Kyle Ellen Nuse, DTI Doula and Holistic Health Practitioner
I was introduced to Therapeutic and Food Grade Essential Oils when I was pregnant with my daughter Olive in 2009 (at this time I was not yet a Doula, but a Holistic Health Practitioner). I had some dust covered bottles of Whole Food’s brand lavender and peppermint stashed in my bathroom somewhere, but these Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, what I now refer to as, “living bottles of magic,” had a different energy, and I had to have them immediately.
I quickly ordered a starter kit of 9 different oils, got a cold water diffuser so I would not heat the oils and kill their therapeutic qualities, and learned as much as my pregnant brain could absorb from my teacher, a mother of four herself.
She taught me all the ways in which I could use the oils safely while pregnant, during my planned home-birth labor and delivery, as well as on the baby once it arrived. Knowing that I wanted to have a naturally and un-medicated labor as possible, the idea of having the oils at my side was extremely comforting and empowering.
What are Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils (TGEO), and how do they differ from the Whole Foods brands and other oils you see at health food stores?
TGEO’s are the purest essential oils on earth. In basic terms this means that the plants, trees, flowers, shrubs, from which they are extracted, are grown in the most native and organic environment possible. For example, Lavender is grown in France, Idaho Balsam Fir in Idaho, Frankincense in the Middle East, etc. They are distilled in such a way that the oils, or the life force and immune system of the plant, are not compromised or killed. No carrier oils are added to dilute them; no chemicals are added to preserve them, and no synthetic fragrances are added to “enhance” them. They are 100%, organic, essential oils– so much so that you can eat them, as me and my family often do!
Historically, essential oils have played a prominent role in everyday life. In the Bible alone, there are over 200 references to essential oils, most commonly Frankincense, Myrrh, and Lavender, used for preventing illness, healing the sick and anointing babies, like Jesus. I am not religious, but the idea of anointing my daughter with sacred healing oils that were once more valuable than gold, was very appealing to me!
How does one use and apply oils?
There are many different ways to use the oils, which keeps it fun and exciting! Here are the most common ways, but don’t forget to let your Mother-knows-best intuition guide you:
What really appealed to me about TGEO’s, and got me so passionate about them, is how versatile they are and how empowering it is to have them AT HOME and BY MY SIDE, literally, whenever I needed them. As most of us have experienced, having to schedule an appointment to see a doctor, or even a holistic practitioner for every scrap and fever, is impractical and expensive! Just knowing that I could say, “I have an oil for that” made me a much less stressed out pregnant lady and mother. And now, my daughter at 2.5 years old, tells me which oils she needs, and offers me an oil and a kiss when I am feeling blue.
You can never start too early teaching your little ones how to take control of their health in the most life enhancing and empowering of ways!
In Part 2, of this 3 part series, I will talk specifically about which oils a Labor Doula can use to best support herself, laboring mother, father, and child. Stay tuned!
Kyle Ellen Nuse practices in NYC at Empower Your Birth.