Aromatherapy With Infants - by admin@mcb on May 24 2016

Aromatherapy With Infants

Aromatherapy With Infants

What is the best way to use aromatherapy with infants? There are safe ways to bring the benefits of essential oils to your newborn. There are also cautions you should observe.

Most aromatherapists suggest that no essential oils should be used with a baby under three to six months of age. When using aromatherapy with infants, avoid putting the oils directly on the skin, especially the hands and fingers. This is to avoid unpleasant sensations if the baby rubs its eyes or puts its fist in its mouth. Once the child is a bit older, you can add one drop of oils known to be safe for infants per one ounce of food grade oil, such as grapeseed or jojoba. Avoid potential allergens such as nut oils or chemically laden lotions or oils. Don’t put anything on their skin that you wouldn’t put in their mouth. Another option is to dilute the oils in breast milk (for dispersing into bath water or applying on baby’s skin, not given orally). A single drop of essential oils blended with an ounce or more of carrier oil or milk is plenty.

Aromatherapy With Infants Safety Precautions

Julie Cottle, a naturopath, breastfeeding counselor, and mother of four, has an article on aromatherapy with infants that can be found here.

She lists several safety precautions for using aromatherapy with infants:
• Never give oils internally or put them directly on the skin (essential oils can burn sensitive skin if not properly diluted)
• Don’t use oils in or too close to the eyes or other mucous membranes.
• If any irritation occurs, discontinue use.
• Always check for contraindications and make sure the oil you are using is safe to use on babies.

For dispersing aromatherapy near your infant, avoid using a diffuser until your baby is a bit older. A safer alternative is to put a drop of essential oil in a bowl of hot water and place this well out of reach of children. This is an excellent method when babies and children have colds.

Aromatherapy and Infant Massage Therapy Continuing Education Courses

Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online massage therapy continuing education courses related to infant massage and aromatherapy. To learn more, visit these course offerings:
Infant Massage
Aromatherapy for Massage

Photo: “Baby Bathes in Bathroom” by David Castillo Dominici.

Compare Massage Doula With a Regular Doula - by admin@mcb on May 11 2016

Compare Massage Doula With a Regular Doula

How do you compare massage doula with a doula (a “regular” non-massage doula)?

A doula is a person, who is trained to provide physical comfort, emotional support, and information to a woman during the childbirthing process. A massage doula is a massage therapist who is also trained as a doula. With a background in massage therapy, a massage doula has more skills to serve her prenatal and birthing clients.

Most massage doulas are certified in prenatal massage, and possibly even infant massage. The services they can bring to a woman during her pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods include more services than a non-massage therapist doula can bring.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage therapy provides many benefits. Not only can it be a drug free method of reliving the aches and pains of pregnancy, it can also help a woman be better prepared for labor. Massage can help loosen tightness so the woman goes into labor with her body as free from tension as possible. During massage, proprioception (body awareness) is developed. This increased body awareness is helpful during contractions, to enable the woman to better relax muscles not involved in the birthing process, which helps to preserve strength and reduce unnecessary tension. Additionally, the massage doula and client develop an unspoken communication during the prenatal massages that will be beneficial in labor. The therapist will recognize abnormal muscle tension in the client, and can use that knowledge to target areas that need it the most during labor.

Doula Support

During labor, a massage doula will have much more expertise in helping to relieve muscle tension that invariably arises during contractions. Between the anatomical and muscular knowledge and experience with many bodywork modalities, a massage doula will have an advantage over a regular doula in bringing relaxation to the client. Additionally, like any doula, a massage doula is trained in topics such as positions and techniques to alleviate back labor, common complications and interventions with labor, and breathing and relaxation techniques for labor.


The massage doula will be able to perform postpartum massage designed to help the body return to its non-pregnant posture and balance. If also trained in infant massage, the massage doula will be able to teach the new parents how to massage their babies.

So the answer to our initial question, how do you compare massage doula with a regular doula?  A doula is a great idea. A massage doula is an even better one.

How to become a massage doula

Massage therapists can become certified in prenatal massage, doula support, and infant massage with online continuing education classes offered by the Institute of Somatic Therapy. Institute of Somatic Therapy (Judith Koch) is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider #280672-00. Our courses are also valid for Florida, Georgia, New York, AMTA, ABMP, and most states.

Illustration: “Business Concept, Businessman Compares Big Idea To Small Idea. Illustration” by aechan, courtesy of