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March 01, 2019

Essential oils can gently enhance an expectant mothers’ journey, both physically and emotionally, during this special time of change in her life.  Aromatherapy can be used in all stages of pregnancy from easing morning sickness and aching muscles to labour preparation and support during the delivery. The oils listed below are considered safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

Essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy

Choosing the right essential oils for you can be a challenge, even outside of pregnancy, so below we have listed the essential oils that will help with some of the common complaints during pregnancy.

COMPLAINT

HELPFUL ESSENTIAL OILS

APPLICATION

Muscle ache

Lavender, Ginger, Black Pepper, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, Clove

Massage and bath (except clove)

Constipation

Lavender, Black Pepper, Orange, Mandarin

Massage abdomen clockwise and lower back

Indigestion

Roman Chamomile, Mandarin, Ginger, Orange, Black Pepper, Lime

Massage over abdomen in a clockwise direction

Morning sickness

Ginger, Lemon, Orange

Inhalation

Stress

Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium

Massage, Bath, Diffuser

Uterine Tonic for labour preparation

Peppermint, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Clove, Palmarosa, Fennel, Nutmeg

Massage abdomen and lower back during last 2 to 3 weeks of pregnancy

Labour Pains and contractions

Lavender, Clary Sage, Black Pepper, Geranium, Marjoram, Clove, Nutmeg, Jasmine, Frankincense, Peppermint, Ginger

Inhalation, Massage.

 

Why is there conflicting information about the essential oils I can use during pregnancy?

Even amongst very prominent and respected aromatherapists there are different opinions about the safety of using certain essential oils during pregnancy.  Some essential oils are thought to have the effect of promoting menstruation or regulating hormones and although there is no evidence to suggest that these oils would affect a pregnancy we cannot be sure so for now avoiding these essential oils is prudent.  The following includes commonly used essential oils to avoid but is not a definitive list.  For safe self-care choose essential oils from the list above.

 

Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy

  • Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
  • Basil
  • Clary Sage*
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel*
  • German Chamomile (Chamomillia recutita)
  • Juniper Berry
  • Marjoram*
  • Myrrh
  • Nutmeg*
  • Peppermint*
  • Rose*
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spearmint
  • Vetiver
  • Wintergreen
  • Yarrow

*Safe to use in the last few weeks of pregnancy and during labour if desired.


The Golden Rules of Aromatherapy during Pregnancy

  • If you have had difficulties falling pregnant or if you have had a history of complicated pregnancies or miscarriages avoid using essential oils during the first trimester unless you are under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
  • Dilute essential oils to 1% in a massage blend. Low dilutions are recommended because the expectant mother may experience a heightened sense of smell and find a stronger blend too overwhelming.  Secondly, there is good evidence to suggest that essential oil molecules can cross the placenta and some essential oils in large concentrations may not be healthy for the baby.
  • Use your increased sense of smell to advantage and inhale each essential oil before use. You will know immediately if the oil is suitable for you as it will smell obviously wonderful or unpleasant. Note: essential oil preferences may change throughout your pregnancy.

 

About the author: Alissa Geddes is a qualified Aromatherapist and Remedial Massage Therapist with over 13 years experience in the wellness industry. She is passionate about the healing properties of essential oils and positive impact on emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. 



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