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We had our hospital tour a couple weeks ago, and after being shown how we can hook up our own music, control lights, room temp, all those factors during labor and birth, we came home and were talking about it, what I thought I would like etc, and DH and his ever turning mind made a brilliant point when he said "What about smells?" Yes having a dim lit room when she comes out would make transitioning into the world easier, but what about what her first smell is? This got me because it just wasn't something that even crossed my mind.
So, after stewing about it for a little while, we thought the idea of rubbing a drop of essential oil, like lavender, on my chest so when we have the immediate skin to skin that that is what she smells, and perhaps as she grows this will be a scent that remains in her subconscious. But...now that I am typing this I am second guessing!oh dear. Now my thought is, wouldn't I want her to smell ME? My skin and my scents? hmm...now I am perplexed.
I use essential oils for my clients a lot in labor. They do affect the physiology of a laboring woman, so I'd be careful and read up on what you want to use and make sure it's appropriate. Also, because you don't want to contribute to nausea in labor, you might want to consider putting it on a paper towel so that you can throw the paper towel away. I am usually using peppermint around the time of delivery, because a lot of moms vomit or struggle with nausea during that time and immediately following the birth.
Oh also- speaking of physiology, you don't want to interfere too much with the "natural smells" your body and the baby's body are emitting. A lot of the first bonding experience at birth is facilitated by smells. And when moms smells amniotic fluid, it triggers hormones in her brain (with many other things) to start milk production. Baby usually wants/needs to smell mom's natural odor to latch on the first time as well.
Previously known as ~~Que~~
Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
Thanks Que...thats actually really helpful, I like that it is something you do for your clients. The idea of keeping the scent on a cloth vs on my skins makes sense and I don't know if I would have thought of that. thanks!