Homeward Bound

Acupressure and Aromatherapy to help start labour and for use during birth

Congratulations on reaching the end of your pregnancy! 

At My Independent Midwife we know that you may be keen to avoid medical induction of labour once you are past your due date. Aromatherapy and acupressure can offer benefits for starting labour and for use in birth.

 independent midwife in Liverpool and Manchester


This service aims to;

  • Aid the natural start of labour using complementary therapies including aromatherapy and acupressure.
  • Provide aromatherapy blends that you can use during your birth to ease your discomfort and even quicken the process.

You may prefer not to use these therapies to encourage your birth to start and rather to have them for use once your birth has started spontaneously. However, you want to use your aromatherapy blends we completely support your choices. We will provide you with an ideal blend to suit your individual requirements and preferences.


independent midwife in Liverpool and Manchester

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of scents from natural oils or essential oils to create a relaxing and soothing environment which in turn affects the mind and the body and creates a balance. Aromatherapy is a technique to make it easy for you to manage the discomfort, anxiety, and stress that can come with birth.

The aromatherapy oils are formed from plant-based ingredients and can enhance well-being. Aromatherapy oils can be rubbed and massaged into the skin, diffused around the room, or mixed in the bath. It is a complementary therapy and does not replace medical guidance. Aromatherapy is recommended to be used along with other medications or comfort measures that you may choose in your birth.

 How does Aromatherapy help in Birth?

Anxiety and pain stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and releases stress related hormones such as noradrenaline, cortisol and adrenaline, which consequently increase the severity of discomfort and the duration of birth. Adrenaline can even prevent the production of oxytocin-the hormone responsible for contractions during birth.

Promoting a feeling of calmness has a profound effect on the birthing experience. Holistic approaches such as relaxation techniques, hypnobirthing, acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy and aromatherapy have been identified as effective and safe in improving psychological and physical birth outcomes.

Smells are powerful for evoking memories and feelings deep inside. You want to aim for a feeling of peace, calm and deep relaxation. The more relaxed you are during birth, the better the process will be.


Aromatherapy oil can really help with many elements of birth including:

  • Fear
  • Calming mental chatter
  • Nausea
  • Relief for strong surges (contractions 


  •  Increase strength and frequency of surges
  • Creating a dream space
  • Relaxing
  • Helping a birthing mother to let go

Acupressure Points to Induce Labour

Acupressure focuses on the body's natural pressure points to induce labour, which are said to be the areas where most energy is stored away.


Stimulating pressure points with maternity acupressure has been proven safe and effective as a means of inducing labour. This method works because pressing certain points on your body stimulates your uterus and causes it to contract. Moreover, it not only encourages birth but also eases the process of giving birth.

There are three general situations you may find yourself in that can be remedied by maternity acupressure.

  • The most common one would be when you have gone past your due date but have not yet entered birth.
  • The second is when you are already in labour but need to strengthen your contractions in order to push your baby out.
  • Lastly, you can also use acupressure when your amniotic fluid has already broken, but you still have not entered labour.

Warning: Although using maternity acupressure can be very helpful, be certain that you are absolutely ready to deliver your baby. Never employ the procedure before you have completed all stages of pregnancy and it is safe for your baby to be born.


 independent midwife in Liverpool and Manchester

Seeing an aromatherapist - what to expect

During your consultation, your aromatherapist will ask you what you would like to use aromatherapy  and acupressure to help with, your lifestyle, general health and well-being. They may also discuss your medical history to gain a full picture of your health before starting. Once you have discussed the reasons and your desired outcome, the aromatherapist will suggest a treatment plan.
The personalised treatment plan will likely include at-home treatments acupressure and an aromatherapy massage. Each individual is different and the duration of the course will depend on your circumstances.
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy. It is designed to work in harmony with any other treatments you may be receiving. Your aromatherapist will expertly formulate the perfect aromatherapy blends to address your individual needs and personal preferences.

 You may be wondering if aromatherapy is for you during your labour and birth, please contact us we would love to hear from you!


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Which Aromatherapy Oils To Use For Labour

Aromatherapy using essential oils is a trusted traditional method of easing discomfort during labour. There are some very popular essential oils used worldwide. Using essential oils to induce labour is an effective choice. In fact, these oils do not just induce labour naturally but work greatly to relieve labour discomfort.

Lavender Oil is a particular favourite of aromatherapy users. It will help to soothe you down during labour pain and before that as well. It can be used via a diffuser or massaged on the skin to ease muscle tension as well. Lavender is well known for it's relaxing and sedative properties.

Peppermint oil is another popular aromatherapy oil for labour and can help with back labour. It also helps tone down nausea during pregnancy. A lot of women suffer from nausea and vomiting during the birth.


Clary Sage is an amazing choice as an aromatherapy oil for labour. It helps not only to jumpstart labour but also during labour to calm down the nerves. This oil is particularly helpful in producing breast milk as well.

independent midwife in Liverpool and Manchester

Frankincense is one of the most powerful essential oils for aromatherapy during labour. It is very soothing when applied to the lower back or can also be put in a diffuser or even on tissue paper. Another great spot to put this oil is the centre of the palms. This can prove to be quite useful near the end of labour as it can be applied as a moisturizer as well.

Jasmine is similar to Clary Sage and has calming properties. It also helps to induce labour as well all the while reducing labour pain. 


Boost mood using citrus oil – beat pregnancy and postpartum blues using citrus oils like lemon, lime and mandarin. They are refreshing and energizing. These oils are known to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Citrus oils do not only boost the mood but also boost the immune system. 

Using oils in labour

There are many ways oils can be used such as:

  • Massage
  • In a diffuser – a lovely way to get the oil into the birthing environment
  • In a bath during the first stage of labour but not a birthing pool
  • A few drops of oil on a hand held fan
  • Placing a flannel in a cold or warm water bath and placing this on the birthing mother
  • Placing cotton wool in a jar sprinkled with a few drops of oil and opened when a mother wants to smell the oil. 



independent midwife in Liverpool and Manchester 

Is Aromatherapy Safe in Pregnancy?

As safe as aromatherapy is, you must still be careful while using different kinds of aromatherapy oils. Some oils can be safely applied to the skin while others are better if they are put in a diffuser or diluted with a carrier oil. Many women swear by these oils during pregnancy and they are considered very safe. We will only ever use aromatherapy oils that have been proven to be safe in pregnancy and we will ensure that you are able to use them safely and effectively.

Therapy in your home

We will come to your home on a day and at a time convenient to you, please enquire for availability. Any birth partners are welcome to join the sessions. We love to meet your family and children are more than welcome to be present. We are able to provide evening and weekend appointments if preferred. 



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Research Studies and Further Information