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Essential oils are plant essences that are said to be non-toxic and have a myriad of holistic benefits. They are typically sourced from plants, flowers, fruits or seeds. They also made of certain chemicals which are used in the process of distillation. They are used in aromatherapy which is becoming recognized as a means of experiencing therapeutic effects. A German study found that essential oils can impact a number of biological factors from heart rate to stress levels to physical immunity. Based on tests conducted on mice, it was revealed that certain scents have a calming effect on the mice.
When the air is breathed in, the scent molecules went from the lungs and into the blood which is then transmitted to the brain. This evidence suggests a scientific basis for aromatherapy! That said, there is a vast grey area on the effects of essential oils on humans as research is still ongoing or not done. No one fully knows the impact they may have on pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. As an expectant mother, essential oils that have stress-relieving properties might be tempting to use, but it’s important to understand how you should use them during this stage.
Often times, people believe that essential oils can be ingested and might add it to teas for a more intense flavor. There is no harm in consuming essential oils that are food grade. However, not all essential oils can be considered food grade. During pregnancy, it might be good to refrain from consuming essential oils and use them solely for diffusing them or applying them onto the skin using a lotion or massage oil.
Certain medications are not to be taken during pregnancy. Essential oils can be a way to help curb some uncomfortable symptoms such as fatigue, muscle strain or nausea. That said, it’s always good to check with your doctors and gynecologists if you can use essential oils during your pregnancy. If using essential oils during pregnancy, make sure to use only organic and safe products that have been proven to give no unpleasant side effects.
There are some essential oils that aren’t suitable for expecting mothers because of their chemical compositions that can trigger unwanted conditions during this period Some oils you might like to stay away from include cinnamon, thuja, mugwort, birch, wintergreen, basil (estragole CT), camphor, hyssop, aniseed, sage, tansy, wormwood, parsley seed or leaf, and pennyroyal.
Here are some essential oils you can use to help cope with other uncomfortable symptoms (as directed by your doctor/gynecologist, of course!)
For relief of nausea: Peppermint, Ginger
Sniff these oils to get some relief from morning sickness or tummy upsets.
For relief of sore muscles: Ginger, Chamomile, Lavender
Make sure to add these oils to a carrier or base oil such as almond or jojoba oil if applying to skin.
For overall relaxation: Lavender, Ylang-ylang
Use these oils to help relax before bedtime.
Make sure to exercise caution as you use products during this period and use only as advised by your medical professional.