Though there are several ways that one can benefit from essential oils, not every essential oil that you can find available online or in the market will be safe for pregnancy. So, how do you determine the best Essential oil for pregnancy? Read on to know more about this alternative therapeutic method.
Essential oils have a long history. These highly concentrated chemical compounds, when used properly, can have significant effects on the body. That is the reason why most of these essential oils are identified as GRAS or generally recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These aromatic essences been used for ages not only as beauty enhancers but also to serve other purposes like those which will be mentioned later.
Many have experienced the benefits of these essential oils. As such there has been an increase in consumer desire for alternative natural health and hygiene products like these essential oils. This demand has also increased the varying information as well as misinformation on the safe use of these oils.
These indicate that to maximize the benefits of any of the essential oils that are using (as long as they are pure-grade or of high-quality), you need to make sure that you are using the oil properly.
There are certain rules for safely and effectively using essential oils during pregnancy.
Precautions when using essential oils
While you may be wanting to use lavender, lemon, or peppermint oils to relieve nausea, vomiting, and other pregnancy-related conditions during the early phase of your pregnancy, many health experts that recommend avoiding essential oils during this period. Your baby’s physical development is not yet complete during this time of your pregnancy. Moreover, there’s some risk that certain essential oils could cause uterine contractions that may negatively affect your baby.
Once you have reached the second and third trimesters there are certain essential oils that can provide relief from many pregnancy-related symptoms, however. There are many cases where conditions like nausea, swollen ankles, stretch marks, abdominal pains, varicose veins, and other related pregnancy symptoms are relieved using these essential oils.
Essential oils that can provide relief during pregnancy
Here is a list of essential oils that can safely provide relief to pregnancy-related symptoms:
frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), neroli, petitgrain, sandalwood, orange (sweet), tea tree, ylang-ylang.
Essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy
While some essential oils are safe for use while you are expecting, many are not. The following oils are those that you should NOT use when you are pregnant:
- Cinnamon Bark or Leaf
- Clove Bud
- Lemon verbena
- Parsley seed or leaf
For a more comprehensive list of essential oils that may cause adverse effects during pregnancy as well as other related information, check the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy’s pages.
Essential Oil Safety Tips for Pregnancy
- Using essential oils may also trigger allergic reactions on those who have very sensitive skins. To make sure that you can safely use a particular oil, it is best to perform a small patch test. You also need to stop using any essential oil once an irritation occurs.
- If you have any type of inflammatory or allergic skin condition, do not use any of those essential oils that are known to trigger such condition like lemon, lemongrass, Melissa, fir, birch, and basil.
- For oils that can increase photosensitivity such as pine, oregano, nutmeg, elecampane, clove, cinnamon, cassia, and black pepper, do not apply the oil within the 12 hours that you need to spend time directly in the sun.
- Do not apply even diluted essential oils on open or damaged skin, wounds, burns or infected scrapes. They are more penetrable and may be highly sensitive to dermal reactions.
- NEVER apply essential oils to the eyes or ear canals. If any of these oils get into the eye, place a few drops of a carrier oil in the eye then blink until the oil clears out. Wash your hands thoroughly after using oils to avoid spreading them into your eyes.
- Apply a small amount of vegetable oil or cream to areas where allergic reactions are observed. Immediately discontinue use of all essential oils for a few days.
- Use only a very small amount of the essential oil (one to two drops will be enough) and should be diluted into a carrier oil before using.
- Always read labels carefully to ensure that the oil is appropriate for a specific purpose and that the proper way of preparing for use is followed thoroughly.
- Use 100 percent pure oils. Using less low-quality essential oils increases the likelihood of an adverse response.
- Always consult a doctor on the proper use of any essential oil if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Those taking heart medications, like blood thinners, should avoid using these essential oils: clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme oils.
Wondering how these essential oils can help ease your pregnancy? Here are a few ways you can also use essential oils.
- For stretch marks. Mix 2-3 drops of lavender or rose oil with your favorite carrier oil (coconut or almond oil will be great options). Apply to the affected area once or twice a day.
- For nausea caused by “morning” sickness. Diffuse sweet orange or mandarin oil or inhale directly from the bottle.
- For discomfort associated with that growing baby bump. Mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil and massage all over your abdomen.
- For relief from swollen ankles and feet. Place diffused 3 to 5 drops of lavender or geranium oil into a roller ball and massage into the swollen area several times a day.
There are many other ways that you can use essential oils. With proper preparation and the correct application, you can enjoy every application of any of the essential oils mentioned.