Aromatherapy for Childbirth Study Day
Held at University of Hertfordshire, College Lane Campus (room TBC)
£50 per student.
Course facilitators: Aromatherapist Lindsay Woodman BA, LLSA, MIFA Midwife Jude Davis RM BSc BA
This one-day course enables Midwives, Doulas and their students, Maternity or Health Care Assistants and others in the field to provide safe and effective aromatherapy for women in childbirth.
The quality training combines both arts and science of midwifery and aromatherapy with a fresh and friendly approach to pack the birth worker’s toolkit with ideas to enhance the work you do for women in childbirth.
The aim is to increase childbirth care providers’ skill base, holistic knowledge and confidence in facilitating normal physiological birth by teaching an array of applications of essential oils. In addition, we teach active birth techniques and massage which can in turn be taught to birth partners and used with or without oils depending on preference and sensitivities.
The teaching day provides detailed theoretical knowledge of five essential oils. Exploring the properties and uses of the carefully selected handful of versatile oils in depth. The emphasis is on the care providers’ own intelligent response to the dynamic and changing events in the birth room. How to safely blend a mixture of essential oils for massage alongside how to massage. Clear guidance various methods ensure safe, effective application of aromatherapy. Health and safety, legal and ethical issues are covered.
The study day aims to increase birth workers’ skill base for working on the holistic level. Focusing on realistic accessible applications suitable for busy labour wards as much as in home spaces. Also considering how aromatherapy may aid staff retention by increasing midwives’ job satisfaction and increasing women’s access to alternative methods of managing the experience of childbirth by training those who care for them. Applied sensitively and appropriately aromatherapy may enhance relaxation and sense of wellbeing, encourage oxytocin release and possibly boost the potential for focused, calm and normal birth.
Too often aromatherapy as adjunct or alternative to drugs and interventions such as opiate and epidural use are the domain of care labeled ‘low risk’, however, we also encourage providers to consider the benefits that can be offered for women with complex needs in pregnancy too.
For those women, whose labours are not or cannot be via the ‘normal’ route, either by planning or by the turn of events as labour progresses, aromatherapy may also aid relaxation or provide a comforting focus which may ease fears and tensions.
Guideline writing is also included in the cost of this course to support workplace implementation.
Please note that we do not offer or advocate ’cascade training’ as we wish every practitioner to have a high-quality training every time and feel that this quality may be significantly impacted by being cascaded. Therefore, following attending the study day you would be certified to practice, but not to cascade the training to others in your team.
NHS Trust policy generally state in line with Nursing and Midwifery Council guidance and Royal College of Midwives’ recommendations that midwives should only provide aromatherapy for women in childbirth if they have undertaken appropriate training. (NMC: 2012, 2006, RCM:2014) In gaining RCM accreditation we emphasise that the content of this course is carefully designed for teaching professional, safe and appropriate use of Aromatherapy.
The Standards of Proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers (NMC 2006) state:
Nurses and midwives need to be familiar with a range of complementary medicinal products that their patient or clients may be using, or may wish to be used, in their treatment. These include homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies, aromatherapy oils, flower essences and the broad area of vitamin and mineral supplements. Aromatherapy for Childbirth considers this NMC standard and more.
A comprehensive manual is provided for each student. Our reference manual is given to all attendees and is packed with all course information, studies and techniques. You will be able to use it as a learning aid and write further notes in it during the day. After the course you will take it to refer back to while you are consolidating the information and to support your ongoing practice.
This part of the course answers questions like: what is aromatherapy? Where do essential oils come from? How do the oils work and how can they be used? What’s the evidence? We consider everything from sourcing and storing essential oils to their contraindications and other health and safety concerns as well as guidance, legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.
Essential oils in holistic and clinical aromatherapy. The innovative course focuses on teaching five essential oils well, rather than trying to cover too many in a short course. These five have been chosen for their wide-ranging therapeutic uses and ability to blend well together. We increase birth worker sensitivity by providing the tools to work not only with the physical challenges but also the emotional aspects of birth as we delve into how essential oils can influence the intricate workings of the body’s hormonal and biochemical responses. Varied applications of essential oils which will not only support the woman in childbirth but also be sensitive to the practicalities of the birth worker’s environment. Health and safety is covered including when to be careful, general and individual contraindications. You will learn how to buy and store essential oils to maintain quality, about each the oils’ specific properties; physical, biochemical and nervous system responses to the oils and how and when to use. We refer to studies on essential oils throughout the course.
Practical sessions and massage
We explore the wide variety of ways essential oils can be applied and used to help change the feelings and potentially even the attitude of those in the birthing space. Traditionally applying essential oils via and base oil through the therapeutic touch of massage has been a keystone of aromatherapist’s work and we empower you with an introduction to massage where you will get to practice giving and receiving massage (over clothes). In addition, we share some additional active birth and acupressure techniques and which may be used alongside or without aromatherapy to further enhance practice.
Informed and safe use of essential oils may reduce the need for pharmaceutical and other interventions. We enable participants to do much more than applying generic pre-made up massage blends. How to blend essential oils to create bespoke treatments facilitates exquisitely tuned responses to the unique changing needs of women in labour.
Throughout the training, we refer to safe and effective practice. We assess competency via blending exercise, case study considerations, observed practical work and a written quiz on the day. On completion, attendees are ready to apply what they've learned straight away.
Midwives achieving aromatherapy in practice
Following the course, if the Trust employing you supports the use of aromatherapy by trained midwives and then you may be able practice aromatherapy at work in the ways you have been taught in this course. However, this is not guaranteed as all Trusts have their own policies and some might have separate training you would need to complete. Indeed, they may not yet support the use of aromatherapy at all, which is where we aim to assist you in your efforts to implement its use at work.
Workplace guidance and guideline creation as an optional free extra to support any attendees in matters related to integrating aromatherapy at work. Information leaflets for you to adapt and use at work are also freely available.
About the Course facilitators
Lindsay Woodman: Aromatherapist, BA MIFA LLSA
Lindsay’s eldest daughter was born at home in Brighton, when few women gave birth out of a hospital environment. Her other three daughters were also homebirths in the North Wales Mountains. She deeply understands the need for safe, calm and emotionally supported spaces during labour.
She became an Active Birth Teacher in 1985. Interested in healing and herbalism she trained with the London School of Aromatherapy, qualifying as an International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) accredited Holistic Aromatherapist in 1997.
Lindsay’s early work included aromatherapy in hospice care, mental health provision, producing botanical products, running her own practice and local aromatherapy workshops. Teacher training followed to enable her to train students up to IFA accredited Professional diploma level. She became owner of the Mermaid Spa, in Portmeirion, North Wales, enabling her to employ therapists she had trained herself for top quality individualised care.
Having now moved to Wiltshire in 2014, Lindsay is a practicing therapist, a botanical perfumer, consultant, tutor and international examiner for the International Federation of Aromatherapists.
Jude Davis: Midwife, RM BSc RN BA
Jude came to practice via a 20 year convoluted, but useful, ‘wannabe midwife’ phase sparked by the positive home birth experience having her 3 babies. This involved motherhood, bereavement counselling, adult nursing and doula training. She worked for 5 years in Aberystwyth, followed by 2 in a freestanding NHS Birth Centre in London, before taking on the unique challenge of as midwife for the Isles of Scilly for one year. Subsequently she returned to the birth centre in London. Here she particularly enjoys sharing the tips and techniques she has learned from a wide variety of study days in an Active Birth Workshop. Jude has also written for several midwifery publications, often with an emphasis on her particular interest of facilitating positive and where possible, physiological birth. She has picked up four nursing and midwifery awards along the way, reflecting the commitment and passion she brings to her work.
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