Aromatherapy and pregnancy can be natural healing science employing essential oils extracted from aromatic plant sources to treat and balance the body, mind and spirit. During pregnancy, aromatherapy can prove to be extremely beneficial and helpful alternative, while also being very easy to employ and use. In order to use essential oils safely during pregnancy a few extra safety guidelines will need be followed. Though, there are reports of side effects, the user must be cautious enough to report any adverse effects to the physician immediately.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated and volatile. They must be diluted
before use. A common dilution for aromatherapy blends during pregnancy is 2
%, which would equal approximately 10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T
carrier oil (this is the most preferred oil). For an aromatherapy pregnancy
bath, add 6-10 drops of essential oil to the tub and mix well before getting
in to the tub. 3-6 drops essential oil in a bowl of warm water wrung out in
a washcloth works well for a compress. Use the same dilution in a bowl of
steaming hot water for a steam inhalation. An aromatic bath is supposed to
provide relaxation to the taut pelvic muscles and aid in avoiding stretch
How ever, there are many essential oils that need to be avoided during
pregnancy. The following list contains oils that should be avoided during
pregnancy and oils that are recommended for use during pregnancy.
OILS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY
Use of essential oils should be extremely limited or avoided during the
first trimester of pregnancy, but has many wonderful uses in the last two
trimesters and especially during labor.
Oils to avoid during pregnancy include:
Basil, Cedar Wood, Cinnamon, Clary sage (during labor), Clove, Cypress
(after 5 months), Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine (during labor), Juniper,
Lemongrass, Myrrh, Parsley and Pennyroyal
OILS RECOMMENDED DURING PREGNANCY
The following oils will be comfortable for using during pregnancy. As
always, use caution if you have allergies or a family history of allergies.
If you feel you may be allergic to oil, do a patch test first. Good oils for
Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress (after 5 mos.), Eucalyptus, Frankincense,
Geranium (avoid in early pregnancy), Grapefruit, Lavender. Lemon, Mandarin,
Neroli, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sandalwood and Tangerine
If you are currently pregnant and have been using any of the essential oils
that need to be avoided, but are not experiencing any bleeding or cramping,
then there most likely is nothing wrong. However, it is strongly encouraged
you to consult your doctor or midwife and discontinue use of the "to be
avoided" essential oils.
Aromatherapy Benefits for Pregnancy
Listed below are some of the benefits and therapeutic effects of the
essential oils recommended for use during pregnancy:
Bergamot: Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing.
Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
Chamomile: Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.
Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and Indigestion.
Cypress (ok after 5 mos.) Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and
diuretic. Helpful for Varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.
Eucalyptus: Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral.
Helpful with respiratory congestion.
Frankincense: Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming
Geranium (ok after 3 mos.) Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent,
refreshing, uplifting. Eases aching legs and is good for poor circulation.
Grapefruit: Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with Water
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
Mandarin: Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant. Can ease fluid
retention in leg and ankle massages.
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.
Petitgrain: Antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, refreshing, tonic. Helpful
in dealing with pre or postpartum depression.
Rosewood: Antiseptic, sedative
Sandalwood: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helpful
for cystitis during pregnancy.
Tangerine: Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to
prevent stretch marks.
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.