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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils in Pregnancy, Labour and Delivery

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Pure essential oils can play an important and valuable role in the various aspects of pregnancy - from the second trimester to labour and delivery.

There are certain rules to remember when using essential oil during pregnancy. During the first trimester of pregnancy most essential oils should not be used, especially if there is a history of miscarriage.

Essential Oils in the 2nd & 3rd Trimester

After the first trimester the following essential oils may be safe to use: Bergamot essential oil, Chamomile (R) essential oil, Frankincense essential oil, Geranium essential oil, Ginger essential oil, Grapefruit essential oil, Lavender essential oil, Lemon essential oil, Mandarin essential oil, Neroli essential oil, Orange essential oil, Patchouli essential oil, Petitgrain essential oil, Rose essential oil, Sandalwood essential oil and Ylang ylang essential oil. Clary Sage and Jasmine essential oils should only be used during labour.

All essential oils should be diluted in a good quality carrier oil such as Jojoba oil, at a 1% dilution. For example, to 30mls of your chosen carrier oil add ½ ml or 15 drops of essential oil.

Essential Oils for Pregnancy Ailments

During pregnancy essential oils can help with all sorts of ailments from aches and pains to skin conditions. Some essential oils may help to keep the skin well nourished to avoid stretch marks. Other essential oils will assist with the overwhelming exhaustion and fatigue that is common in most pregnancies. Many essential oils can help to protect against viruses such as the cold and flu viruses. They may also help with nausea, varicose veins, cramps, digestion and anxiety.

Essential Oils to Use in Pregnancy

Chamomile (R) essential oil essential oil is a wonderful oil for those women who experience the itchiness that comes when the skin is stretching. It may also help to soothe any inflamed or irritated areas and is known to help to relax the body and mind.

Lavender essential oil is excellent for its immune stimulating and balancing properties. It is well known as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant essential oil and it may also help with fluid retention. Use it in the bath, in a diffuser or in a massage. Mix Lavender essential oil and Chamomile essential oil together to make a wonderful sweet smelling blend.

Mandarin essential oil is a gentle, relaxing oil that is enjoyed by young and old alike. Add it to a cream, carrier oil or lotion to help prevent stretch marks. It may also relieve tummy upsets, edema and fatigue.

Neroli essential oil, made from the flowers from the orange tree, is a must for those who are experiencing nervous tension and insomnia due to hormonal changes.

Essential Oils and Labour

Essential oils can offer a tremendous benefit during labour. Essential oils to have in the delivery room should include Frankincense essential oil, Jasmine essential oil, Rose essential oil, Clary Sage essential oil, Lavender essential oil and Neroli essential oil.

Lavender is a fabulous multi-purpose essential oil. Because of its analgesic properties it can be used for uterine pain and leg and back aches. Lavender essential oil also has a wonderful calming effect on all present.

A compress made with Clary Sage essential oil will give pain relief from contractions. Due to its anti spasmodic and analgesic properties Jasmine essential oil will help to reduce uterine pain and strengthen contractions to shorten labour.

Neroli and Frankincense essential oils, used in a diffuser or on a tissue, may help with breathing. Neroli is also a great confidence booster and an anti-depressant.

Rose essential oil, with its floral aroma, may promote relaxation and calm. It can be used in the bath during the early stages of labour and in a massage blend for dad-to-be to use on mom”s back or abdomen.

Don”t forget to pack a small spritzer of hydrosols in your hospital bag. They are wonderful for freshening up and cooling off at any time during the labour experience.


This article was first published at Suite 101 on July 3, 2009 and is republished here as per the terms of our agreement with Suite 101. Visit Suite 101 to read all of our articles.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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