It goes without saying that being pregnant is not easy. Most women are resigned to the fact that there will be a score of activities that they will not be able to do while being pregnant as well as various foods that they’ll no longer be able to eat until after giving birth. Of course all of the dos and don’ts can be enough to drive any expectant mother up the wall but luckily in the case of essential oils, there is some leeway given.
When it comes to essential oils and aromatherapy in general, most expectant mothers are aware of the fact that certain oils can actually pose a threat to the health of their unborn child. As a result, most pregnant women are not able to benefit from this popular practice of using oils to calm the mind and ease the tension from the body.
However, new mothers might be surprised to know that there is an exception to this rule and it involves using essential oils during the delivery itself. This will be especially good news to women that are avid fans of aromatherapy. But it is important to note that even with this exception the essential oils should still be used with caution and with the approval of your doctor.
Not all essential oils are ideal for use during labor. The main ones that are acceptable include clary sage, lavender, jasmine and rose otto. Long-time users of aromatherapy will undoubtedly have existing knowledge of how to handle these oils. First timer users will want to be aware of the fact that only a small amount of essential oils should be used because they are extremely potent.
During labor an expectant mother will experience a variety of uncomfortable and painful sensations, especially in the lower back or abdomen during contractions. To ease the pain during this stage, it is helpful to mix a few drops of clary sage with carrier oil and have the mixture rubbed onto the area, which will create a soothing, numbing effect that works very much like a narcotic.
Pregnant mothers that plan to undergo labor using the water birth method, can add a few drops of lavender into their bath water. When contractions occur, the lavender will act as a relaxant and stimulate the contractions. Jasmine is meant to be used in the last stages of labor and helps expedite the process of pushing out the placenta. Because of its potency, jasmine should only be used in very small doses.
Rose otto is an essential oil that is highly effective in helping pregnant women with their elasticity, strengthening the womb in preparation for labor and is ideal for balancing out hormonal levels and relaxing the nerves. Rose otto should only be used in the last few weeks of the third trimester and is applied topically (after being blended with carrier oil) to the perineum, which is the area between the genitals and the anus.
The most important thing to note when using aromatherapy and any of the essential oils mentioned above is to never apply the oil directly onto the skin without first being blended with carrier oil. Failing to do this will cause skin irritation and other negative reactions. Carrier oils serve to dilute the essential oil so that it is safe for use topically. Carrier oils are derived from the fatty parts of a plant and are considered a vegetable oil.