Aromatherapy Awareness Week: Midwifery Society celebrates aromatherapy

Categories: School of Health and Society

To celebrate Aromatherapy Awareness Week 2021, we take a look at the Midwifery Society’s success with aromatherapy training during the pandemic.

Nicole and Carolyn

Last year, the Midwifery Society made Aromatherapy for Childbirth, a course accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, available for members at a reduced rate.

The course has been adapted to be taken online and teaches midwives how to use aromatherapy to help parents in labour.

This includes learning the effects of different oils (did you know that clary sage oil helps stimulate contractions?) and practicing massage.

Nicole Rajan-Brown, society co-chair, said: “Aromatherapy is an invaluable skill to have in midwifery. We decided to offer the course online to allow students to complete it in their own time, due to differing timetables.”

Second year student Carolyn Zitha signed up for the course as she thought it was an interesting opportunity to gain an accredited qualification.

She enjoyed the course’s practical elements, especially creating her own aromatherapy blends.

Carolyn said: “It was great to learn about the different oils and their effects. For example, lavender has a relaxing scent and can help someone who is anxious about giving birth. However, too much lavender oil can actually have the opposite effect, which is important to bear in mind.

“I loved making my own blends and this is something I still practice now.”

Lindsay Woodman and Jude Davis, who run the course, said they wanted to ensure they taught learners how to blend to individualise treatment, rather than offer generic blends.

Jude said: “Being able to blend oils together to treat women in a very personal way affirms that you are caring and are responding to their situation.”

Carolyn also enjoyed the massage demonstration module, which saw her practice massage techniques on her son. The course required students to submit a massage demonstration video, so students really did get a hands-on experience.

“It was great that there were so many practical elements even though the course was online,” Carolyn said.

The society went on to set up a Facebook page for students, so they could communicate while on the course. It gave them a sense of community, especially as placements had been cancelled due to the pandemic when the aromatherapy course was made available.

“It was so nice to be able to focus on something positive together,” Carolyn said.

Carolyn is now confident that her aromatherapy skills will help her as she furthers her career.

She said: “If I was at a home birth or in a birth centre, having that aromatherapy knowledge could really help. It’s such a great skill to have and will set us apart from other midwives.”

On the take-up of the virtual course, Jude said: “The online version of the course is far more effective than we thought, we love how we can give far more individual attention and feedback to learners than we are able to do in an in-person study day. 

“The feedback is hugely positive and inspires us to keep going.”

Keep updated with the latest events from the Midwifery Society on Facebook, and find out more about Aromatherapy for Childbirth.

Photo: Left, Nicole Rajan-Brown, right, Carolyn Zitha

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