Essential Oils in the Hospital


My name is Michelle Baas and I am a registered nurse in Tucson, Arizona.   I work on the Labor & Delivery unit at Tucson Medical Center and I am passionate about integrating natural alternatives into the current medical model of healthcare, beginning with childbirth.  I ask for your support today so that I may complete an Aromatherapy Study to determine the effectiveness of diffusing certified pure essential oils to decrease stress during active labor.  Decreasing a women’s stress level in labor may allow her to cope with the numerous challenges that arise, while simultaneously supporting her relationship with her healthcare team and her personal support person(s).  She may also feel more equipped to make decisions and participate in her care (Simkin, 2011).   

I believe it is our responsibility in healthcare to offer more natural solutions that are both safe and effective.  Essential oils have been utilized for thousands of years as a means to support the body’s natural state of health.  We must continue to provide evidence that this modality is safe and effective if we are to legitimize it’s use in a hospital setting. 

This study was initially approved on December 28, 2016.  For several reasons the progression of this study has been slow, however there is a significant increase in momentum at this time.  I still believe in this research to provide results which will benefit our patient population and our community as a whole.  Recently I teamed up with the Associate Director of Clinical Research at TMC, and I have more support from our nursing staff this year as well!  With our current timeline we are set to complete this study within the year.  It is time to complete the continuing review with the Western Institutional Review Board and the fee associated with it is $1,560.00 which will come from my own personal funds unless I get some more support from you!  Thank you so much for considering.  Please share this with anyone you think might be interested. Any amount helps!


Women all over the country are seeking meaningful experiences, which will empower them and propel them into motherhood.  These women are now turning to birthing centers and midwives, who offer a more traditional and less medical approach to labor management. 

12 years ago, I made the decision to deliver my children at home with the support of a local midwife.  At the time I was very fearful of the hospital, despite the fact that I had no past experience that led me to fear it.  I simply wanted to feel safe and empowered to make decisions about my care, and I wanted to know I could trust the person who was delivering my child to look at me as an individual and truly listen to me. Today, I find myself working at one of the best hospitals in southern Arizona, supporting women through childbirth and gaining a new perspective.  I have experienced first hand, the full spectrum of what childbirth can look like and I think there is room for us all to grow. 

I started my career at the University of Arizona Medical Center, a magnet hospital with a Trauma Center where innovation and research were integral to the care provided.  We had to get really comfortable with change and an ever improving model.  Now I am employed at the last remaining community hospital in Tucson where we pride ourselves on patient-centered care with integrity and compassion.  Tucson Medical Center (TMC) was voted Best Birthing Center for the last few years in a row, and we still offer the highest acuity care with a level 3 labor and delivery center.  Recently TMC added the Midwifery Center which is a birthing suite that offers a more intimate approach to birth similar to what you would experience at home.  Patients have the freedom to move around with intermittent monitoring and a natural home-like setting.  Patients also have the option for a water birth in the beautiful tubs.  Tucson Medical Center delivers more babies than any other facility in Southern Arizona, averaging over 5,000 deliveries each year.  This also means that we have the ability to create the largest impact on our community.  

So, what can we do to improve the care for our patients? 

We need to offer more solutions that are natural, safe, and effective.  Your donations will support the completion of this research study which aims to further validate the use of essential oils as a standard of care.



“Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for the Reduction of Stress for the Laboring Patient”. 


This is a randomized, double-blind low risk study on a vulnerable population of women who are childbearing.  There will be 300 participants who will be randomized into two groups; 150 women will be placed into the aromatherapy group while the other 150 women will be placed into the control group.  The aromatherapy group will be exposed to a blend of pure essential oils diffused into the air over a 24-hour period of active labor, while the control group will be exposed to unscented coconut oil diffused into the air over a 24-hour period of active labor. 


The study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) on December 28, 2016 and we are one year from completion.

Duration of Study:

3 years

Past Funding:

The TMC Foundation has covered the cost of the essential oils, diffusers, sample vials, office supplies, and printing, totaling $1,216.00.

This incredible GoFundMe Campaign raised $1,070.00 in 2017 which left me with $1,730.00 of my own personal funds.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your generosity!  

Last year I covered the WIRB renewal costs with my own personal funds in the amount of $1,560.00. 

Additional costs remaining:

1.  Final Renewal Fee to the WIRB in the amount of $1,560.00 

Total Costs Due:


 Deadline for Continuing Review by WIRB: 

October 25, 2019
  • Bonnie Bizzaro  
    • $60 
    • 23 mos
  • Nancy Barber 
    • $50 
    • 23 mos
  • Virginia Ellis 
    • $20 
    • 23 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
  • Connie Allen 
    • $300 
    • 23 mos
See all


Michelle Baas 
Tucson, AZ
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