While the benefits of aromatherapy oils and its therapeutic effects are well documented, and could also well benefit the pregnant woman, it should be used with care during this important phase of a woman’s life.
Lavender is one of the key aromas that are thought to be soothing and relaxing, known to calm the senses and aid sleep.
Pregnant women are often advised to use lavender to help in getting to sleep since pregnancy is notorious for disrupting sleep patterns and cause sleeplessness.
The reason that certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy is that certain oils are known to thin blood or even cause cramping and/or uterine contractions (which could supposedly trigger premature labor).
There are certain extreme views that even claim that some oils act as an abortifacient (something that causes a woman to spontaneously abort her fetus).
Also there are certain oils that should be avoided by people with diabetes; even the temporary diabetes that some women suffer from during pregnancy. Some oils which are best avoided during pregnancy can be used when a woman is in labor; in order to ease the pain at a difficult time and to aid in the process or birthing.
While there is no conclusive evidence as regard the dangers posed by aromatherapy during pregnancy, it is always best to err on the side of caution in such matters.
It is easy to understand that pregnant women would not willingly subject themselves to a study or experiment which could potentially harm their unborn child, however tests conducted on animals have given us sufficient material to go on; and what to avoid during pregnancy.
According to the Aroma web site, the following essential oils are generally safe to use during pregnancy:
- Benzoin: bronchitis, chapped skin, coughing, laryngitis, stress
- Bergamot is analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
- Grapefruit is an astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with water retention.
- Lavender: Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains of pregnancy
- Lemon: Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic
- Neroli: Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing.
- Patchouli: Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative.
- Sandalwood: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative.
- Spearmint: Asthma, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, vertigo
- Tea Tree: Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can treat thrush
- Vetiver for depression, exhaustion, insomnia, muscular aches, oily skin, stress.