Pregnancy is a fragile time with women having to be extra cautious of whatever they eat, do, or apply. That’s the right thing to do though since the growing fetus is seriously impacted by what the mother does.
Such a scenario may engulf you in rounds of research before you eat or apply something. One such confusion is related to the use of essential oils in pregnancy. The question is, ‘are essential oils safe to use during your nine months?’
Let’s dive into what research has to say on this subject.
Are essential oils safe for pregnant women?
Lots of expectant moms turn to natural remedies instead of medications to deal with the daily uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy. In this regard, essential oils are becoming a popular choice among pregnant ladies for dealing with symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.
Essential oils can pass through your skin. Some of the components of these oils may even enter the placenta and affect the baby. The effects are not negative as such. However, the exact effect of essential oils on the child has not been extensively studied by researchers.
Hence, there is little research to back any claims. This lack of information may lead some women to avoid essential oils altogether. However, there is some positive data as stated by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy.
The unit highlights, “there are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses due to the ‘normal’ use of essential oils, either by inhalation or topical application” and “no recorded cases of miscarriage or birth defect resulting from aromatherapy massage using therapeutic applications of any essential oil.”
This washes off the odds of side effects of using essential oils during your pregnancy. The bottom line, however, is that pregnant women should use caution. It is best not to use essential oils during your first trimester, which is a very sensitive period of pregnancy.
Stick to the standard safe practices and usage recommendations outlined by aromatherapy associations. It is also best to consult a trusted aromatherapist or medical professional. Tell them about your current condition, medical history, and the medications that you are taking so that they can make a recommendation based on that.
Which essential oils are safe for pregnant women?
When you use essential oils, make sure that you use only high quality, pure oil which does not contain any synthetic compounds. The presence of unknown ingredients swells the risk of adverse reactions.
As per the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists, the followed essential oils are generally safe to use for women with a bun in their oven:
- Black pepper
- Chamomile German
- Chamomile Roman
- Ginger Root
- Juniper Berry
- Marjoram Sweet
- Neroli (Orange Blossoms)
- Petitgrain (Orange Leaf)
- Sweet Orange
- Tea Tree
How can you use essential oils during your pregnancy?
The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists outlines that the two best ways to use essential oils during pregnancy include topical application and inhalation.
Topical application is related to applying the oil to your skin. Remember that your skin is very sensitive during the nine months so you need to dilute the essential oil to avoid irritation.
Hence, for a massage, use a 1% dilution rate. This makes six drops of essential oil for every ounce of the carrier oil. If you are using the essential oil as part of your bath, then don’t add more than four drops of the essential oil.
On the other hand, inhalation relates to smelling the oil. Your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy. So, you may like some scents while clearly disliking others. However, inhaling essential oils can help you deal with symptoms such as sleep issues and nausea.
You need no more than 3-5 drops of the essential oil per 100 ml of water. Ensure that your room is well-ventilated. Don’t diffuse for long periods and make sure that you are taking a break after every 30-60 minutes
Most guidelines don’t recommend the internal use of oils during pregnancy. So, refrain from internal use unless you do so under your doctor’s care.
All in all, be extremely careful when using essential oils during your pregnancy. Follow all guidelines and don’t overdo usage under any circumstances.