"Aromatherapy and 1st born son"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

When I became pregnant with our first child, I decided that as a holistic therapist I should try to follow a positive and holistic approach to the situation. So I started to use aromatherapy essential oils to help me sleep as well as relaxing our unborn child. I would use a very small dilution of oil so 1 drop of essential oil for every 5 ml of base oil used. I found lavender and ginger very useful, as the lavender would relax me and ginger aided recovery from sickness; which I tended to get around about dinner time.

I also decided to attend a pregnancy yoga class every week from 16 weeks. This was a great way to meet other mummies to be; but also allowed me to be at one with my unborn baby and way of relaxing. The tutor also taught us breathing techniques and positions for during labour in a pre-birth preparation class.

After attending our first antenatal parenting class we decided that a “natural birth” would be best for our unborn child, we also thought we would only have intervention if it was needed. The midwives had also stated that it might be an idea to get a birthing ball so I could sit on this when watching tv or just wanted a seat, as it allowed me to move my pelvis in circles, therefore strengthen muscles that would be useful during labour.

In May 2012 I was admitted into hospital overnight, as I had been bleeding a little bit. The doctors were not expecting anything to happen, so I went off to sleep for a restful night’s sleep. Then at:

5. 30 am

I awoke as I needed the facilities, then my waters broke, it was a bit of a shock but I was well monitored by the midwives and was put on a monitor to see how baby was and to see how frequently my contractions were coming. I started to listen to some relaxing music on my I-pod to help me focus, I then started to inhale a blend of geranium (balance hormones), lemon (to uplift) and vetiver (great for grounding and reducing anxiety) by placing it on my hands and inhaling every 5 minutes or so.

8. 30 am

My husband, daddy to be and birth partner arrived. I walked down to the delivery suite as I was experiencing more regular contractions. Once we had settled into a very spacious birthing room; I decided that the birthing ball (gym ball) would be where I felt most comfortable. I only went onto the bed if I needed to be examined.

11. 30am

I then decided at 3. 5-4 cm that I would start to use my labour blend which included a combination of lavender, geranium, petit grain and ylang ylang this blend enabled me to feel grounded and in control in a very uncontrollable situation. This blend was massaged into my lower back as this is the area I had a lot of discomfort, by my birth partner (husband) while sat on the birthing ball.

12 am

At this point of the labour they needed to put me on Pitocin as my contractions needed to be helped along and speeded up, as I had been in labour for about 7 hours so the hospital staff needed to intervene a bit. Although I was now attached to a drip I was able to still move around using my birth partner as a support I would move from side to side. And I used the birthing ball continuously. As the contractions became stronger I started to use the labour blend as a slight pain relief. With the encouragement of the midwife and my birth partner I focussed through each contraction by focussing on the lettering which was on a small label on the bed in front of me. A technique taught to me through yoga. I also used deep breathing throughout.

2 pm

It was felt I was coping well with each contraction. I was also surprised that I didn’t feel physically sick. I was examined and was found to be about 7-8 cm, I was offered Paracetamol but I declined as I felt fine in between contractions. I continued to use the blend and I started to inhale the blend through my nose as well as having it constantly massaged into my lower back, I continued to try to move around on my birthing ball. I also had verbal encouragement throughout.

5. 10 pm

I continued the massage and yoga positions during the labour. I found the ylang ylang helped me not to feel anxious and I felt grounded throughout this stage of labour. I was examined at this point as I felt a lot of pressure and felt as though I wanted to push. The next half hour seemed to move very quickly.

As they found once the midwife examined me found that I was 9. 5 cm needed to be put on gas and air due to the fact that baby was in the wrong position for birth as it was an undiagnosed breech birth. I think he/she moved during labour. I was still surprisingly calm but as it was I still had the urge to push so they prepped me for surgery and explained they would probably need to do a caesarean section. But I do remember having a lot of people running into the room to assist the midwife.

5. 20 pm

I was then prepped for an epidural and was told that I would need an emergency c-section. I knew what was happened but was still in shock I think.

5. 42 pm

Although I felt calm with it, once baby was out I knew everything was alright. We found out that the baby was a boy. A healthy boy, who cried once and then looked around the room at everyone, I truly believe that he was healthy due to the quick thinking of the medical staff, but also because I tried to not use interventions and used a blend that what not only keep me calm but would have kept baby boy calm as well. Baby boy was 7lb 15! !

Recovery

After a long labour both baby and I were taken to the postnatal ward for medical treatment and rest. Baby was well until the next day when it was felt that he was unable to regulate his own temperature and that he needed to go down to special care.

Baby was in special care for 10 days. He was also put on a drip to help feed him. The longest ten days of our life, but he was feeding well and was a good weight. So they weren’t too worried about him, although he had jaundice and had problems regulating his temperature. So he was in an incubator for a day or two.

I kept up with massaging my hormone balancing blend into my hands and kept inhaling this as we both needed balancing. We were in the special care for up to 12 hours a day and I was trying to recover from a c-section.

After getting baby boy home I continued massage every other night on him before he went to bed. And I also took him to baby yoga as I want him to find a way of coping with the stresses of life. I also found it was a great way for us to bond as our start in life together along with dad was very difficult and challenging. Although we both feel the whole process of pregnancy and birth was a positive experience for us all. As we learnt a lot about the power of essential oils and that yoga is a powerful way of coping with physical, mental and emotional stress.

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Responses

Response from Heather Edwards, Head of Communications, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Congratulations - glad all is well.

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