Pregnancy and Birth: Energy and Relief From Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil can improve your comfort level during pregnancy and childbirth - just check with your caregiver first! Image by Decoded Pregnancy

Peppermint essential oil can improve your comfort level during pregnancy and childbirth – just check with your caregiver first! Image by Decoded Pregnancy

Peppermint During Labor

Peppermint oil has two fabulous uses during labor:

  • Peppermint gives a tired, laboring woman strength when she simply inhales it.
  • Peppermint helps a laboring mother urinate. Since a full bladder is not beneficial to labor, at times, mom can have trouble urinating during intense contractions. Place peppermint oil in the toilet while mom is sitting on it to help her urinate or place it in a birthing tub for the same effect.

Peppermint Oil: A few words of caution:

As with any natural remedy, everyone has different reactions to essential oils. Before you use any essential oil, inhale the aroma first. Don’t use it if you feel queasy or uneasy while inhaling it – remember that your body knows best. Just because certain properties of the oils typically help people in specific ways, it doesn’t mean that they help every individual. Your body really does know if oil will be helpful for you or not.

For example, in some individuals, peppermint oil causes contractions, so check with your caregiver if you’re at risk for premature labor or have shown any sensitivity to the oil. Use Peppermint only if you used it in the past (pre-pregnancy) without any adverse reactions. When in doubt, try inhaling something milder to see if it has a more pleasant scent. For example, spearmint oil can have many of the same properties as peppermint oil, but it is much milder.

Never apply an essential oil directly to a woman in labor. Due to a mother’s changing desires during labor she may want to inhale a scent one minute and the next minute she may not. Simply add a drop or two to a tissue and put it next to mom. If mom is tired of the scent you can then get rid of the tissue.

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As a reminder, don’t use peppermint oil during lactation because it slows milk production, and be cautious of using peppermint oil for infants and young children. Always ask your caregiver if you have questions or concerns, or before adding any supplements to your regimen during pregnancy or lactation.


Rayburn, D. Gentle Babies. Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children. 4th edition. (2013) Growing Healthy Homes, LLC.

Eman M. Sayed Ahmed, Saher M. Soliman, Hisham M. Mahmoud. Effect of Peppermint as One of Carminatives on Relieving Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD During Pregnancy. (2012). Journal of American Science. Accessed June 26, 2013.

Göbel H, Schmidt G, Soyka D. Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters. Cephalalgia. 1994 Jun; 14(3):228-34; discussion 182. Accessed June 9, 2013.

J. Hawkins. Understanding Holistic Health. (2010). Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health.

Jones, O. Essence of Peppermint, a History of the Medicine and its Bottle.Historical Archaeology. Accessed June 26, 2013.

Editorial Note: This article was originally published with information on the internal use of pure, food-grade peppermint essential oil. The practice of taking essential oils internally during pregnancy is controversial; please consult your caregiver before any internal application of essential oils. 

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