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Using aromatherapy during pregnancy

Aromatherapy can produce beneficial effects for pregnant women. However, a degree of caution must be exercised as some essential oils can also be harmful for you and your baby. Aromatherapy essential oils are powerful. When oils are applied topically they are absorbed through the skin and into the body. To use essential oils and aromatherapy safely during pregnancy a few guidelines must be followed.

Diluting oils

In general, aromatherapy essential oils are highly concentrated and must be diluted before use. During pregnancy, any oils that are used must be very well diluted. A common dilution for aromatherapy blends during pregnancy is 2 per cent, but be sure to check with a qualified professional before using any oils.

Oils to avoid during pregnancy
There are a number of oils that should be strictly avoided by pregnant women. These include but are not limited to:

  • Basil
  • Cedar wood
  • Clary sage
  • Fennel
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint

Safe ways to use aromatherapy during pregnancy
Be cautious of using aromatherapy during the first trimester of pregnancy. After this, aromatherapy can be safely used to create soothing and effective results during pregnancy. Safe oils you can use during pregnancy and their effects include:

  • Chamomile: Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and indigestion.
  • Citruses: Grapefruit and mandarin, for example, help with fluid retention. Lemon is also useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in massage for varicose veins.
  • Geranium: Works as an anti-depressant and is refreshing and uplifting. It can help soothe aching legs and can boost circulation.
  • Lavender: Is soothing during pregnancy and labour. It also helps to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid retention.
  • Neroli: Soothing during pregnancy and labour. Neroli is used during pregnancy to promote skin cell regeneration. It also aids relaxation by calming the nerves.
  • Sandalwood: Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
  • Spearmint: Inhaling spearmint helps eliminate morning sickness, but do not use peppermint as a substitute.
  • Rosewood: Works as a sedative.
  • Ylang ylang: Works as a restorative when feeling overworked or tense, and also reduces blood pressure.

Room diffusers
Another safe way you can enjoy aromatherapy during pregnancy is through room fragrance. There are fewer risks associated with this form of aromatherapy as it does not involve applying the oils directly to the body. However, the possibility of allergic reactions still exists. You can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of virtually any oil by diffusing a small amount throughout the room.

To enjoy a healthy pregnancy, keep in mind the lists of safe and unsafe aromatherapy oils. If you choose to use aromatherapy, it is important to remember that you should never apply any essential oils undiluted onto your skin unless advised by a qualified professional. Essential oils should also never be taken internally. Consult an aromatherapist or trained professional to find out if using aromatherapy during pregnancy is suitable for you.

Find a practitioner that offers aromatherapy near you