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Aromatherapy in pregnancy

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using natural, aromatic essential oils. ‘Aroma’ refers to the fact that all essential oils have a characteristic smell and ‘therapy’ refers to healing.

Many women use essential oils to help ease pregnancy issues such as anxiety, morning sickness, itchiness, stretch marks, back pain, heartburn, leg cramps, fatigue, sniffles/dry nose and constipation. There are many benefits to incorporating EO’s into your life as a mum-to-be as they are a natural remedy to enhance the mind and body.

I have the pleasure of knowing the wonderful Sharon Brockman of Embrace Yourself Healing, she is a dedicated Ascension Reiki Master, Qualified Aromatherapist and all-round beautiful lady. She took the time to help me put together the guide below on using essentials oils in pregnancy.

Essential Oils (EO) enter the body either through being adsorbed by the skin or inhaled, because their molecules are extremely small they travel around the body via the bloodstream and are able to deliver a range of benefits to the body’s systems and organs. When they hit the nerve receptors, they set off a reaction in the emotional centre of the brain. They are used for many conditions, both mental and physical.

Benefits of essential oils:

  • Promote good health

  • Make you feel good

  • Enhance the immune system

  • Support the immune, circulating, respiratory, endocrine, digestive, nervous, and other body systems

  • Are mood elevating

  • Are antiseptic

  • Are high in antioxidants

  • Are aromatic

  • Boost stamina and energy

  • Help you relax

  • Help manage stress and frustration

  • Improve mental clarity

  • Promote overall health, vitality, and longevity

SAFETY FIRST! As with anything you do with your health, you need to take precautions when using EO at home,

  • Only use the highest quality EO’s and carrier oils

  • Never take EO internally

  • Always consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns

  • Keep out of reach of children

  • Do not apply undiluted pure EO to the skin unless specifically advised to by a trained physician

  • If you are applying EO’s directly to the skin for the first time do a patch test by placing one drop onto the inside of the forearm to see if there is a skin reaction/irritation.

  • If you sense a chemical burn or stinging to the eyes do not add water, this will only enhance the reaction, instead, use a source of fat to remove it, like olive oil, vegetable oil, milk or even yoghurt, jojoba or coconut oil.

  • Some oils, mainly citrus, have a photosensitising effect on the skin so avoid exposing your skin to UV rays/sunlight for at 24 hours, the skin is more likely to burn, discolour or blister while in the sun. You will find a list of these oils by doing more research

  • There are multiple lists on the internet of prohibited EO’s if you have other health concerns e.g. high blood pressure, diabetic, epilepsy,

Pregnancy & Aromatherapy

Some research warn pregnant women not to use EO’s for fear they will harm the foetus, yet there is no evidence actually supporting this. However, we do not know much of the compounds in EO’s cross the placenta to the growing child. Common sense would be that the use of EO’s during pregnancy requires great care so instead of confusing you with the do’s and do not’s I will only mention oils that I recommend and are safe during this transitioning time.

First Trimester Most EO’s should not be used especially if there is a history of miscarriage, but there is no reason you cannot diffuse or place 2-3 diluted drops and massage in to the soles of your feet or inhale through cupping your hands over your nose.

  • Ginger/Lemon for morning sickness

  • Lavender for calming.

Second & Third Trimester EO’s are a real benefit during this time when used appropriately, so as long as you stay within the safety guidelines your changing body will love you for it.

Safe Oils: Bergamot Ginger Mandarin Rosewood Chamomile Grapefruit Marjoram Sweet Sandalwood Eucalyptus Lavender Neroli Sweet Orange Frankincense Lemon Patchouli Tea Tree Geranium Lime Petitgrain Ylang Ylang

Are essential oils right for me? Always do your own research when using EO’s while pregnant as this will empower you to draw your own conclusions, consult with your health professional if you have any further queries.

Buying quality essential oils

If an EO is going to be applied to the body or inhaled, then it needs to be of the highest quality to achieve the desired effects. 100% pure therapeutic quality oils require a proper distillation process as well as attention to growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution. These processes are expensive and will naturally be reflected in the cost of the oils. A few questions to research when purchasing EO: - Know the source of your essential oils, a lot of companies outsource their product so have no idea of the background.

- Does the company have standards for production, harvesting and distillation?

- Do the producers independently verify the frequency of each batch of oils they produce?

- Are the oils pure therapeutic quality?

- What are the companies quality control standards?

Never purchase cheap EO’s sold at chain outlets as these will have synthetic material added to them and never use fragrant oils for health benefits or inhalation.

There are many benefits to incorporating essential oils into your life, but there are also many things to consider first.

If you are you suffering from pregnancy issues such as anxiety, morning sickness, itchiness, stretch marks, back pain, heartburn, leg cramps, fatigue, constipation etc. EO may be an option for you to explore.

Under Sharon’s expert guidance I have put together a downloadable Pregnancy essential oil toolkit which you can download for free here.

Remember as with anything you do with your health, you need to take precautions when using EO at home Always consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

If you would like to find out more about working with Sharon you can visit her website www.embraceyourselfhealing.com.au

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I would like to acknowledge the land on which I reside and work is the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation and I pay my respects to elders past, present and future. I also acknowledge that their cultural and spiritual connection to land are still as important to the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people today.

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