Aromatherapy: Is It Appropriate For Pregnant Women?
Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to incorporate essential oils and their benefits into our everyday life. For pregnant women, there are additional benefits and precautions to take when using aromatherapy.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Essential oils originate from different parts of plants (flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, etc.) that have active medicinal properties. These oils affect both your physical self and mental self and have the additional benefit of smelling good! Essential oils are normally diluted into a less expensive oil called carrier oil and can be absorbed via the skin or through inhalation.
Aromatherapy And Pregnancy - Which Oils Do You Choose?
There are many essential oils that are beneficial to pregnant women. Here are two essential oils to consider:
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Dilute 6 drops of this oil into 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and use as a massage oil. It will help with mood swings.
Neroli (Citrus Aurantium). Add 8 drops to a warm bath and enjoy. It will help you relax and prepare your mind for delivery.
Aromatherapy After Childbirth - Essential Oil for Babies
Before applying essential oils on your precious ones, make sure to dilute them enough as their skin is a lot more sensitive than ours. Here are some mild essential oils that can be used on babies:
Newborn to 12 months old:
Chamomile - 1 drop diluted in 2 teaspoons of almond oil
Lavender - 1 drop diluted in 2 teaspoons of almond oil
6 to 12 months old:
Rose - 1 drop diluted in 2 teaspoons of almond oil
Neroli - 1 drop diluted in 2 teaspoons of almond oil
Aromatherapy - Precautions For Pregnant Women
Some documents on aromatherapy recommend that pregnant women avoid all essential oils as they could increase the production of certain hormones, which could then result in bleeding. Several other documents have since been written that are not as firm with their recommendations. However, most agree that pregnant women should avoid the following essential oils:
Achillee Millefeuille (Achillea millefolium)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Marjoram (Origanum Marjorana)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
That being said, there are many other essential oils that are not dangerous for pregnant women. It is best to limit the use of essential oils to external usage only. The best methods to use to deliver the benefits of aromatherapy to pregnant women are aromatherapy baths or massages with a maximum essential oil concentration of 2%.
Aromatherapy - General Safety Precautions
When pouring an aromatherapy bath, pregnant women and people with heart conditions should avoid really hot water. Limit essential oils to external usage only unless you are directly supervised by a professional health specialist. Most essential oils must be diluted prior to being applied to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to test the diluted oil on a small patch of skin before applying it to a larger area. Certain oils will react when exposed to the sun. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before using essential oils.