Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, but it’s not without its challenges. Every mom-to-be holds one, primary thought: the health of her baby. Essential oils offer a natural, chemical-free way to ease pregnancy challenges like morning sickness, lower back pain, stretch marks, and stress. However, if you don’t consider yourself the type to run barefoot through a meadow with flowers in your hair, dancing to the “Age of Aquarius,” don’t worry; essential oils are no more “granola” than your prenatal vitamins.
Before the advent of penicillin, essential oils functioned as man’s first medicine. We’ve become so accustomed to synthetic drugs that the idea of using essential oils for medicinal purposes has been all but wiped out of mainstream knowledge.
How Safe Are Essential Oils During Pregnancy?
Debra Raybern, ND., MH., CNC., ICA., author of “Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Infant Care,” stresses the importance of being an educated consumer; understand the difference between high quality, therapeutic grade oils and perfume grade oils. She adds that some aromatherapy guides commonly list “basil, birch, calamus, cassia, cinnamon bark, hyssop, Idaho tansy, lavandin, rosemary, sage and tarragon” as oils to avoid because there have been cases where “non therapeutic-grade oils (adulterated, synthetic and of poor quality) have possibly caused a problem during pregnancy.” However, she clarifies, “the difference is quality.”
She recommends Young Living Essential Oils, which undergo rigorous AFNOR (Association French Normalization Organization Regulation) testing procedures to ensure their purity and safety. She states that all the recipes in her book “have been used on thousands of mothers and their babies and children with no ill effects….” Furthermore, Dr. Jane Buckle, PhD., RN., author of “Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice,” writes, “There have been no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses due to the normal use of essential oils, either by inhalation or topical application. There are no records of a few drops of essential oils taken by mouth causing any problem either.” So, whether you’re in camp “gimme the drugs!” or are opting for a “natural birth,” therapeutic grade essential oils can provide multiple health benefits and assistance with common challenges during your pregnancy.
Essential Oils to Ease Morning Sickness
The “Essential Oils Desk Reference,” 4th edition recommends placing 1 to 3 drops of spearmint, peppermint, or ginger behind your ears and over your belly button every 20 to 30 minutes.
Spearmint: a digestive aid; works with intestinal and digestive disorders.
Peppermint: excellent for quelling nausea and overall digestive issues, including parasites.
Ginger: used historically for digestion and nausea.
Which Essential Oils Help Stretch Marks?
Applying a few drops of oils to your breasts and abdomen every day offers a great opportunity to involve your partner — either as a prelude to sexy times, or to share in the experience and be of help. Additionally, all of these oils have powerful emotional benefits that may help relieve stress.
Lavender: one of the best oils for skin care; helps prevent stretch marks. Lavender eases muscle tensions and headaches. It provides a sense of grounding and relaxation.
Rose: used in skin care for centuries; helps promote elasticity and minimize scarring. It is also excellent for creating a sense of emotional upliftment, harmony and balance.
Rosewood: works with elasticity; helps regenerate new skin tissue and stabilize emotions.
Which Essential Oils Treat Lower Back Pain?
Many therapeutic grade essential oils are natural anti-inflammatories and carry pain-blocking properties.
Wintergreen: anti-inflammatory; works with nerve and muscle pain.
Helichrysum: a natural anesthetic and antispasmodic; may help regenerate nerves.
Peppermint: anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.
Combine 2 drops wintergreen and 2 drops helichrysum with 4 drops of a carrier oil, such as almond oil or olive oil; apply to your lower back. Finish with 2 drops peppermint.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease.
Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Infant Care; Debra Raybern, ND, CNC, ICA
Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th edition, compiled by Essential Science Publishing