Aromatherapy is one of the latest crazes in beauty treatment. It is known as a natural form of healing. It is considered a science which uses essential oil extracts of aromatic plants for treating all the aspects of a person: body, spirit and mind.
Aromatherapy should be used with caution during pregnancy as some women reported side effects.
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances which need to be diluted properly before use. They are also quite volatile so the dilution should be about 2%, which is equivalent to 1 ounce or 10 drops of essential oil.
Mixing essential oils into baths:
You can mix 6 to 10 drops of your preferred essential oil into a tub of warm water for an aromatic bath during pregnancy which can relax the tensed pelvic muscles as well as prevent stretch marks.
You can put 3-6 drops of the essential oil in a warm compress which is basically a washcloth which has been soaked in warm water and wrung out.
But during pregnancies, some essential oils should be avoided as they are really too strong for the 1st trimester as the fetus establishes its implantation and development. These include basil, cinnamon, cedar wood, clary sage, cypress, hyssop, clove, fennel, jasmine, parsley, lemongrass, juniper, pennyroyal and myrrh.
Recommended oils during pregnancy:
These include bergamot, cypress (past the 1st trimester), grapefruit, mandarin, petitgrain, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, lemon, patchouli, rosewood, tangerine and sandalwood.
As a precaution, always do a patch test before actual usage to check for allergies. Consult your doctor on the usage of essential oils for aromatic baths as a form of therapy.
Benefits of Aromatherapy during Pregnancy:
Most of the essential oils have healing properties, functioning as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral, analgesic, sedative and antibacterial.
Each essential oil is used for some particular function which should be carefully read and understood before usage, such as easing indigestion, soothing muscular aches and pain, easing swollen ankles and varicose veins, easing respiratory congestion, improving blood circulation, easing water retention, encouraging cell rejuvenation, reducing morning sickness, easing tension, regenerating skin cells, helping in pre- and post-partum depression, preventing stretch marks, lowering blood pressure and restoring the general good health of the body.
There are some essential oils that are not recommended for use during the 1st trimester but may be used during the 2nd or 3rd trimester and vice-versa. Do a thorough check-up on each kind before you use it or consult your doctor for recommendations.