I often get asked about using essential oils during pregnancy, and I have levels 1&2 aromatherapy diplomas I thought I'd share my top tips for using these fantastic oils during your pregnancy & labour.
It's important to know that undiluted essential oils are extremely powerful, and should never be used directly onto the skin (ie without being mixed in a carrier oil or cream).
I would advise avoiding aromatherapy use in the 1st trimester. Not enough research has been carried out to advise whether or not essential oils are safe during this time. This includes ready made blends in skin care, bath oils with pure essential oils & salon treatments.
Using during Pregnancy & Labour
Blending with carrier oil (Almond, linseed, jojoba, coconut oil, olive oil, Argan oil) - A nice bottle would be 50ml carrier oil and up to 6 drops of essential oil. You can buy empty aromatherapy glass bottles easily and cheaply on ebay/ Amazon/ Neals Yard. Ask Google...!
For a single use oil use 3 tablespoons of oil with 2 drops essential oil. This can then be used for massages, putting in the bath/ shower. You could also put in a rollerball.
On a tissue - just 1 or 2 drops for inhalation.
In some fragrance free cream - e45 works well - 3-4 drops into 50ml
Diffusing - 5/6 drops into 150ml water (Either candle or plug in diffusers work well!)
Oils to avoid during pregnancy
*Cinnamon leaf & Cinnamon bark
Useful Oils during pregnancy:
*Bergamot - Antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
*Chamomile - Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and indigestion.
*Eucalyptus - Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory congestion.
*Frankincense - Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming
*Geranium -Antiseptic, antidepressant, 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 retention.
*Lemon - Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in massage for varicose veins
*Neroli - Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing. Useful in pregnancy to promote healthy skin cell regeneration and for easing nervous tension
*Patchouli - Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision and apathy
*Tea Tree - Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during pregnancy
*Ylang Ylang -Antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood pressure. Restorative when overworked or tense.
*Sandalwood - Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy
*Tangerine - Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks
Essential Oils for Labour:
It isn't recommended to use these two oils until you are in labour, or are trying to bring labour on. Be mindful when using during labour that these are powerful substances, and can have the effect of making contractions more intense. This can be useful if labour is slowing/ stopped.
Popular combinations for pregnancy & labour
Anti-sickness - Lemon, grapefruit & ginger
Stress relief - Neroli, Lavender & Chamomile (add a spot of Ylang Ylang too if you fancy!)
Sleep - Lavender with 1 or 2 of - Chamomile, Patchouli, Frankincense, Bergamot
Labour - Clary sage & Geranium
Labour - Jasmine and Lavender
Labour - Clary sage & Grapefruit/ Lime
My Favourite Brands
There are SO many brands of essential oils out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what to buy. Always look for 'Theraputic Grade' oils, which means they are of the purest quality and suitable for aromatherapy. Always get oils which are 100% pure, not diluted with anything. Many ready made products include essential oils, but for aromatherapy purposes are no good if you're wanting to make your own blends/ use a pure oil/ diffuse in any way.
My personal go-to brands are: Tisserand, Doterra, Neal's Yard and Miaroma (Available from Holland & Barratt if you want to sniff in store..!) I also enjoy Neal's Yard & Neom's ready made blends, if you cba mixing your own!