Pregnancy is the most crucial phase of a woman’s life(1). The feeling of giving birth to a new life is ecstatic and beyond explanation. However, with the happy period comes a lot of complications. Beyond the anxiety, you may get loads of advice from everyone around that may make you conscious and nervous. Add to it, the list of do’s and don’ts can further complicate things. As a caring mother, you would love to adopt ideas that would keep your baby safe. There are certain essential oils for pregnancy that can aid in healthy pregnancy and minimize the complications that may arise during the phase.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
Waiting to hear the news of your pregnancy? While missing your period might be an indication, but that does not confirm pregnancy. However, along with missing your periods if you notice some of the signs mentioned below, there are chances that you are pregnant. Notice the following symptoms and know that you are pregnant or not:
- Tender and fuller breasts
- Fatigue and Tiredness
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Food Aversion
- Mood Swings
- Slight bleeding or Cramping
If you feel such symptoms and there is an intuitive feeling of being pregnant, take a home pregnancy test to confirm it.
Also Read: Home Remedies For Nausea
Types of Pregnancies
The types of pregnancies depend upon the place of implantation of fertilized egg.
- Intrauterine Pregnancy: It is the normal pregnancy wherein the fetus implants inside the uterus.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: In such pregnancy, the fetus does not implant in the uterus but the abdomen or the neck of the womb. Such pregnancy is not viable.
- Tubal Pregnancy: In it, the fetus gets implanted inside the fallopian tube. It is also not sustainable and can get terminated in case natural miscarriage does not happen.
- Intra-abdominal Pregnancy: It occurs if a woman has previously had a C-section. During second pregnancy there are chances that fetus may slip into the abdominal region. Such pregnancies may or may not be viable.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy?
Essential oils are potent extracts obtained from plants. These are of good use in aromatherapy which is getting popular as a complementary treatment.
Pregnant women too are benefitted from them as they help alleviate problems like nausea, backache, swollen ankles, etc. However, as they are quite powerful, one should use them carefully to avoid any risk.
When similarly consumed these work as other chemicals in the body and due to their small size may enter the placenta. Hence, you should use them sparingly. Following are the essential oils for pregnancy that you may benefit from:
1. Use Castor Oil for inducing labor
Castor Oil has been used since ancient times to induce labor. So, when it is the time of delivery, but labors aren’t starting, you may use castor oil for the purpose. Castor oil causes spasms in the intestine which stimulates the vagus nerve and the bowels. Such stimulation may cause the uterus to contract.
How to use?
- You may consume the oil directly and follow it by something that removes the taste
- Or, you can add it to your juice
- Use the oil in a little amount around 1-2 tablespoons
- You should drink a lot of water after consuming the oil, as it has a dehydrating effect
Also Read: How to Cure Retroverted Uterus
2. Consume Fish Oil during pregnancy to reduce complications
Fish oil is known to have significant benefits for pregnant women(2). It is known to minimize various pregnancy-related complications like miscarriage, high blood pressure, etc. Further, it also positively influences infant development. Thus, pregnant women are advised to include the oil in their diet to reap the benefits of it.
How to use?
- You can consume Omega-3 Fish oil supplements (avoid cod liver oil)
- Or, it would be better if you include fish in your diet
- Studies show that women who eat fish during pregnancy are less likely to develop pregnancy sickness
3. Evening Primrose Essential Oil for Pregnancy
There are certain contradictions regarding usage of Primrose oil for pregnancy. The oil is generally used during the first trimester to evade early complications like discomfort, breast pain, etc. However, after the development of the fetus, it is best to avoid taking primrose oil. Midwives generally refer to it during labor as it ripens the cervix and prevents tearing.
How to use?
- Take small oral dosages of evening primrose capsules
- Or, you can take it vaginally
- Women who have undergone C-section previously or are likely to go for it in the current pregnancy must avoid primrose oil
4. Use Vitamin-E oil to treat pregnancy stretch marks
Vitamin-E oil is known to boost the production of collagen that maintains the elasticity of the skin. It makes the surface less likely to develop stretch marks that occur due to tear in the middle layer of the skin owing to rapid stretching. This property helps to cure pregnancy stretch marks very efficiently.
How to use?
- You can massage the oil on the areas prone to stretch marks to minimize their occurrence
- Vitamin E oil perineal massages are also quite beneficial, once you are about to reach 40 weeks of pregnancy
- These help in spreading the skin between the vagina and anus
5. Coconut oil is one of the best essential oils for pregnancy
Coconut is a powerful and most beneficial of all the essential oils for pregnancy. Its anti-fungal and anti-viral properties help keep you at bay from viral infections. Consuming it may also relieve you of pregnancy nausea and other symptoms. Further, it is known to strengthen the immune system of the baby(3).
How to use?
- Take one to two teaspoons of virgin coconut oil daily to strengthen your immunity and that of your baby
- Massage the oil on your belly to prevent stretch marks
6. How to use Tea Tree essential oil for pregnancy?
One of the widely recommended essential oils for pregnancy is Tea Tree Essential oil. It can be quite beneficial in treating acne and other pregnancy complications like swollen ankle and feet. You can use it to fight infections and address respiratory problems during pregnancy.
How to use?
- Dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply it on the area affected by acne
- Those who suffer from swollen feet can massage the diluted oil on their feet
- One should avoid using Tea Tree Oil during the first trimester
7. Get relieved from pregnancy nausea by using Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil counts among the most reliable essential oils for pregnancy(4). You can start using it after 12 weeks of pregnancy to get relief from pain and reduction in water retention. Its pleasant aroma also helps in keeping you calm and relaxed.
How to use?
- You can put the oil in the diffuser to fill your room with a sweet fragrance that keeps you calm
- Massage it on abdominal region, thighs to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
8. Ylang Ylang is your must-have essential oil for pregnancy
Ylang Ylang essential oil is quite helpful in comforting pregnant women. It helps in relieving stress and pregnancy headaches. Women feeling too anxious or stressed can use it to calm themselves.
How to use?
- Put two to three drops of the oil in the diffuser
- You can create a more powerful blend using Bergamot, lavender and other essential oils
- Inhale the soothing aroma that relaxes your mind and body
9. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent choice for pregnant women
Eucalyptus Essential oil can expertly help you relive from respiratory congestion(5). Thus, if you are feeling stuffy, then try inhaling the pleasant aroma of the oil. It is one of the most effective natural remedies to have by your side.
How to use?
- Indirect inhaling is the best method to reap the benefits of the oil during pregnancy
- Add it to the diffuser and enjoy the pleasant aroma
Read More: Eucalyptus oil Benefits
10. Use Lemon oil to avoid pregnancy headaches and nausea
The refreshing fragrance of lemon can be great to start your day. The citrus scent of the fruit is all the more beneficial for expecting mothers.
How to use?
- Create a blend using ginger and lemon oil
- Diffuse the blend and enjoy the aroma every morning to feel at ease
Side-Effects of Essential oils:
Essential Oils are a quite potent source of chemicals and can affect the development of the fetus. Hence, expecting mothers should use them in moderation. Some of the oils may cause:
- Other Pregnancy complications
Expecting mothers should avoid essential oils during the first trimester.
Read More: Home Remedies for Headache
Other Home Remedies for Easing Pregnancy Complications:
Besides the essential oils for pregnancy, you can try some effective home remedies for alleviating the pregnancy symptoms. These include:
Use Cold Compress for headaches
The frequency of migraines is likely to increase during pregnancy in some women. To get the relief, you can try taking cold compress that will eventually solve the trouble.
Incorporate some changes in the diet
Avoid spicy, greasy, and fizzy foods if you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. Mint and chocolate can also averse the condition.
Keep yourself hydrated
Keep a water bottle beside you every time. You must remain hydrated to ensure normal body functioning.
What are the essential oils that are not suitable for pregnancy?
Not all essential oils are good for pregnancy. While some are beneficial, a few can have a counter-effect. Here is a list of Essential oils which expecting mothers should avoid:
- Clary sage
- Parsley Seed
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can essential oils be consumed?
Response: Use the essential oils for topical application. Only a few are edible. Ingesting some of them can prove dangerous.
2. Why should essential oils be avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy?
Response: The first trimester is the most crucial time of pregnancy. As essential oils contain strong chemicals, it is better to avoid them during this time. You can use them during second and third trimester when the fetus has developed.
Pregnancy brings a lot of happiness, but some anxieties and worries also accompany it. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, it becomes necessary to avoid stress and enjoy the phase. You may face specific complications due to hormonal changes. To ease the pregnancy symptoms like nausea, headaches, mood swings, etc., use essential oils for pregnancy. These greatly help in keeping you calm and relaxed.