Essential oils can be a helpful tool to boost your postpartum energy levels when you need them most. Learn more about five postpartum-supportive essential oils you can try today.
Postpartum is a joyous period; bringing your baby home and settling into a new routine is one of the most exciting parts of motherhood. But it has its own sets of challenges, specifically, fatigue.
And since you’ll rarely find time for a nap, and excessive caffeine can cause you to crash, essential oils are an effective solution to boosting your postpartum energy levels.
With roots in ancient practices, these oils promise more than just pleasant scents; they offer tangible energy boosts and emotional support. We’ll quickly explain precisely how essential oils can help you regain energy and which are the most effective.
Understanding essential oils and aromatherapy
Basics of essential oils
Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted directly from plants, usually via steam distillation or cold pressing.
In steam distillation, the leaves, flowers, and stems are treated with steam, which forces the oils out of the plant to be collected and bottled for use.
On the other hand, cold pressing involves mechanically squeezing or pressing plants until they release their oils.
The science behind aromatherapy
Aromatherapy taps into our brain’s limbic system, the area responsible for emotions, memories, and arousal, which undergoes significant change and growth in the weeks after giving birth.
When we inhale essential oil molecules, they stimulate this system, influencing our mood and overall well-being. For example, lavender helps calm the mind, while peppermint helps invigorate it.
Beyond the limbic system, certain oils offer direct physiological benefits, such as anti-inflammatory or antibacterial properties. This blend of neurological and physiological responses underpins the therapeutic power of aromatherapy.
These oils don’t just smell good; they interact with our body and mind to promote wellness when needed.
5 essential oils to fuel your postpartum energy
Disclaimer: Please consult your care provider before using essential oils, especially if breastfeeding.
1. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil stimulates the senses, sharpens focus, and elevates overall mood. Extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha piperita), its menthol content provides an energy boost alongside a refreshing scent.
Instead of caffeine, you can add a few drops to your diffuser to disperse the aroma throughout a room. For a direct approach, mix it with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba and apply topically. If you’re in a rush and don’t have the time, you can also take a few quick inhales directly from the bottle.
If you’re looking for more than an energy boost, peppermint oil can also help relieve nausea and muscle aches and has even been shown to help postpartum women release their bladder, especially if a catheter is involved.
2. Lemon oil
Lemon oil is extracted from fresh lemon rinds (Citrus limonum) via cold pressing.
This burst of sunshine in a bottle can help uplift your spirit, clear your mind, and even offer a gentle boost to the immune system, thanks to its rich vitamin C content. Inhaling its crisp scent directly or through a diffuser can instantly brighten a gloomy mood and help you battle postpartum depression.
Beyond aromatherapy, lemon oil’s antimicrobial properties make it the perfect component for natural, homemade cleaning solutions, leaving surfaces sparkling and the home smelling fresh.
3. Rosemary oil
It’s a favorite among new mothers who want to combat fatigue and clear mental fog, and a study from the International Journal of Neuroscience suggests that it may subjectively improve one’s mood.
But that’s not all; rosemary oil can also rejuvenate the scalp, promoting healthier hair when massaged with a base carrier oil. Add it to diffuser blends for a mental lift, pairing it perhaps with uplifting citrus oils like lemon.
4. Orange oil
Distilled from fresh orange peels (Citrus sinensis), orange essential oil is a beacon of positivity for new mothers. Its sweet scent naturally reduces stress, offers a hint of antidepressant qualities, and fortifies immunity—a trifecta postpartum moms can genuinely appreciate.
A simple diffusion in the living room (away from your children) or a relaxing orange-infused bath can create a serene escape from baby-induced fatigue. The oil’s vibrant citrus aroma helps invigorate your senses and offers a momentary tropical getaway during demanding postpartum days.
5. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is the breath of fresh air you’ve been looking for. Distilled from eucalyptus tree leaves (Eucalyptus globulus), the piercing scent cuts through brain fog, promoting mental sharpness to push you through those sleep-deprived mornings.
When you finally have time, add a few drops to your shower, allowing the steam to disperse the molecules and empower you to take on the day – it’s your mini spa.
Eucalyptus oil can also provide respiratory relief, helping to clear nasal congestion, a common issue that can last for weeks and months after giving birth.
How to maximize essential oil benefits safely after birth
1. Use them safely
For postpartum moms, essential oils offer the right energy to crush your day but require careful handling, especially around newborns.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, like jojoba or almond, before topical application to prevent skin irritation.
When diffusing, limit exposure to short intervals, less than 30 minutes at a time. Though exceptions exist, you should not ingest or diffuse the oils in the same room as young children.
Furthermore, you should consult your healthcare professional before incorporating any into your routine, especially if breastfeeding.
2. Blend multiple oils together
Mixing different essential oils can magnify their effects, creating powerful combinations tailored to postpartum needs.
For instance, combining a mood-lifting oil (lemon) with one that promotes focus (peppermint) can yield a blend that uplifts and sharpens the mind—precisely what a tired mother might crave.
Plus, blending offers a milder alternative if you’re sensitive to potent aromas, like peppermint. The harmonious mix can provide sensory pleasure, making aromatherapy sessions more appealing.
A blend of peppermint and lemon can invigorate new mothers navigating morning lethargy. Peppermint’s stimulating properties and lemon’s uplifting scent make mornings more manageable.
Come midday, when energy might start waning again, a mix of rosemary and orange serves well to power through till bedtime. Rosemary’s concentration-boosting qualities and the stress-reducing scent of orange provide a perfect midday refresher.
3. Establish a consistent aromatherapy routine
Establishing routines can feel like anchoring points for postpartum moms on chaotic days. Consistency in aromatherapy is no different. Regularly incorporating essential oils into daily routines will compound the benefits over time and can help your chronic fatigue fade with each passing day.
Identifying the best times to use specific oils is crucial. For instance, energizing oils work best during morning routines, while calming ones might fit bedtime rituals. Paying attention to when you feel most drained can help tailor an effective aromatherapy schedule.
Lastly, keeping a journal to track the effects of different oils proves beneficial. Post-inhalation or after a topical application, jotting down feelings helps pinpoint which blends and oils resonate most. Over time, this personal log will guide postpartum mothers to fine-tune their aromatherapy journey for maximum energy and well-being.
Final thoughts on using essential oils after birth
Navigating the postpartum phase isn’t easy, especially when constantly running on empty. It’s common for mothers to grapple with fatigue and fluctuating emotions. But essential oils offer a natural, therapeutic solution.
Whether you’re new to ayurvedic medicine or a seasoned aromatherapy enthusiast looking to get back into natural healing, essential oils can help you navigate the tiring postpartum phase.