There are many ways of dealing with the natural aches, pains and nausea associated with pregnancy. As a true birth center that’s focused on natural birth, we like to provide our Austin Area Birthing Center moms with natural resources that they can use to help make childbearing a little easier. The practice of aromatherapy has many antiviral and mood lifting benefits which can aid you as you go through the journey of pregnancy. Under the guidance of our trained midwives at Austin Area Birthing Center, we can help you decide if aromatherapy is right for your pregnancy and what essential oils to use.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the traditional practice of using essential oils extracted from plants, leaves, bark, flowers and roots to alleviate psychological and physical ailments. Considered a form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy has been utilized for thousands of years in the treatment of skin ailments, to increase energy or as a sleep aid. Many modern healers today from doctors to psychologists to midwives have began to use aromatherapy to alleviate stress and anxiety and help along the healing process to soothe aches and pains.
Types of Aromatherapy
The essential oils from aromatherapy can be used in many versatile ways to best soothe your pregnancy aches:
What momma to be doesn’t want a good, long massage to relieve some of the stress on your body? Diluting certain oils and using it during a massage can help the oils enter the skin pores and provide an especially relaxing massage experience.
Taking a long hot bath is certainly one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to implement the soothing qualities of aromatherapy. Dilute a few drops of essential oil in 4 – 8 oz of coconut milk before adding to your bath so the oils can properly emulsify in the water. Use calming oils such as lavender or chamomile. Geranium is great for balancing hormones and emotions on particularly stressful days.
Adding essential oils to a humidifier or diffuser, or vaporising them in an oil burner, allows the oil to enter directly into the sinus and respiratory system, ideal for someone who suffers from congestion, sinus issues, allergies, or asthma. This is also great to help with stress relief and excellent for a boost of energy if you are feeling fatigued.
Aromatherapy During Pregnancy
Even in the healthiest pregnancies, you may have pregnancy pains, including – headaches, aches and pains, nausea, constipation, and insomnia. Here at Austin Area Birthing Center our trained midwives can assist you in finding essential oils to relieve some of these ailments in a natural way – making for a happier you and healthy baby. Some oils that are recommended include:
- Black pepper for aches and pains
- Cyprus for swollen ankles
- Mandarin or Citrus oils for constipation
- Eucalyptus for stuffy noses
- Chamomile for insomnia
- Tangerine for fatigue
- Lemon for nausea
An easy way to combat morning sickness on the go is to place a couple of drops of lemon oil on a cotton ball and keep it in a small plastic baggy. When a wave of nausea hits, just take a quick whiff!
Aromatherapy During Labor
We believe in helping relieve the pain of labor in the most natural, healthy ways possible for the mother, and aromatherapy can often be utilized as a natural way to cope with childbirth. Research has shown that essential oils such as black pepper and lavender can alleviate some of the pain during labor. Frankincense on your palms during the first stages of labor and is excellent for calming.
Aromatherapy After Birth
You’ll want to avoid essential oils around sensitive tissues after birth. At AABC we offer our own perineal herbal bath blend which is perfect for soothing those tender areas.
Risks of Essential Oils
There are certain essential oils to be avoided during your pregnancy (particularly during the first trimester) and, because a pregnant woman’s skin is particularly sensitive, it is crucial to dilute the essential oils with a fat soluble substance like milk or coconut milk or a carrier oil, such as olive or almond oil before adding to a bath or applying to your skin. Some essential oils are toxic or extremely potent and may cause damage if ingested or improperly applied. Always tell your midwife if you are using essential oils at home or during massage. Our midwives will be able to help you select the proper essential oils for you and your baby and aid you in proper application and usage to create the best experience for the both of you.