As an aromatherapist with over 20 years experience, I regularly see how essential oils and massage can support women during pregnancy. Many expectant women are, understandably, unsure about using essential oils. However, used in the right way, they can be a wonderful support during this 9 months and beyond.
However, it is important to be cautious and know which oils are safe to use during the different stages of pregnancy and labour. But with the right knowledge, essential oils can help reduce many symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, insomnia, swollen ankles, muscle cramps, anxiety, stress and lots more.
What aromatherapy is all about
Although the term Aromatherapy became popular in the 1970’s, essential oils have been around for thousands of years. We know that Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them. These oils are distilled from various parts of plants giving us concentrated oils that are woody, floral, fruity, etc. There is also a scientific explanation as to why essential oils work. Firstly, when we smell them, they reach our olfactory system which processes smell and affects our mood. Secondly, each oil has a chemistry which means we know which oils are good for treating different conditions. This means we can choose oils that can help different symptoms in pregnancy through aroma as well as topical application.
Staying safe while using essential oils
During pregnancy, we become much more sensitive to smells. Therefore, you should reduce the number of drops of essential oils you use and only diffuse them for 10-15 minutes at a time. In addition, essential oils should be avoided in the first trimester but if you are keen to try some oils after that, then starting with some Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia) and Mandarin-red (Citrus Nobilis) will help. They both are good for stress, anxiety, skin, and insomnia.
The ABC’s of aromatherapy
Does this sound like a good fit for you? In order to start using essential oils, especially when pregnant, you should take into account the following recommendations:
a. Check with a certified expert which oils are safe to use during pregnancy. Ideally, try to use them in an already prepared product, such as a cream or a lip balm.
b. Never apply the oils directly to your skin and if you have children, keep them well out of reach.
c. Depending on which oil you choose, you will feel energetic or relaxed… Be mindful of your choices since they will affect your mood and your overall response to each oil.
d. Recruit your partner. A couple of essential oil drops added to your massage oil will make a huge difference to that shoulder or foot rub you’ve been craving.
Interested in learning more? Julie is offering a special workshop dedicated to pregnancy and postnatal care using essential oils. Learn more about how essential oils can support your pregnancy and how to use them safely, including oils to help with the most common symptoms of pregnancy, the essential oils that you need in your pregnancy kit & how to use them safely. Find more information here.
Julie Leonard is a life coach and aromatherapist with over 25 years of psychology, health and coaching experience. Her passion is happiness and supporting women to live to their potential. LMBB members receive a 10% discount on all life coaching sessions. More info at http://www.potentiacentre.com/