Aromatherapy and Pregnancy
Aromatherapy is one of the most ancient alternative therapies, which is widely accepted all over the world. This uses several essential oils for healing purposes and maintains a balance between the body, mind and soul. During pregnancy, aromatherapy can be very beneficial and can be easily practiced. Aromatherapy can reduce the problem of nausea, swollen hands and feet, aches and pains and weakness, which are the most common problems during pregnancy.
Essential oils are extremely powerful in its pure form and hence need to be diluted before use. During pregnancy, the dilution should be 2 percent. i.e. 10 drops essential oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. For an aromatic shower only 6-10 drops of essential oils should be added to the bathtub.
Several changes take place in the body during pregnancy. Aromatherapy helps the mother to cope with those changes easily. An aromatic shower bath before sleeping can help in a sound sleep and relax which is very important for a pregnant woman. Burning any oil in the room is also very relaxing. The recommended oils are Chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, neroli and ylang ylang. Similarly, chamomile acts as an antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti spasmodic oil, which helps in relief against headaches, toothache and indigestion. After five months of pregnancy Cypress oil can be used as anti septic, anti spasmodic, a good astringent and as an effective diuretic. Sandalwood helps prevent cystitis during pregnancy. Lavender oil is very useful during the pains of pregnancy and also helps in cell renewal.
The use of essentials oils are not recommended during the first three months of pregnancy but it is highly recommended during the last three months especially during the labor. While some of the essential oils used in aromatherapy are extremely beneficial during pregnancy, use of some oils is strictly prohibited. Some of the oils which should be avoided during pregnancy are: basil, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary sage (safe to use during labour), Clove, Cypress (can be used after 5 months), Fennel, yssop, Jasmine (can be used during labour), Juniper, Lemon grass, Myrrh, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet marjoram and Thyme.
In contrary to that the recommended oils during pregnancy are: bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, neroli, patchouli, petit grain, rosewood, sandalwood, tangerine, tea tree and ylang ylang. These oils acts as antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative, analgesic, healing, relaxing, antispasmodic, helps to prevent stretch marks and restorative when overworked or tense.
Thus, aromatherapy can be extremely useful at the time of pregnancy to make the delivery healthy and safe if done properly. But before using this therapy it is recommended to take advice from an aroma therapist or consultant, as it requires lots of precautions and specifications.