Giving Birth in the Age of COVID 19


Pregnant women face added fears and concerns regarding the delivery of their new baby amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

New OB-GYN Guidelines

Adhering to the Labor and Delivery Guidance for COVID-19 published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG), women should discontinue work or work from home two weeks prior to their delivery date and have strict isolation from friends and family members that live outside of their home.

According to the guidelines, expectant mothers should be screened for COVID-19 when they are admitted, and for planned admissions, a phone interview should be conducted 24 hours before their arrival.

Once admitted, she and her significant other will have to wear masks. It is suggested that visitors should be limited to one support person that will be the only person allowed throughout her entire hospital stay. Not even doulas should not be allowed as an extra support person. All other “visits” should be a video chat.

woman post laborIn addition, it is important to limit that patient to one area if possible. If delivery can be conducted in her room, that is ideal.

Hospitals that normally offer nitrous oxide during childbirth to help patients relax and decrease some labor pain, should stop using this method since it involves respiratory containment which includes potential risk of aerosolization.

It is recommended to discharge the new mom as soon as possible – either same day or the next day for vaginal deliveries and two days after a caesarian section.

An added concerns for new moms-to-be

I asked my colleague, Kelly, who is pregnant and due in August, what was on her mind with her fears of delivering in the hospital.

She shared, “When I had surgery last fall - the pain when I woke up was absolutely a 10/10. How will this pain compare to labor?  Will my husband actually be able to sleep in the reclining chairs they give the fathers and if not, will it be safe for him to drive us home while being exhausted?

"Will my husband, myself, or the baby be safe from Covid spending days/night in the hospital?”

Her first and second question are normal questions that I’m sure have been the same concern for generations of mothers, but the third question is the definitely new-normal.

With all this added stress, how can new moms relax during a time that should be joyful?

Many patients ask (or just bring) if they can use their personal aromatherapy diffusers into their hospital room. While that may bring comfort, according the article "Aromatherapy in Health Care Settings—A Source of Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections," written by Hospital Epidemiologist and Infection Preventionist, Saskia Popescu, using a diffuser in the hospital setting may be dangerous since diffusers are used with water.

The concern is that the diffuser may be challenging to disinfect and may put an patient at risk for waterborne infections with pathogens Legionella or P. aeruginosa.

Another form of aromatherapy that some hospitals have implemented is the use of bottled essential oils. Saskia referenced an incident where seven patients in surgical intensive care unit had infections that lasted 24 days.

After ruling out other possibilities of what was causing the infections, they found that the infections were deemed nosocomial. And further discovered that one cause was sharing a bottle of essential oils between patients.

So how can aromatherapy be used during a hospital stay when giving birth?

Elequil applied to hospital gownOne solution is Elequil aromatabs® that was specifically designed for the clinical setting. Elequil aromatabs uses 100% pure essential oils and is hands-free aromatherapy that adheres to the clothing or gown. It is easy to use and allows the patient to select minimum or maximum aroma exposure.

According to an article interviewing the Administrative Director of Women’s Services at the St. Francis Medical Center’s New Life Center in Virginia, “Elequil aromatabs brings down the level of stress for everyone,” she said. “It’s noninvasive, it doesn’t hurt, it’s not a stick, it’s hands-off. It just sort of takes the edge off and brings your stress levels down a couple of notches.”

About Elequil

Elequil aromatabs® is used in numerous Labor & Delivery and Child Birthing Centers around the country and have seen positive results.

Elequil aromatabs® is not recommended to use while holding the newborns because the baby is learning her mom’s natural scent.

Lavender-Peppermint to promote relaxation during pain, calm anxiousness, and soothe queasiness
Lavender and Lavender Sandalwood promote relaxation, comfort, and sleep
Orange-Peppermint to uplift, energize, and help soothe queasiness

Elequil aromatabs - aromatherapy for the clinical setting

To learn more or to request a trial evaluation of Elequil Aromatabs, contact

Melissa Vibberts

Melissa Vibberts

Director of Brand Management

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