower back pain and other pain associated with labor. (Source)

Ylang ylang

This oil is one of the serious multitaskers. It touches so many different areas at once.

It not only relieves stress and anxiety upon inhalation (a great oil to pair with lavender), it also keeps you positive and motivated throughout the process.

Topically, ylang-ylang can be mixed with a carrier oil and used as a massage oil during labor to reduce stress.

Not to mention the scent alone can add delight to any room. Just take my word for it, this oil is definitely a must-have for any birth!


Medicinal use of this essential oil dates all the way back to the old testament days. It has been used for many things through the ages such as reducing symptoms of arthritis, improving digestive health, and helping control asthma.

There are many different varieties but there are two that are perfect for labor; Frankincense Frereana and Frankincense Carterii.

You can use Frankincense Frereana topically in a blend for pain relief. It takes care of topical pain and is also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties. (Source)

Frankincense Carterii’s thick grounding aroma helps to quiet the mind, supports focus, and encourages tranquility making it an awesome addition to a calming diffuser blend for your labor and delivery.


You are probably familiar with peppermint oil since it’s used widely for various things like head colds, muscle aches, and digestive problems and is available at pretty much any department store. But you may not realize just how beneficial it can be for labor.

Most women experience some nausea during labor, this is one place that peppermint oil comes in handy. You can inhale it straight from the bottle or diffuse it to get fast and effective results.

Peppermint also helps you focus while providing you with energy to keep you going even when you get tired and the analgesic effect is great for localized pain.

An all-around good oil for labor, you can also use it to relieve headache by rubbing a small amount on your temples. (Source) You can combine it with other headache relieving essential oils like eucalyptus to maximize the benefits.


This essential oil, like most citrus oils, promotes positivity, relieves stress, and makes you feel happy along with other things.

Its addition to your labor is vital! It works extremely well with other citrus oils or lavender and chamomile for the best stress-relieving benefits.

Another positive aspect of grapefruit essential oil is that it’s energizing and invigorating! You can use it alone for this purpose but if you choose to blend it, to keep the same effect, mix it with peppermint or any other energizing oil.


The benefits you get when you use chamomile for labor are incredible!

Chamomile is another one of the multi-taskers. It’s a strong pain reliever and at the same time relieves stress and anxiety and gives you an overall feeling of calmness.

Since you may be wondering which chamomile is best for labor, to be honest, both Roman and German Chamomile have qualities that make them ideal for labor.

German Chamomile has a few things that make it great like the ability to calm the mind and body, which is said to relieve pain from contractions.

Roman Chamomile may work for this purpose slightly better because of its highly calming properties.

It also relieves head and body aches and calms irritation and mood swings.

Either one of these oils will make a valuable addition to your labor.

Clary sage

This popular essential oil can benefit you in so many different ways. It is used to clear up certain eye infections, to draw out splinters, and to soothe and relax the skin, just to name a few.

It has also long been used to support the female reproductive system during menstruation, childbirth, and menopause, not to mention it is considered a strong aphrodisiac.

It is extremely important to note that it’s a HUGE NO NO throughout pregnancy because of its ability to induce labor.

That’s what makes it perfect for labor! It speeds up the process by helping to bring on productive contractions.

Everyone wants a quick and simple labor and clary sage helps you achieve this. It also works to relieve pain when applied topically with a carrier oil due to its warm, soothing components.

This oil has two main components which are the terpenes linalyl acetate and linalool, both of which are also found in Lavender so you can imagine the soothing and calming effects it also has on the mind and body when inhaled.


I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of muscle rubs, bath salts, and bubble bath with eucalyptus oil in it. That’s because the oil from the eucalyptus plant has powerful pain-relieving components called α-pinene and 1,8-cineole. (Source)

Eucalyptus uses its anti-bacterial properties to sanitize the air in the room. It also works with other stress relieving essential oils to calm your nerves and ease any anxious feelings you may have.

Black Pepper

This oil isn’t as common as the other oils on my list but when it comes to labor it works miracles.

Not only is it effective at easing pain, but it also works to alleviate stress and anxiety.

To add to black peppers list of benefits, when you inhale the spicy aroma you can expect to feel a heightened level of alertness and sense of happiness, so you can see why adding black pepper to your must-haves is crucial.


Bergamot, closely related to lemon and orange, is known for the positive emotion felt upon inhalation.

It will help you relax and let go of all of your worries, so it will come in handy on the big day.

If you decide you want to create a happiness blend, this is definitely one oil you need to include in that recipe.

Essential oils for labor pain

One of the main concerns with mommas about giving birth, whether you choose natural birth or not, is the thought of pain. Most of the essential oils I mentioned above have some pain relieving aspects. Let me get more specific.

Some essential oils work topically to relieve pain. Others work neurologically which means you receive benefits just by inhaling them because reducing stress, in turn, reduces pain. (Source) Win-win!

Eucalyptus and Lavender are two of the essential oils that are effective at relieving pain upon inhalation. (source)

Chamomile, on the other hand, has to be rubbed on topically to receive the pain relieving benefits.

How to use your chosen oils

You can use essential oil blends in a variety of ways depending on what you are trying to achieve with them.


Most of the time, diffusing the oils is the easiest way to achieve your desired benefits.

If you don’t already have one, a great diffuser to start with is this Art Naturals diffuser. They are fairly priced, durable, and make your house smell great!

Once you have a diffuser, all you have to do is fill it to the fill line with water, drop in the proper amount of oil, put the lid back on and turn it on to almost instantly start feeling results.

If it’s too strong or not strong enough you can adjust the drop amount as much as you need to.

Massage oil

Sometimes diffusing the oil isn’t the best option, especially for pain relief since you get better results when you use it topically.

To create the perfect massage oil, you will need a bottle of fractioned coconut oil (FCO) or another carrier oil, a small container, and your chosen oils.

For the least concentrated blend, you would dilute it to 1% which is 4 drops of oil total per Tbsp, but for labor, you may want to go a little stronger.

With a 5% dilution, you will get the most benefits. To achieve this, all you have to do is mix 22 drops of essential oil total in a Tbsp of carrier oil.

Essential oil blends for labor

Now that you know all the best oils for labor, now it’s time for a few awesome blends to get you started.

Pain relieving blend

For this blend, you will use three oils that have natural pain relieving components: Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Frankincense.

Diffuser blend: 6 drops Lavender, 6 drops Eucalyptus, 4 drops Frankincense.

Massage blend: 9 drops lavender, 9 drops Eucalyptus, 6 drops Frankincense + 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) FCO.

Energizing blend

Labor is a tiresome process, to say the least! This blend comes in handy when you start to feel exhausted! The stars in this one are grapefruit, peppermint, and black pepper.

Diffuser blend: 7 drops grapefruit, 4 drops peppermint, 3 drops black pepper.

Massage blend: 12 drops grapefruit, 7 drops peppermint, 4 drops black pepper + 1 Tbsp FCO.

Calming blend

This may be one of the first blends you choose to use since fear and anxiety usually set in at the beginning. This blend, using ylang-ylang, chamomile, and Bergamot, will help ease your mind and provide whole body calmness.

Diffuser blend: 4 drops ylang-ylang, 3 drops chamomile, 6 drops bergamot.

Massage blend: 8 drops ylang-ylang, 4 drops chamomile, 10 drops bergamot + 1 Tbsp. FCO.

My advice to you

Use essential oils during labor to make the very most out of this life-changing experience.

They help make your labor more bearable and also more memorable to look back on. They relieve pain, calm you, give you positive vibes, as well as energize you throughout this tiresome process.

Essential oils give you control over your pain management and allow you to design every concoction you wish to use, personalized to your desires.

Don’t forget to pin this article so you can look back on it and always have these beneficial labor blends on hand!

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