Essential oils can be some of the best remedies for many ailments during pregnancy. However, learning all the do’s and don’t of how to handle health and fitness related issues during pregnancy can be daunting. Essential oils are no exception!
Here’s a few tips to get things started for you. Don’t forget to check out the list at the end of all the safe and unsafe oils!
1. DON’T Take Essential Oils Internally While Pregnant.
There is a lot of controversy in the essential oil world on if this is safe even when you’re not pregnant. However, one of the biggest things to remember about essential oils is they are the strongest most concentrated form of a plant that you can get.
It takes anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds, depending on the plant, to make one ounce of essential oil. That means that the healing properties of those plants are magnified by that much in an essential oil.
Just because essential oils are from plants doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated like medicine, because that’s exactly what they are.
2. DO Use Herbs And Teas In Your Cooking And Every Day Life Instead
Even in culinary amounts, herbs have the same healing properties, just in more mild and gentle ways. Even herbs that are on the “unsafe list” are ok in the occasional culinary amounts, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
what is considered a culinary amount?
Any amount that you would find in your favorite recipes, such as a dash of nutmeg in the cream sauces and baked treats*, or a sprinkle of rosemary on your favorite meat dish.
3. DON’T Apply Oils Directly To The Skin
Pregnancy hormones change all sorts of things in the body, including how sensitive your skin can be. Not all women experience this problem, but better safe than sorry.
Oils that are normally considered mild and gentle can be an irritant while pregnant.
4. DO Dilute Your Essential Oils In Lotions And Carrier Oils
Any carrier oil or unscented lotion will work for this. Cocoa and shea butter lotions and coconut oil, have long been a favorite in pregnant women for soothing itchiness and preventing stretch marks and are great for scenting with your favorite pregnancy safe essential oils.
How much should you dilute?
Do not exceed a 1% dilution while pregnant. This is the equivalent of about 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil or lotion.
5. DON’T Buy The Cheap Essential Oils
As with most things, you often get what you pay for. There is very little government regulation when it comes quality control in natural products. Labeling can be confusing so be sure that you are indeed buying essential oil and not a fragrance oil.
Remember that bit about skin sensitivity? Having poor quality oil can cause big issues here too.
6. DO Buy Oils From A Reputable Brand
Some oils really are only $5 (like Lemon) and some over $100 (like Frankincense or Rose). That’s due to the amount of plant that is used to produce an ounce of oil. The quality of the oil is key.
Here’s a few things to look for when choosing a brand to buy:
- Organic essential oils because it takes so many pounds to create the oils you’re also getting that concentration of chemicals that were used on the plants as well.
- Look for oils that are “Steam Distilled” or “Cold Pressed”
- The bottle should say “100% essential oil”
- Most quality brands will also have the plant’s Latin name on the bottle as well.
7. DON’T Use Essential Oils All Day Long
Again. Just because they are natural and on the “safe list” doesn’t mean that you can go wild with them. Even in non pregnant lifestyles, less is more with essential oils.
8. DO Use Them As Needed
Use the oils on the “safe list” as you experience those symptoms you need help with.
- Need some relaxation?– Diffuser a little lavender
- Dragging?– Put some citrus oils in a carrier oil and smear it on (but don’t go out in the sun with those on!) Or add to your diffuser
- Allergies?– Tea tree can help with that.
- Nauseated?– Make a personal inhaler with ginger
- Insomnia?– Make a linen spray with lavender, chamomile, and orange, mixed in witch hazel.