Aromatherapy and Pregnancy
Aromatherapy is a natural healing science employing
essential oils extracted from aromatic plant sources to treat
and balance the body, mind and spirit. During pregnancy,
aromatherapy can prove to be extremely beneficial and helpful
alternative, while also being very easy to employ and use. In
order to use essential oils safely during pregnancy a few extra
safety guidelines will need be followed. Though, there are
reports of side effects, the user must be cautious enough to
report any adverse effects to the physician immediately.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated and volatile. They
must be diluted before use. A common dilution for aromatherapy
blends during pregnancy is 2 %, which would equal approximately
10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil (this is
the most preferred oil). For an aromatherapy pregnancy bath,
add 6-10 drops of essential oil to the tub and mix well before
getting in to the tub. 3-6 drops essential oil in a bowl of
warm water wrung out in a washcloth works well for a compress.
Use the same dilution in a bowl of steaming hot water for a
steam inhalation. An aromatic bath is supposed to provide
relaxation to the taut pelvic muscles and aid in avoiding
stretch marks. How ever, there are many essential oils that
need to be avoided during pregnancy. The following list
contains oils that should be avoided during pregnancy and oils
that are recommended for use during pregnancy.
OILS TO AVOID DURING
PREGNANCY Use of essential oils should be
extremely limited or avoided during the first trimester of
pregnancy, but has many wonderful uses in the last two
trimesters and especially during labor.
Oils to avoid during pregnancy include: Basil,
Cedar Wood, Cinnamon, Clary sage (during labor), Clove, Cypress
(after 5 months), Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine (during labor),
Juniper, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Parsley and Pennyroyal
OILS RECOMMENDED DURING
PREGNANCY The following oils will be
comfortable for using during pregnancy. As always, use caution
if you have allergies or a family history of allergies. If you
feel you may be allergic to oil, do a patch test first. Good
oils for pregnancy include:Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress (after
5 mos.), Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium (avoid in early
pregnancy), Grapefruit, Lavender. Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli,
Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sandalwood and TangerineIf you
are currently pregnant and have been using any of the essential
oils that need to be avoided, but are not experiencing any
bleeding or cramping, then there most likely is nothing wrong.
However, it is strongly encouraged you to consult your doctor
or midwife and discontinue use of the "to be avoided" essential
Aromatherapy Benefits for Pregnancy Listed below
are some of the benefits and therapeutic effects of the
essential oils recommended for use during pregnancy:
Bergamot: Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant,
uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during
Chamomile: Antiseptic, analgesic,
anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes pain from muscular
aches, headaches, toothaches and Indigestion.
Cypress: (ok after 5 mos.) Antiseptic,
antispasmodic, astringent and diuretic. Helpful for Varicose
veins, hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.
Eucalyptus: Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic,
anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory
Frankincense Antiseptic, astringent, sedative,
Geranium: (ok after 3 mos.) Antiseptic,
antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting. Eases aching
legs and is good for poor circulation.
Grapefruit: Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic
stimulant. Helps with Water retention.
Lavender: Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic,
antidepressant, healing, Relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains
of pregnancy, encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid
Lemon: Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal,
astringent, stimulant, Tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning
sickness and in Massage for varicose veins.
Mandarin: Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild
relaxant. Can ease fluid retention in leg and ankle
Neroli: Antiseptic, antidepressant,
antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, Relaxing. Useful in pregnancy
to promote healthy skin cell Regeneration and for easing
Patchouli: Antiseptic, antidepressant,
anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision
Petitgrain: Antiseptic, antidepressant,
sedative, refreshing, tonic. Helpful in dealing with pre or
Rosewood: Antiseptic, sedative
Sandalwood: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory,
antidepressant, sedative. Helpful for cystitis during
Tangerine: Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant,
calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks.
Tea Tree: Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal,
antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during
Ylang Ylang: Antiseptic, antidepressant,
aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood Pressure. Restorative when
overworked or tense.