Essential Oil Use (Preconception and Pregnancy)
In our last post we talked about the basics of essential oils. I love them and hope that you were inspired to dig a bit deeper, maybe learn more about them, and possibly even include these little liquids in your life. I'm so glad to now discuss some practical uses of essential oils in preconception and pregnancy. Keep in mind that there are so many great oils to choose from. I'm a minimalist at heart, so my list is short and you can definitely stay within a budget while including these three suggested essential oils.
Let's start by remembering that essential oils are plant based liquids and are inherently safe when used properly. That said, excessive and improper use of oils can have adverse effects on our already hard working bodies and growing babies. The same goes for using essential oils that are reconstructed and contain yucky pesticides and filler substances.
I can't say enough about detoxing our environment before pregnancy. Studies show that “exposure to chemicals in household products might be harmful to babies before birth.” Further, “prenatal exposure to common household products, particularly cleaners, was associated with persistent wheezing (in babies) after birth" (1).
By making sure that our homes are free of synthetic chemicals, we are safe guarding our growing babies' future health. One way to do this is by switching out standard cleaning products, which are almost always toxic, with non-toxic options. Essential oils are just as effective at cleaning the air and surfaces as conventional products, so we don't have to worry about sacrificing cleanliness.
Glass and Surface Cleaner (can be used on all glass, countertops, toilets, floors, etc.):
Fill amber glass spray bottle with 1 cup distilled water, 1 cup vinegar, and several drops of lavender. Lavender essential oil has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
Pregnancy is known for being accompanied by specific discomforts. However, by simply adjusting our diet and supplementing we may not have to struggle so badly.
Essential oils can also help relieve or lessen some of our body's not-so-fun responses to growing a human.
- Morning sickness, which for some women can be called “all the time sickness”, may be lessened with peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is actually prescribed by doctors to relive tummy troubles under the trade name “Colperin” (2). By simply inhaling straight from the bottle or diffusing 1-3 drops of peppermint essential oil in a diffuser with distilled water, the liquid molecules will enter the air and are able to be breathed in. Alternatively, ginger essential oil can be used aromatically.
- Exhaustion is a common struggle in pregnancy. Not only are our bodies working non stop to grow our littles by passing needed nutrients to them, we also must carry the weight of baby, increased blood volume, placenta, and fluids. We need to make sure that rest is our priority, but what else can we do to refresh our tired bodies? When we are physically overworked and anxious, our body's nervous system is usually on overdrive. Bergamot essential oil is a wonderful way to increase our stamina and uplift our mood by calming the nervous system. Use aromatically for best results.
- General soreness may also be a pregnancy discomfort for us. Like we talked about above, our bodies bare the weight of baby, fluids, and our super cool new organ, the placenta. In pregnancy, our bodies also produce a hormone called relaxin. This hormone relaxes the ligaments in our pelvis in order for it to open as we birth our babies, but it can make for some sore backs and bodies. Have your partner mix 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive, almond, or coconut with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Use this oil to massage your back, shoulders, limbs, feet, etc. (make sure to avoid pressure points that stimulate contractions, like the inner ankle). Massaging with lavender essential oil may help relieve soreness with its anti-inflammatory properties.
As a recap, here is a list of my recommended essential oils to use for preconception and pregnancy. Make sure to research for yourselves the safety and proper usage of these specific essential oils before use.
I am grateful for these plant based liquids that help to keep our bodies and environments healthy before and during pregnancy!
Warm wishes for a happy day!