Essential Oils in Pregnancy by Midwife Alinta
When I was younger my mother was what I now consider alternative with health and medicines. This is not saying she didn’t have us vaccinated or take us to the GP when we were sick, she did however use homeopathics and essential oils to help us with everyday issues. We had our cuts slathered in calendula and our bruises rubbed in arnica ointment. We were lined up at the front door before getting on the school bus the first day back to school or before exams and all had rescue remedy sprayed under our tongues. I was probably the only child in my year 2 class that was sent to school each day with a gladwrap pouch of little white homeopathic pills to help keep my constant UTI’s at bay. I was instructed to take these before little lunch and big lunch. I remember my friends looking at me funny. No doubt thinking that my mum was some kind of witch doctor when I explained to them what they were.
I have always remained open minded when it came to natural therapies. After going through my nursing degree and learning all the anatomy and physiology of the body my belief in alternate therapies was at times questioned by myself however I now am a firm believer in alternate therapies. This is of course in conjunction with our amazing medical therapies that are most definitely needed and welcomed at their required times.
I have recently been introduced to the use of essential oils in everyday use. My friend one day offered me a drop of pure lemon oil in my water when I was visiting. WOW! It was incredible. Obviously we got chatting about this essential oil that can be ingested. All my life I had been aware of oils used in oil burners however never ones that you can swallow. I found out that this is because this particular oil is 100% pure, natural, aromatic compounds extracted from plants. No additives like all the other oils I have used have in them. Obviously this makes them safe to consume.
My friend gave me the most incredible book titled ‘Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies’ by Stephanie Fritz LM, CPM. I have learnt so much from it!
Overview of oils that can help throughout your pregnancy and labour:
Lavender: Helps with anxiety, sleep, blocked tear ducts and allergies
Cypress: Can ease swelling or oedema and improves overall circulation
Ginger: Eases nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and gas
Orange: Eases swelling and oedema, is an immune support, and mood elevator
Grapefruit: Reduces cortisol/stress levels, relieves anxiety, assists kidneys and lymphatic system, and maintains hormone balance
Peppermint: Eases nausea, stomach aches, heartburn, constipation, gas, fever and headaches
Frankincense: Reduces sciatic pain, colds and flus and bacterial and viral conditions
Fennel: Digestive aid and increases milk supply
Ylang Ylang: mood uplifter, antidepressant, and sedative
Clary Sage: Increases contractions and balances hormones
Obviously there are many more however they seem to be the main ones that are used.
Since this visit to my friend’s house where she dropped some lemon oil in my water I have been regularly using essential oils for everyday issues. My main oil I use and am OBSESSED with is the lavender in an oil burner at night. Up until 2 years ago I was a champion sleeper! I could sleep anywhere and for any amount of time without waking! I then started to wake frequently during the night and after a while I would also struggle to get to sleep at all. It was really starting to stress me out. Insomnia runs in my family and I think that was hanging on my mind! Because of all this I started burning lavender oil in an oil burner in my room and I now swear by it! I get the most relaxing and rested sleep when it’s burning! Even my husband has commented on how nice it is to fall asleep to the amazing aroma of lavender!
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(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).