Use of Flower Essences during pregnancy, birth and postpartum
By Laura Press
Definition of “essence” – noun. The inward nature, true substance, constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory.
Pregnancy and childbirth are times of considerable life transition. Just like any instance of transformation, a woman and her family can expect to experience a lot of emotional changes. Feelings of joy, excitement and uncertainties, along with anxiety and imbalances will ensue. The thoughts, emotions, and energy fueling our mind and spirit will most certainly have effects on how our body will react.
In fact, during the labor and birthing process, emotional blockages, sometimes known as emotional dystocia, can stop or slow a laboring woman’s progress or increase her feelings of discomfort. If a woman is feeling hurried or pressured, she can begin to feel panicked, and these emotional blockages sometimes leave a woman feeling like her body is inadequate. Physical situations arise as a result of emotional imbalances. Past traumas, secret fears, or simply an unwelcomed presence or person in the birthing room can affect the birthing space.
A lot of times mothers need to be reminded to stay in the present moment and release emotional tension caused by the past or anxiety about the future. Flower essences that work primarily on the mental/emotional plane are a great option for families looking for an alternative to pharmaceuticals; and, are a safe and gentle way to ease ailments of the soul.
There are many powerful herbal remedies that can be recommended but can be dangerous if one is not educated about the specific effects. Flower essences can be safely recommended when people are uncertain about other modalities. Emotional changes correlate with physical changes, which is why flower essences are wonderful for women and her family during pregnancy and birth.
So what are flower essences and how can they be used during pregnancy and birth?
To create a flower essence, there are two formats to the process. The flower of the plant is infused in water, either placed in the sun for several hours, or boiled. This liquid is then maintained in a solution of water or brandy.
Flower essences, as a healing art, were introduced to modern times by Dr. Edward Bach, a trained physician that spent a number of years as a bacteriologist, focusing on chronic disease. Although Bach himself offered no scientific explanation as to how flower essences worked, he did leave hundreds of case histories detailing positive effects of his flower remedies.
They are purely vibrational essences. These essences do not contain scent and should not be confused with herbal tinctures or essential oils that cause a chemical reaction in the body. Flower essences only contain minute traces of chemical components from the flower. They are an energetic medicine that act as a trigger for the body’s own ability to heal and can work positively in conjunction with other types of therapy.
Although flower essence may promote physical healing, their primary purposes are creating a center, balance, and enhancing awareness to work on our spiritual and emotional inequities. They work on a wider level, incorporating the soul transforming areas of discord bringing one back into the present moment.
During the birth and postpartum periods, flower essences can be used to balance the emotional dystocia a woman may be experiencing. They are perfect for any time of transition or times of instability. Take for example, have you been in steady labor and hit a stall in your progress? Have you lost all motivation and begin panicking thinking you can’t go on any further during the most intense times of childbirth? Are you losing your inner ability to stay with the process? Are you someone who is prone to miscarriages? Your emotions will, in turn, have a direct effect on the tension you feel, the amount of pain you feel, or your amount of dis-ease in your body. Using flower essences during these times may help ease the worry or stress and enhance the feelings of calm, security, and confidence.
Here are just a few of many suggestions of emotions that may come about during pregnancy/birth and postpartum, and a list of flower essences recommended:
- When struggling to listening to your intuition, and trusting inner guidance when choosing care and when decisions have to be made: Cerato
- Prone to crying: Chamomile
- Exhaustion/Fatigue: Olive, Basil (mental fatigue), Elm (for those taking on too much responsibility), Aloe Vera (burnt out), White Chestnut
- Trauma: Shooting star, Evening Primrose
- Miscarriages: Shooting star
- Excessive worry: White chestnut
- Assisting in conception: Tiger Lily, Forget Me Not
- Creating spiritual link with incoming child: Angelica
- Hysteria/panic: Rescue Remedy (five flower blend), Aspen, Dog rose of the Wild Forces (fear, loss of control, pain with no apparent cause)
- Sadness of loss/Shock: Star of Bethlehem
- Grief: Star of Bethlehem, Artichoke, Bleeding Heart, Bittersweet, Borage, Wild Rose
- Soothing of the heart: Calendula (expressing warmth, intimacy and nurturing feelings with words), Chamomile (releasing nervousness and emotional tension, Comfrey (release nervous tension and improve memory)
- Depression for no apparent reason: Mustard
- Overwhelmed: Hornbeam
- Confidence: Allamanda (inner strength), Evening Primrose (to find source of self confidence/worth of inner feminine), Cerato (inability to make decisions, overly reliant on advice of others)
- Mood Swings: Cherry ( moodiness, grumpiness) Apricot (linked to hyperglycemia), Barley (linked to Hypoglycemia)
- Insomnia: White chestnut (repetitive obsessive thoughts), Red Chestnut ( excessive worry and concern about others), Licorice, Lavender, Sandalwood
- Over anxiousness: Aspen, Balm-Lemon, Cerato
- Self Criticism: Alpine Lily (acceptance of female self), Billy Goat Plum ( dislike of the body), Five Corners ( love and acceptance of self, celebration of own beauty), Tiger Lily, Sunflower
- Letting go of fear: Dampiera
- Fear of the unknown: Mignonette
- Fear of change: Echinacea
- Stuck in resentment or jealousy: Apple
- Alienation from human contact and warmth: Shooting Star
So what will be best for me? How do I choose?
The best way to choose flower essences that are best for you is to take a self-reflection survey, asking yourself what you need and look toward with what you resonate. Some of the questions may include: Do you constantly second-guess your own decisions and judgment? Are you numbed or withdrawn, because of traumatic events in your life? Are you afraid you might lose control of yourself mentally, emotionally or physically? Do you lack faith that things could get better in your life and therefore make no effort to improve your circumstances?
These are just some of the questions you may want to begin asking yourself. Use your intuition and look at specific soul issues that you are facing. You will naturally gravitate toward what you need: To find specifics on essences refer to a flower essence repertory.
Flower essences are the safest form of plant medicine, are gentle, and have no negative side effects. The results are subtle and help us to be more conscious of things that are already happening to ourselves. They are directed toward the crossing point of the body and soul. So go ahead and allow yourself to let in healing energy of flowers!