December 2014


The Birth Chronicles

December 2014


Birth Matters

Are Essential Oils Safe To Use While Pregnant?

Arlene Norman


Serving the DFW Metroplex

First let us answer the question “What are Essential Oils”?  Essential oils are highly concentrated substances extracted from plants that have been around for hundreds of years.  There are three safe and simple ways to use essential oils; Aromatic, Topically, or internally.  You never want to put the oils in your eyes, ears or nose.  If you do get them in these areas dilute with carrier oil – NEVER use WATER.  Like with anything use caution when using essential oils and buy from a reputable seller.

The benefits of using essential oils during pregnancy are huge.  You can use them from morning sickness, swollen ankles, fatigue, aches and pains to using them as your source of prenatal supplement.

Essential oils to use while pregnant:

Cypress: Cypress is safe for use after five months and helps to relieve varicose veins, soothe swollen ankles and ease hemorrhoids.

Eucalyptus: This oil is fabulous if you’re feeling a little congested as it acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral to ease symptoms of respiratory congestion.

Geranium: Great for boosting energy and promoting circulation, geranium is safe to use after the first three months of pregnancy. It also relieves aching legs and helps you to feel refreshed.

Lavender: Safe for use after 12-weeks, lavender is a great oil to feel serene, relaxed and balanced. It also eases pregnancy aches and pains and reduces fluid retention.

Melaleuca: To be used only during pregnancy and not during labor, Melaleuca is antifungal and antiviral oil that helps ease the symptoms of thrush during pregnancy.

Sandalwood: If you’re having troubles sleeping or feeling relaxed, you’ll want to invest in some sandalwood oil. Sandalwood is a natural sedative and anti-depressant and also eases cystitis during pregnancy.

Wild Orange: This essential oil is said to make you feel joyous, calm and uplifted.

Ylang ylang: This great all-rounder is a must-have during pregnancy. Not only does it act as an aphrodisiac, but it also reduces your blood pressure and it said to comfort individuals that are feeling tense or stressed.

Essential oils to use while laboring:

Balance: on the feet to help relax and increase a sense of courage to continue with the birthing process.
Black Pepper: Great for back labor to ease discomfort and help baby to move
Clary Sage: facilitates birth as a euphoric and an analgesic, as a tonic to the respiratory muscles, the uterine system and calms the lower spinal cord.  Put 3-4 drops on the inner ankles to help speed labor up.
Elevation: Great for creating a joyful experience. Uplifting and calming
Geranium: is an anti-depressant; it stimulates circulation and has a contractive effect on the endometrium and uterus.
Jasmine: Great pain reliever but will also intensify contractions and make them more effective.
Lavender: balances, relaxes and potentiates all the other oils.
Myrrh: Helps to intensify contractions and get things moving when labor has stalled.
Peppermint: when inhaled can help reduce anxiety and hypertension.  On the lower back it can be cooling.
Rose: it works as a uterine relaxant and it helps ligaments to soften enabling the pelvic bones to expand more easily.
Serenity: is a calming blend designed to reduce stress by calming the nervous system, creating a sense of well-being and improved health through the natural reduction of stress and its related symptoms.
Essential Oils to use for common issues:

Morning Sickness: Peppermint oil is excellent and there is a blend called DigestZen that is very good for nausea. If you can handle the taste, a drop of either under the tongue will do wonders. A drop in water can be sipped on throughout the day too. If you can’t stand the taste it can be put into a gel cap and swallowed. You can diffuse peppermint into the air, rub it on your tummy and on the bottoms of your feet, which is an excellent place for applying the oils for the fastest delivery.
Congestion: For whatever reason, some of us get really stuffed up sinuses. The Breathe blend is what you want to reach for. You can either put it into a diffuser or a drop in the palm of your hand and cup your hands over your nose and inhale.
Depression & Emotional Stress: Lavender and Elevation blend mixed with a carrier oil can be very helpful. Apply it to neck, the wrists and behind the ears.
Sleeplessness & Insomnia: Lavender, Ylang Ylang & Serenity may just do the trick. Massage any or all 3 with a little carrier oil on to feet. They can be diffused or spritz a little on to your pillow.
Back & Leg Pain: You will love Deep Blue and Aroma Touch. Also take a warm Epsom salt bath with a little Lavender, so soothing.
Edema: Drink a little Lemon oil in all of the water you drink, it is a very good detoxifier. Also you can mix Geranium, Ginger, Lavender and Lemon in a bottle mixed with Fractionated Coconut oil and apply to feet and ankles a few times a day.
Gas: A little peppermint & honey in some warm water.
If you would like more information on essential oils and using them during pregnancy, postpartum and newborn care feel free to send me an email and I will send you a schedule for upcoming classes.  I usually teach a webinar once a month.

Exercise During Pregnancy
Candace R. Gesicki, DC

Cleveland Chiropractic and Integrative Health Center

6497 Brecksville Rd.

Independence, OH 44131

Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can not only help you feel your best and help you stay healthy, but it can also decrease labor times.
If you were not active prior to your pregnancy, walking and swimming can be a great place for you to start; both are easy on your body and joints.  Keep an eye out for prenatal workout classes.  Prenatal yoga and prenatal aerobics are becoming more popular at fitness centers.  Organizations like FIT4MOM and Baby Boot Camp are great fitness programs for every stage of motherhood!
Squats are an important exercise to add to your regime as they help open the pelvic outlet that lets the baby descend during labor.  Strengthening the muscles activated during a squat throughout pregnancy will aid labor.  Squats should be done with feet shoulder width apart, back straight, and heels on the floor.  Try to avoid letting your knees fall in front of your feet.  The squat can be held for 3-10 seconds.  Repeat.
Exercise during pregnancy can provide the following benefits: reduces backaches, improves posture, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, increases your energy, improves your mood, reduces constipation and other digestive complaints, promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance, and improves your ability to cope with labor.  Exercise during pregnancy also helps your body recover after your baby is born!
If you have a preexisting medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, exercise during pregnancy should be avoided or monitored.  Consult your birth team if any of the following conditions arise: bleeding or spotting, low placenta, threatened or recurrent miscarriage, history of early labor, weak cervix, and history of premature births.  Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.  Supine exercises (exercises in which you lay on your back) should be avoided after the first trimester.  Prior to beginning or altering your exercise regime, it is advised that you consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidelines specific to your needs and medical history.

Placenta Encapsulation: TCM VS Raw Method

Stacey Davis B.S.HDFS

Birth Doula

Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

Postpartum Coach and Educator


Southern Utah


        Placenta Encapsulation is the process of taking the placenta and cleaning, processing, drying and grinding it down to be put into capsules. This process is done after baby has been born and no longer needs it for gestational maturation. This is not a new concept. It has actually been around for thousands of years.

The first known writings was in a Chinese Medical Menifesto in the 1500’s. In fact the Chinese have been using placenta for thousands of years for many ailments including but not limited too: fatigue, postpartum recovery, cancer, menopause and as a lactogen.

There are two different methods that are commonly used. Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM, and The Raw Method. The difference in the processing of the placenta is that when using the TCM method it is steamed prior to being placed in the dehydrator. The Raw Method it immediately goes into the dehydrator.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the steaming produces a heating which aids in healing and the yin/yang concept. Yin energy is feminine and birth is seen as a yin, as well as a period of cooling and loss of energy. When it is steamed it produces a Yang energy and becomes warming. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes in the balance of the Yin and the Yang. For those who choose The Raw Method, they often follow a vegetarian, vegan or raw diet.

The process of steaming is also thought to aid in removing harmful bacteria from the placenta prior to encapsulation. Steaming reduces the time in the dehydrator as well. The postpartum recovery when taking placenta pills have found similar results when comparing the two different methods.

It is invaluable to find a placenta encapsulator who has been trained in the method that you would prefer to use.  There are many things that go into the care of your placenta as well as the dosage you should take. Using a placenta encapsulation specialist who has been trained properly ensures that your placenta is being cared for, treated and processed in the correct way. She is also best able to instruct you on the correct dosage that will benefit you postpartum.





(818) 222-1120



Having an acupuncturist as part of your professional birthing team can make an incredible difference as an adjunct for prenatal, labor & delivery, and postpartum care.  Whether you’re a doula, lactation consultant, OB/Gyn, Midwife, Chiropractor, RN, birth educator, placenta encapsulator, prenatal yoga teacher or massage therapist, you may have clients who need to consult with an acupuncturist.  Knowing when to refer is important and acupuncture can make your client more comfortable, can possibly avoid a c-section, reduce or eliminate pain and help her to have a more positive birthing experience overall.
The acupuncturist on your team should be well trained in reproductive medicine.  ABORM (American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine) is the only reproductive specialty board for acupuncturists and its fellows are experts in dealing with fertility, pregnancy and postpartum issues.  Acupuncturists need not be ABORM fellows to be well versed in reproduction but you will have confidence knowing that your clients are receiving high quality care from a practitioner experienced in pregnancy, labor and postpartum when you refer to an ABORM member.  Please visit for find out what our fellows do and to locate someone in your area.
The reasons to visit an acupuncturist prenatally or postpartum are numerous and can include:

infertility, nausea, vomiting & hyperemesis, heartburn, constipation, skin irritations, headaches, back/hip/leg pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, insomnia, Bell’s palsy, breech presentation, labor preparation and induction, labor pain, labor augmentation, postpartum pain, depression, insufficient lactation, mastitis, to name a few.  The most common referrals I receive are for breech presentation, labor preparation, nausea and fertility.
In addition to treating with needles, most acupuncturists are trained in herbal medicines, acupressure, cupping, Tui-na and moxibustion.
Aligning yourself with and getting to know the right acupuncturists nearby before your client’s need develops can be beneficial.  As we all know, babies lead the way in birthing and we are  never sure what will present and when.  Preparation by having an acupuncturist on your professional birthing team will put your clients at ease knowing that care is available should the need arise.


Iron County Support Services

Wic: Provides coupons for food such as milk and cheese for pregnant women and children up to age 6. They offer education regarding nutritional needs. 260 DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City; 435-586-2437.

Teddy Bear Den: Sponsored by The March Of Dimes. Offers incentives to low income women for practicing healthy pregnancy skills.  Michelle at 435-463-1229 or Kelsy at 801-391-4553

Utah Doula Association: Non-profit organization providing education and resources. Find a Doula for your birth.

Hope Pregnancy Care Center: Non-profit organization offering education and resources. Free pregnancy tests. Go to

La Leche Leauge of Cedar City: A support group for breastfeeding moms. Meets the first Fridy of the month at the Cedar City Library at 10:00 am.  Find them on facebook under Cedar City Le Leche League.

Free to Feed: Breastfeeding support group meets every Monday from 9:30-11:30 am. Free to Feed is a free breastfeeding and mothering support group created by moms for moms. For more information go to

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