What Is An Essential Oil?
Essential oils are the highly concentrated oils extracted from plants, flowers, and seeds.
They are extracted through a process of cold pressing and steam distillation. These oils can be applied topically, diffused, inhaled, massaged, and can also be added to food.
The aroma of these oils works wonders by giving a soothing and relaxing feel to the body.
How Do Essential Oils Work During Pregnancy?
Essential oils, whether used during pregnancy or any other situation, are not meant to be ingested. They can be diluted and used topically or inhaled.
When used for topical application, massage oil, or other skin purposes, there are absorbed through the skin.
If inhaled the molecules travel from the nose or the mouth to the lungs, brain, and other parts of the body. Once inside the nasal cavity, it sends chemical messages to the brain that affects emotions. For example, when not feeling well, our stress response is triggered. An aroma can be a profound tool to help rewire the way our body responds to stress.
Numerous medications are restricted during pregnancy. Here comes the role of essential oils, which can be a great alternative to treat uncomfortable symptoms and illnesses. This is a reason, why they are very popular with pregnant females.
Is Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy Safe?
The use of essential oils during pregnancy is controversial, due to the lack of research.
They can interact with conventional medicines. According to the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists, essential oils can cross the placental barrier and affect the fetus.(1)
Experts believe, if used in correct dosage, essential oils would cause no harm.(2) Never use essential oil just like that, reading its benefits or usefulness somewhere. Always consult a qualified expert, physician, midwife, or a healthcare provider before using essential oil during pregnancy.
Benefits Of Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy
Essential oils if used appropriately, in the right proportion can help alleviate disturbing symptoms during pregnancy.
Before starting with anything consult your doctor on the same.
The benefits of essential oil during pregnancy are:
Some essential oils such as lavender oil, ginger diffuser, and sandalwood essential oils can help ease nausea during pregnancy.
You can sniff these oils directly from the bottle or a sniff cotton ball.
One or two drops on the belly can ease belly upset and can be extremely beneficial in treating morning sickness during pregnancy.
Peppermint essential oil can help alleviate heartburn and related symptoms during pregnancy. It can be massaged onto the belly.
Lemon oil can be used to flush out toxins and extra stomach acid from the body.
Bloating is another common symptom during pregnancy. The ginger essential oil can help reduce bloating and calm the stomach.
Essential oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang, mandarin, and frankincense relax the mind and prevent overthinking that can lead to sleeplessness.
They can be used by adding 12 drops of essential oil with 2 tablespoons of distilled water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the pillow before sleeping.
Soothes Muscle Aches
Essential oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang, ginger, chamomile, and frankincense can help relieve muscle aches and pains during pregnancy.
Add 12 drops of any of these essential oils to 2 tablespoons of distilled water and use it as advised.
Tea tree, Cyprus, geranium, and lavender can help soothe the swelling and irritation of hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Mix all the 4 essential oils and add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and apply this mixture to the affected area using a cotton ball.
Which Essential Oils Are Safe To Be Used During Pregnancy?
Amongst all the essential oils, lavender oil is the most researched one.
If used properly it encourages relaxation, especially during labor and delivery(3)
It can also help reduce labor pain.(4)
It can be a great option for those who like the smell of rose and not lavender.
Peppermint oil when used for aromatherapy can be a great option for reducing nausea during pregnancy.(6)
Many homeopathic and aromatherapy practitioners avoid using peppermint oil on pregnant females at all.
Many of you might have felt very calm after drinking a cup of chamomile tea.
There are two types of chamomile.
Roman chamomile encourages relaxation and prevents severe migraine attacks.(7) German chamomile can be used topically with a carrier oil to prevent stretch marks after pregnancy.
Lemon oil can be helpful in dealing with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. A study showed its effectiveness in reducing the frequency of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women(8)
If lavender and rose is not your thing, geranium oil is another floral option to reduce anxiety during pregnancy.
It has proved to reduce anxiety in the first stage of labor.(9)
In addition to the above-mentioned oils, other essential oils that can be used during pregnancy are:
- Bitter almond
- Myrtle essential;
Essential Oils To Be Avoided During Pregnancy
There are essential oils that lack testing and research to prove their safety during pregnancy. The oils include:
- Oak mass
Essential oils can be smart options to ease pregnancy symptoms. Before starting with any essential oil, consult an aromatherapist and your healthcare physician.
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