While pregnancy can be one of the most magical times in a woman’s life, it can also be one of the most stressful. In addition to the usual strains that pregnancy can put on your physical and mental health, you may also be burdened with stress and anxiety regarding the wellbeing of your unborn child and if you’re doing everything you can to guarantee a complication-free birth.
What’s more, you may be hesitant to pursue your typical way of dealing with stressors - aromatherapy - out of concern over the effects. Not to worry; though there are essential oils that should be avoided, most varieties of essential oils during pregnancy are safe to use.
Please note that none of the following should be considered as qualified medical advice. Consult with your physician before starting any aromatherapy regimen.
Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy
Essential oils that contain high levels of phenols, ethers, or aromatic aldehydes should not be taken during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding your child. That’s because those compounds are known to cause skin irritation, which can be harmful to both the mother and her fetus. Below is a list of essential oils that contain enough of at least one of those compounds to make usage during pregnancy too risky to recommend.
- Oregano Origanum compactum
- Thyme Thymus vulgaris
- Savoury Satureia montana
- Clove Syzygium aromaticum
- Cinnamon Cinnamomum camphora
- Cumin Cumimum cyminum
- Aniseed Pimpinella anisum
- Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
- Anise star Illicium verum
- Sweet Birch Betula lenta
- Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens
Furthermore, both sage (Salvia officinalis) and hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) should also be avoided, as both contain aromatic ketones which can remain stored in the body if regularly used for an extended period. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and have been using any of the above essential oils, stop immediately and consult your physician for further instruction.
Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy
Now that we’ve got the bad news out of the way, here’s the good news; while you should check with your doctor before using essential oils during pregnancy, you should consider any other essential oil safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. What’s more, many essential oils provide benefits to your physical or mental health that can come especially in handy while you’re bringing your child to term. Here a few essential oils for pregnancy that we’ve found particularly useful.
Spearmint’s ability to treat both nausea and headaches can make it a lifesaver when it comes to dealing with morning sickness or any of the other bouts of intestinal discomfort you may experience while pregnant. A popular method of ingestion for spearmint essential oil is to include it in your tea or other beverage. One or two drops added to an average drink is more than enough to enjoy its effects, which should help limit your nausea while also boosting your focus and lifting your mood.
Skin can be pushed to its limits during pregnancy, and not just regarding the unsightly stretch marks that often linger long after birth. Luckily, the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of orange essential oil can address the dry or irritated skin that often accompanies pregnancy. What’s more, oil can increase the skin’s absorption of vitamin C while promoting collagen production and healthy blood flow. That, in turn, can boost your skin’s natural healing capacity, reducing or even removing the presence of stretch marks.
As mentioned, being pregnant means taking on some stresses that can, if left unchecked, do significant harm to both your health and the health of your unborn child. If you find yourself overly stressed, anxious or afraid, lavender essential oil can be of great assistance in helping you to relax. Though the oil itself has been shown to hold significant calming and soothing properties, we recommend pairing its usage with the adoption of relaxing breathing techniques, or with a yoga class specially designed for the pregnant – if you can find one available in your area.
Getting a good night’s sleep can prove challenging when you’ve got a little human kicking you from the inside the whole time, to say nothing of the persistent aches and pains that can keep you up no matter how tired you get. If you find rest harder and harder to attain, the rich, woody scent of cedarwood essential oil may be just what you need to catch some Zs. Its compounds support the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone essential to consistent and restful sleep. As a bonus, its ability to free the throat and lungs of phlegm can help address the various illnesses, you’ll invariably pick up once your child is born.
Even if you’re sleeping well and managing your health, there still may come moments where you feel tired or run down. Said moments might occur more frequently during the end of your pregnancy, as by the ninth month the average woman can find themselves dragging along anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds of extra weight. That added weight can hinder blood flow, which contributes to fatigue; luckily, a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil may improve blood flow, which in turn will give your organs and muscles the energy you need to get through your day.
Mommy and Me Aromatherapy
Once you’ve weaned your baby off of breastfeeding, you should be able to resume your pre-pregnancy aromatherapy regimen with no complications. When that happens, you should consider also looking into essential oils that can help soothe many of the stresses that come along with being the parent of a very young child. Our Hush Little Baby blend, for example, features a mix of calming and comforting scents that can help guide even the fussiest sleepers to dreamland. The oils in our Tummy blend, meanwhile, were specially selected to help ease the tummy aches and other bouts of intestinal discomfort that can be distressing to kids of all ages. As with any other aromatherapy regimen, be sure to consult the doctor of the subject (in this case, your child’s pediatrician) before starting.
Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy Conclusion
Though pregnancy can be a difficult and limiting time, carrying your child doesn’t have to mean giving up everything you enjoy. Aromatherapy can continue to be an invigorating and soothing part of your life throughout your term, and can even assume greater importance in its ability to address many of the mental and physical stressors common to pregnancy. We at SpaRoom wish to congratulate you on the upcoming birth of your child, and we hope that our products help to improve the quality of your life while you’re carrying and in the many happy years to come.