Most of you know that I am a Labor and Delivery RN and Certified Nurse Midwife. I guess it’s natural then that people would be asking me for my advice concerning pregnancy and childbirth. Recently, I’ve been getting more requests to post about using essential oils during pregnancy and for labor, so over the next few weeks, I will be doing a series of posts to cover this topic.
Pregnancy is such a special and magical time in a woman’s life. The anticipation of having a baby and growing a family, the blossoming of breasts and belly, the feeling of new life stirring within. (Queue Record screeching)
Wait! What?! Someone forgot to tell you about the nausea, the heartburn, the constant peeing, the emotional roller coaster, profound fatigue, aching back, constipation, varicose veins and dare I say it, hemorrhoids?!
Ok, seriously, both aspects of pregnancy are true. It is magical and it is UNglamorous! While you probably don’t need my help in picking out nursery decor, you might be wondering how to get through the less appealing parts of your pregnancy. Some discomfort is probably inevitable, but there are things, including using essential oils, that can help.
My first advice for you is probably the same as your mother has been telling you for years: Drink more water, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest, and get outdoors for some excercise everyday!! Those strategies are pretty much the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy life. Now that YOU are the mother, get ready to start taking this seriously, ’cause you are going to have to pass it on to your little one!
So now, what essential oils are especially good during pregnancy? First, go here to read about the safety of essential oils in pregnancy.
Here are the oils I recommend. Keep reading below to find out why.
Calming Blend (Serenity)
Common Discomforts of Pregnancy
Nausea, vomiting, heartburn—Although it’s often referred to as morning sickness, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can last all day. In addition, the sense of smell is very acute in pregnancy and can contribute to feelings of nausea. In spite of aversions to smells and even certain foods, one essential oil that can really help is Peppermint. Ginger can be especially soothing for nausea, and DoTERRA’s Digestzen is helpful for all kinds of stomach upset. Some mothers also find relief with the refreshing scents of Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime, and Wild Orange when experiencing nausea and vomiting. In addition, you might also try Marjoram, Black Pepper, Lavender, and Frankincense.
Congestion–Congestion is a common symptom during pregnancy as mucous membranes throughout the body become flushed and a bit swollen. For chest congestion and stuffy noses, Fir and Cypress are two of my favorite alternatives to use in place of Eucalyptus, for breathing and chest congestion. You can add in a few drops of Frankincense or Bergamot to help combat illness, chest congestion, and germs, if needed.
Back pain/Sciatic pain–Changing body mechanics as the belly grows and shifts your center of gravity and the weight and pressure of baby on nerves and blood vessels can cause back aches as well as discomfort in the buttocks and legs. While Black Pepper, Sweet Marjoram, and Chamomile are great for back and leg muscle pains, Cypress is great for leg and ankle swelling and leg cramps. When it comes to sciatic nerve pain, I find that in addition, Lavender is also a great choice. My personal favorite for nerve pains of any kind though, is Sweet Marjoram.
Fatigue— A combination of citrus oils and Lemongrass can really help you to feel invigorated. Try 1 drop each Grapefruit, Lime, and Sweet Orange in the diffuser. All the citrus oils have wonderful uplifting properties and can be interchanged here. You can also add a drop of Peppermint or Spearmint for an additional boost.
Insomnia— At night, try Lavender, Vetiver, or Restful Blend ( in the diffuser or on the bottoms of your feet. Its relaxing smell helps to relax you like nothing else. You can also put a few drops of Lavender and Frankincense in your bath water to help unwind. Sometimes adding a little bit of Wild Orange is really helpful as well. You can also try Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, or Neroli in place of wild orange. I like to make a spray and spray the room or my pillow, or diffuse the essential oils 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
Anxiety— Frankincense can be especially soothing with those ordinary anxieties and worries about pregnancy. Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang ylang, are also very calming and relaxing. Lavender, Chamomile, Citrus scents, Geranium, and Ylang ylang are all great options to use when calming and uplifting moments are needed. Massage, diffusion, or a personal inhaler are all great ways to use these oils. I also like to suggest meditation and excercise to anyone who is stressed out, pregnant or not. Learning to control the breath and to relax the mind will even help during the birthing experience.
Skin eruptions—You thought those were only for adolescents? Nope. The hormones of pregnancy can cause this familiar, but unpleasant phenomenon to spring up again. Essential oils, such as Lavender, Frankincense, Melaleuca, and Topical Blend may be used topically for healthy-looking skin during pregnancy.
Stretch marks/dry skin–Dilute 2 drops (Roman or German) Chamomile essential oil and 2 drop Wild Orange essential oil into 1 oz. rosehip seed oil, and massage all over. Immortelle, Lavender, Frankincense, and Helichrysum are all especially soothing for skin irritations.
Hemorrhoids—Sandalwood, Helichrysum, and Peppermint can soothe the pain and inflamation of rectal tissues. Be sure to dilute generously before application.
Varicose veins—Sandalwood, Helichrysum, Lemon, Ginger are oils that are known to have a positive effect on veinous tone and flow. In addition, Lavender, Peppermint, and Massage Blend are especially soothing for veinous discomfort.
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