Pregnancy can be a wonderful and almost magical time in a woman’s life. But let’s face it … in spite of all the rosy pictures you’re fed by the media, family, and friends telling you what an amazing journey it is, this can also be a time of great physical upheaval and emotional challenge. Your hormones are raging out of control, while your body bloats and balloons out as it adjusts to prepare you for the blessed event and your transition into motherhood. Exciting and scary stuff all at the same time!
Your emotional state can and does impact your baby’s health so if you’re serious about having a totally natural pregnancy then you need to know that aromatherapy and essential oils play a vital role in that process. There's no question that essential oils are indispensable during the birthing process, but when it comes to essential oils during pregnancy, there's a lot of confusion and misguided fear around which oils are ok to use and when. A lot of practitioners will tell you that it's not safe to use certain oils during the first trimester of your pregnancy and some will tell you to avoid them altogether!
Ironically, many of the most common complaints that pregnant women usually have can be addressed and often resolved in totally safe and natural ways with essential oils. The good news is that there are only a small number of essential oils that you need to be careful about --most of which are essential oils you wouldn't normally use anyway.
And let’s put this in perspective. There are thousands of personal care products on the market today that contain ingredients that have either never been studied for safety or have been flagged as possible endocrine-disruptors --including the presence of phthalates in synthetic fragrances. Repeatedly using any one of these products for prolonged periods of time is likely to expose you and your baby to a whole lot more long-term harm than an occasional sniff of peppermint oil or swab of cypress to relieve your hemorrhoids!
Whenever you consider the safety of using a particular product, context matters. There are established guidelines for the safe use of essential oils that when followed properly will eliminate the problems that could arise from improper use, over-use, or abuse. Because there are multiple ways to use essential oils and much of the concern or warnings revolve around directly applying the oils to your skin, you can try an inhalation method instead which poses almost no real risk (except in some cases it might trigger nausea).
If you would like to learn more about which oils are safe to use during pregnancy and the best ways to use them, please pick up a copy of our new eBook: "Aromatherapy and the Expectant Mom: A Woman's Guide to the Best Essential Oils for a Holistic Pregnancy."
For complete instructions, safety precautions, and suggested uses, please download our Guide to Essential Oil & Diffuser Blends and read our blog posts on Safety Tips & Precautions for Working with Essential Oils.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely During Pregnancy
The benefits of using essential oils during pregnancy should not be dismissed or under-estimated, but it is important to use them in moderation and follow established safety guidlines. Here are some to get you started: