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Birth Balance Blog

A series of topics related to preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, bonding, and post partum issues. Feel free to make suggestions for future topics.

Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

I have been doing Bodywork for the pre/post natal woman since 1987. In my work, I combine a number of modalities which result in the sessions becoming uniquely tailored to each individual. Based on what the woman or partner is going through, I will work accordingly with the aromatherapy essences.

Enjoy the touch, smell, sense of well being the aromas bring to you, your baby, or partner you are working with. Let the room become infused with the essence of healing!

The following is a list of essences to assist and/or avoid during the time of pregnancy.

BASIL

General tonic can relieve nervous tension, flatulence and nausea and aids digestion.

BENZOIN

Helpful in all “cold” conditions, such as flue, colds, coughs and bronchitis and for the relief of gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Beneficial in times of sadness and loneliness as combined with neroli or rose.

BERGAMOT

Safe throughout pregnancy. Effective in helping treat the irritation, stinging and tenderness caused by urinary tract infections which may develop during pregnancy. Uplifting, light and refreshing, helping relieve depression and anxiety.Used as a treatment for loss of appetite, colic and intestinal infection.Caution: phototoxic and can cause a skin reaction when exposed to UV light, from either sunlamp or sunlight.

BLACK PAPER

Stimulating oil, its principle areas of action being on the respiratory, digestive and urinary system. Blends well with the fortifying benefits of frankincense and sandalwood and can restore tonus to lax, smooth muscles. Gives relief from stiff muscles and with its pronounced stimulating action on digestive tract, can help with constipation, flatulence, loss of appetite and with atonic dyspepsia. Caution: only small amount is ever needed.

CEDARWOOD

Should NOT be used during pregnancy.

CHAMOMILE

Safe ONLY after 16 weeks. Effective for relieving muscle spasm experienced as back ache, or discomfort due to infection within the urinary tract.

CYPRESS

Safe throughout pregnancy /Avoid during the pregnancy (conflict). A powerful astringent and circulatory tonic that is useful as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Also helps relieve excessive foot perspiration commonly experienced during the pregnancy.

FRANKINCENSE

Safe Throughout pregnancy.One of the most useful oil for use during pregnancy. Effective in helping the user cope with extremely stressful situations, inducing a state of concentration. The fortifying action gives tonus to loose skin and can help with engorged breasts.

GERANIUM

Safe throughout pregnancy, Good for poor circulation, edema, breast engorgement, stress and anxiety. Helps to restore hormonal equilibrium. (Contradiction) Should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy, and only used in low dilution for the remaining time, unless under the guidance of a professional Aromatherapist.

JASMINE

Safe only after 16 weeks. Calming and relaxing, encouraging optimism and confidence.

JUNIPER

In homeopathy, under the name of threatened miscarriage and metrorrhagia, however AVOID the use of juniper during the pregnancy, this primary due to its action on the kidneys.

LAVENDER

Safe throughout pregnancy.

Has a wide range of therapeutic qualities:

·Analgesic

·Encourages the healing of damaged tissue

·Prevents excess scar tissue developing

·Relieves headaches

·Settle the stomach

·Stimulate the immune system, helping protect the user from infection

·Useful in helping treat constipation

·Has a smoothing and gentle presence for helping reduce high blood pressure

Frequently used to enhance the action of many other essential oils. In case of morning sickness, place a drop of the oil on a handkerchief and inhale.

LEMON

Safe throughout pregnancy. Helps tone the circulation and reduce tissue congestion. Stimulate the immune system, improving the use’s resistance to infection. Caution: Phototoxic, may cause irritation.

LEMONGRASS

The effectiveness in stimulating stress related weakness has been shown to help in encouraging milk production and digestion.

MANDARIN

Safe throughout pregnancy. Helps soothe and settle the nervous system and digestive tract, encourages optimism. Caution: possibly phototoxic.

MARJORAM

A powerful sedative, an aphrodisiac and can lower blood pressure. It is therefore NOT recommended for use during pregnancy.

MELISSA

Can promote relaxation and good sleep and it is a very gentle oil, is safe to use over a long period of time or with delicate or frail people.

MYRRH

Should NOT be used at all during pregnancy due to its use as an emmenagogue to promote menstruation.

NEROLI

Safe throughout pregnancy. Acts as a sedative for the nervous system, relieving stress and state of depression. Also good for nourishing the growing layer of the skin in treatments for stretch marks.

ORANGE

Safe throughout pregnancy. Helps tone and stimulate the digestive tract, and is useful for digestive upsets. Bright and energizing. Caution: phototoxic.

PARSELY

Should NOT be used during pregnancy or on children.

PATCHOULI

Safe throughout pregnancy. Good for treating inflamed skin and preventing the development of infection. Also works well as a nerve tonic and is useful in helping overcome anxiety. However, rather like ginseng, a lot depends upon the state of mind of the individual.

PEPPERMINT

Safe only after 16 weeks / has to be avoided during pregnancy (contradiction). Valuable for helping treat all digestive problems, nausea and headaches. Also relieves breast engorgement by reducing the circulation to breast tissue. May used in footbaths to refresh and deodorize tired and aching feet. Caution: skin irritant in concentration. In case of morning sickness, place a drop of the oil on a handkerchief and inhale.

ROSE

Avoid using rose during pregnancy unless under the provision of a professional Aromatherapist.Relaxing and soothing when experiencing anger or intense emotions. The profound positive effect on the emotions, it can be related to its influence on the female productive organs.Also helps regulate hormone balance following childbirth.

ROSEMARY

Safe only late pregnancy / Avoid during pregnancy (contradiction). Avoid in cases of high blood pressure. Good for encouraging the circulation needed for the production and flow of breast milk. Also useful for states of tiredness and fatigue.

ROSEWOOD

Has a gentle yet positive effect and is of particular benefit during pregnancy.

SAGE

Can be a very useful oil for pregnancy and childbirth, yet it can be toxic in certain circumstances and should be strictly avoided unless the treatment of a fully qualified Aromatherapist. It is not for home use.

SANDALWOOD

Safe throughout pregnancy.Recommended for impotence, physical tonic, especially for the reproductive organs.Useful when treating urinary tract infections. Relaxing and supportive.

TEA-TREE

Safe throughout pregnancy. Aid the damaged tissue while helping prevent the development of infection.Its antiseptic and antifungal effect is good for treatment for female problems, such as fungal conditions, urinary or sinus infections.

THYME

Toxic in certain circumstances and should not be used during pregnancy.

YLANG YLANG

Safe throughout pregnancy. Good for high blood pressure, stress, anxiety. Anti-depressant. Because of its “heady” aroma, it is not recommended to use on those prone to headaches. Effective against introversion, emotional coldness, anger and frustration and is recommended for frigidity and impotence or for those with sexual debility.

Essential oils to be completely avoided during pregnancy:

·AngelicaAniseed·Armoise·Arnica (not to be confused with homeopathic remedy)· Basil Birch Black Pepper Boldo Leaf Buchi Caluamus Camphor·Caraway· Cassia Cedarwood Chamomile Cinnamon· Clary Sage Clove·Cedar wood· Elecampane Fennel· Fir Ginger Horseradish Hyssop·Marjoram· Melissa Mugwort· Mustard Myrrh· Nightshade Nutmeg· Oregano Origanum· Parsley Seed Pennyroyal· Peppermeint Pine Rose Rosemary Rue Sage· Sassafras Savin Savory· Southernwood Stinging Nettle Tansy·Tarragon·Thuja·Thyme (both Red and Linalol)·Wintergreen Wormseed Wromwood.

Essential oils that must be used with caution during pregnancy:

·Chamomile·Clary Sage·Peppermint·Rose·Rosemary

2 Responses to “Aromatherapy During Pregnancy”

  1. Nyrie says:

    Oils are just great during pregnancy and labor. Great overview

  2. Judith says:

    Yes, they can be very helpful on so many levels, thanks for your support!

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