For most women Essential Oils are an appropriate and safe option during pregnancy. So I’d like to talk about how we
can safely use them and introduce them into our home and family life, without the fear and misconceptions during pregnancy. Being 23 weeks pregnant myself whilst writing this article and a passionate Essential Oil Advocate, Aromatherapist and Holistic Therapist, this is a subject I love to share. Also, I am happily available to answer any of your questions about using Essential Oils or doTERRA.
How do Essential Oils work?
Aromatherapy activates the olfactory system to enhance your physical and emotional health. The science shows Essential Oils have a particularly helpful effect when treating stress, mood, sleep, nausea, memory and energy.
The limbic system is stimulated, which is the part of your brain responsible for emotional response, behaviours and long term memory.
These are 100% pure, highly concentrated plant extracts are made from the seeds, bark, stem, roots, flowers and other parts of the plant. 50-70 times more powerful than herbs, for example 1 drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea. That’s why when we are talking mamma and baby, we are talking about higher dilutions.
I use doTERRA Oils as they are rigorously third party tested pure Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils; I can feel safe using with my family and clients. Free from toxins, contaminants, and harmful microorganisms and the assured presence of the therapeutic properties needed. The plants are sourced all over the world at the opportune time, using sustainable farming. And the farmers and growers are paid fairly and the plants sourced ethically. The philosophy of the company goes beyond just EO they have a global mission to bring natural healthcare to the world.
doTERRA has a standard that reassures us we can use the their oils with confidence during pregnancy and with our families.
How can we use these oils?
Affects the mood; hormones are constantly changing during pregnancy and the oils are a great way to regulate your mood.
Purifies the air; you can use a dry air diffuser at home, this is a great way to receive the benefits of the oils and especially during pregnancy and postpartum.
Apply to the skin or the bottom of the feet; dilute with fractionated coconut or your regular face or body lotion.
This is only recommended if you are using doTERRA oils, as certain oils with doTERRA are safe to consume and are FDA approved and regulated. Taken as a dietary supplement for targeted wellness it supports the bodily systems and functions. During pregnancy I am taking EO in my supplements Life Long Vitality Pack.
I’d like to explore 3 main topics Pregnancy, Postpartum & Breastfeeding, and Babies & Children.
During pregnancy the senses are heightened and I noticed naturally that there were some oils I was no longer attracted to, or wanted to use. Intuition plays a vital role in preparing for motherhood. We need to be discerning to what our own bodies and babies need, therefore tuning in and feeling what is right for you, and baby in this moment. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about Essential Oils especially during pregnancy, so trust your instincts and only use pure therapeutic grade oils, the softer, gentler oils in a higher dilution.
My top oils for pregnancy:
Grapefruit: Mood lifter and anti-anxiety oil like most of the citrus family its fresh scent and taste can be revitalizing and cleansing.
Bergamot: Another from the citrus family this oil is great mood enhancer and relives feelings of depression and stress.
Geranium: Soothes the skin, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, blemishes, feelings of grief or loss.
Lavender: Eases anxiety and tension, induces sleep, soothes the skin irritation, breast tenderness, muscle aches.
Lemon: Boosts concentration, eases congestions, heartburn, and nausea, safe for cleaning the house.
Ginger: Eases nausea, heartburn, supports healthy immune system.
Frankincense: Anti-inflammatory, relaxing, calming, eases headaches.
Oils to avoid during pregnancy: arborvitae, cassia, cinnamon bark, fennel, myrrh, oregano, and wintergreen. clove, clary sage
Remember: All citruses including Bergamot are photo sensitive so avoid going directly in sunlight after using. Also if you are diffusing I suggest no more than 4 hours per day.
Each of the oils carries an emotional significance too taken from the book Emotions & Essential Oils:
Geranium is the oil of love & trust
Grapefruit is the oil of honoring the body
Bergamot is the oil of self-acceptance
Lavender is the oil of communication
Ginger is the oil of empowerment
Frankincense is the oil of truth
Anxiety: Inhale bergamot, grapefruit or lavender.
Nausea: Make a mist with 7 drops ginger or peppermint, 4 drops orange 4 drops lemon to 50ml water and spray in the air to inhale. Massage the earlobes with ginger.
Circulatory support: Massage the legs/body with cypress, geranium and grapefruit oil blend.
Breast tenderness: Apply lavender to the top of each breast.
Constipation: Apply lemon or ginger to the stomach.
Hemorrhoids: Make a roll on with geranium and cypress and apply to affected area, a 10ml bottle only needs a few drops of each EO.
Muscle cramps: Apply lavender, bergamot or sandalwood.
Sadness: Use lavender, frankincense, bergamot, orange or geranium. Diffuse, or add to warm bath.
Fatigue: Inhale orange or lemon.
Tension in the head and neck: Apply lavender to the back of the neck and temples.
Urinary Health: Apply lemongrass over the bladder. Apply cypress over the kidneys.
Swelling: Massage geranium, ginger, and lemon into the legs starting from the feet to the heart. Drink plenty of water.
An 8-year study in the UK, showed that the use of essential oils in the maternity ward helped relieve anxiety, pain, nausea during labor and delivery. Mothers who inhaled essential oils were less likely to need pain relief or have labor induced. Soothing calming oils included lavender, frankincense, lemon, clary sage, helped more women experience intervention free childbirth (burns et al.2000).
POSTPARTUM & BREASTFEEDING
The focus now is on healing the body and your postpartum care. It usually takes approximately 6 weeks for the body to recover from childbirth so be patient and remember to take it easy too. I mentioned in the Pregnancy article choose an essential oil that is 100% pure therapeutic grade, that do not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients that would effect the therapeutic qualities of the plant.
Some suggestions for blends during postpartum care:
Mood booster: Create a mist with 10 drops Bergamot, 3 drops lemon, 5 drops ylang ylamg with water in 50ml bottle.
Postpartum blend: 10 drops Helichrysum, 5 drops Frankincense, 5 drops Geranium, 10 drops Myrh and blend with fractionated coconut oil.
Peri mist: Mix warm water, teaspoon of Epsom salts and a few drops of postpartum blend into a spray bottle.
A relieving warm bath: Mix your postpartum blend with Epsom salts and relax in the bath.
Peri pads: Using natural pads you can spray witch hazel and the postpartum blend and store in the freezer, in a freezer bag. You can use every time you change your pad after birth as needed.
Postpartum massage: 7 drops doTerra’s proprietary blend whisper, 5 drops geranium, 5 drops lavender and dilute with fractionated coconut oil and massage into abdomen.
C-section recovery: Apply lavender, frankincense and helichrysium to promote healing.
Clary Calm blend is another great proprietary blend from doTERRA specifically designed for women and balancing hormones. It also smells divine I like to use it as a perfume too!
Some suggestions for breastfeeding mamas:
Cracked nipples: Make sure the baby’s latch is correct your midwife or doula will be able to help with that. Apply lavender and olive oil after each feed.
Fussiness: Diffuse lavender and/or orange to help calm mama and baby
Mastitis: Don’t stop nursing/pumping. Use lavender on top of each infected breast throughout the day. Once a day massage the following blend over the breast 10 drops of each melaleuca, lavender, roman chamomile and 2 tbl spoons of carrier oil. Massage from the armpits toward to nipple.
Increasing milk supply: Eat a nourishing diet and consider supplementing something like the Life Long Vitality Pack from doTERRA is a great option because of its complex of wholefood vitamins, minerals, oils and antioxidants means it works synergistically for optimum health. Lot’s of rest and drink plenty of water. Basil and Geranium essential oil can also help massaged onto the breasts.
BABIES & CHILDREN
Although babies and children are generally more sensitive than adults it is still possible to use and enjoy Essential Oils with our entire family. You simply need to educate yourself so you are using the oils properly and remember you are using them different then you would yourself.
Essential Oils are natural aromatic compounds found in plants. They have been used throughout history and in modern day for their therapeutic benefits without the risk of so called ‘side effects’. For example, the ancient Egyptians frequently used essential oils for beauty, food, ceremony or rituals. What does certified therapeutic grade mean? Third party tested to ensure no toxins, contaminants and microorganisms. Plants sourced from their indigenous (native) growing region. Testing protocol confirms the presence of the desired therapeutic qualities.
Suggested oils for babies:
- Lavender: this relaxing oil can be used as part of baby’s bedtime ritual, perhaps a gentle massage on the feet using diluted lavender
- Chamomile: also very soothing it can be added to shampoo and lotion to keep skin happy and scented
Constipation: rosemary, ginger and orange dilute with carrier oil and massage onto stomach and feet.
Cradle cap: blend 2 tbsp of almond oil and 1 drop lemon 1 drop geranium, mix and apply small amount to the head.
Crying: ylang ylang, lavender, roman chamomile, geranium, cypress frankincense. Dilute for massage or diffuse.
Nappy rash: lavender dilute and apply.
Dry skin: sandalwood dilute and apply.
Jaundice: geranium, lemon or rosemary. Dilute and apply on the liver area and on the reflex feet points
Safety Tip: doses and dilutions
The most important thing to remember when using essential oils on children is that kids are not tiny adults—they have a much lower body mass, and they are still developing, so their bodies and skin are far more sensitive than ours. Essential oils, especially dōTERRA essential oils are extremely potent, so a little goes a long way, particularly when dealing with children.
As you can see from this chart, children require a much smaller dose of essential oils than adults when it comes to aromatic, topical, and internal use. The “Dermal” section refers to what we typically call topical application, or application directly to the skin. The “Internal” section refers to taking essential oils by capsule, while “Oral” is drinking or dropping essential oils directly into the mouth. We typically refer to both of these methods simply as internal usage. This chart provides general guidelines, but remember—you must always consider the specific health conditions and concerns of your child before using essential oils.
One of the best ways to safely use essential oils on the delicate skin of children is to dilute. By using a carrier oil like dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to dilute an essential oil before applying it to your child, you can protect their sensitive skin, while still allowing them to experience all of the benefits that the oil offers.
When trying a new oil, the feet are the best place to apply because that is where the skin is thickest, a small reflexology
massage is also usually relaxing for the child. When diluting, it is best to use one drop of essential oil and five drops of a carrier oil. Perhaps the easiest and safest way to allow your child to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is through diffusion. Diffusing essential oils in the kitchen, living room, or your child’s bedroom will allow them to experience the aromatic benefits that an essential oil has to offer. Whether you want to promote feelings of relaxation, encouragement, focus, or happiness, diffusing essential oils in an essential oil diffuser provides a safe way for the entire family to enjoy essential oils.
As we discussed, it is best to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them on children. The dōTERRA Touch/Emotion Kit saves you a step, because it comes in a base of dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut oil to make essential oil application easy for adults or children with sensitive skin. Not only are the dōTERRA Touch oils already diluted, but they come in 10 mL roll-on bottles that make them so easy to apply.
For more information on how to start your oil journey contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or +34665 596 269