Essential Oils for Pregnancy

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Essential oils are natural oils that are extracted from plants, herbs, flowers, seeds, and trees. These natural oils can provide a wide range of benefits based on how they are used. Although essential oils are widely used by a large number of individuals to aid in promoting various aspects of health and well-being, the uses of essential oils for pregnancy are not as well known. Many pregnant women are afraid that they can’t use essential oils while they are pregnant, or don’t know how to go about using them safely.

Pregnant women should realize that using essential oils is safe as long as they use them with a vaporizer. There are also a few that may be used directly on the skin or in the bath, but it is best if pregnant women check with their doctor before using these, especially if they have a history of miscarriage, blood clotting problems, or other medical issues. It’s also important to remember that different oils provide different benefits. For instance:

  • Lavender oil – helps to ease the aches and pains associated with pregnancy while also reducing fluid retention and aiding in relaxation. This oil is also safe to use after the twelfth week of pregnancy
  • Ylang ylang – helps to reduce blood pressure, release stress and tension, and acts as an aphrodisiac
  • Eucalyptus – acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antiviral to ease the respiratory congestion many pregnant women naturally feel or during colds
  • Cypress – help to relieve swollen ankles, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids, although, it should only be used after the fifth month of pregnancy
  • Sandalwood – acts as a natural sedative and anti-depressant to help promote sleep and relaxation
  • Geranium – relieves aches in legs, increases energy, and aids circulation, but should only be used after the third month of pregnancy

Although there are quite a few essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy, there are even more that can be harmful. These oils can be toxic, cause skin irritation, or promote menstruation, which is known as an emmenagogue action, so they should be avoided during pregnancy. Some of the oils that pregnant women should avoid include:

  • Almond – bitter: is toxic
  • Cedarwood: emmenagogue
  • Chamomile: emmenagogue
  • Cinnamon: emmenagogue and causes skin sensitization
  • Horseradish: toxic
  • Jasmine: emmenagogue
  • Mugwort: toxic
  • Oregano: skin sensitization
  • Peppermint: emmenagogue

There are many more essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy, so care should be taken when deciding what to use.

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