Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Morning sickness, tender breasts and lethargy are just some of the common signs of fluctuating hormones and can prevent you from enjoying this special time. On top of that, there aren’t many remedies that are deemed safe during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are essential oils that can be used safely during pregnancy and work brilliantly to combat pregnancy related ailments.

The first trimester is the trickiest time during pregnancy and you would want to avoid using any medication or essential oil directly on your skin. However, diffusing oils in the home can be useful to ease some of the side effects relating to pregnancy. Before diffusing any essential oil, do check that they are suitable for use during pregnancy. 


Ginger and peppermint essential oils work very well to ease morning sickness and nausea. Peppermint oil is believed to relax the gastric muscles and keeps them from cramping up or over-contracting. Ginger was found to reduce the occurrence and severity of nausea and is often taken as a tea or consumed. If you are going to be diffusing these oils in the first trimester, do be extra careful not to overdo it and limit the time the diffuser is on for no longer than 1 hour in every 24 hours.


For emotional imbalances during pregnancy you can try diffusing or creating a dilution of (1%) of geranium and frankincense essential oils. Use a gentle carrier oil, like jojoba oil or coconut oil, to mix with more potent oils before applying to your skin. This will help you avoid burning or irritating your skin’s surface when you use essential oils topically. 


Relaxing is a hormone that is produced during pregnancy and its main purpose is to relax the muscles and ligaments in the body allowing the uterus to grow as the baby develops and also to relax the muscles and ligaments around the pelvis in preparation for birth. Unfortunately, this hormone acts on all the joints in the body which can lead to various muscular aches and pains for example symphysis pubis dysfunction. This can cause severe pain in the hip and pelvic region and can greatly hinder walking and moving about. During the 3rd trimester, it is normal for the woman to develop pain in the lower back and hip region as the weight on the lower back increases with the growing baby. For aches and pains during pregnancy, Marjoram and peppermint essential oils can be used to relieve the pain. 


Sleep and energy levels can also become disrupted as your pregnancy progresses. Some women find it hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in or their sleep is disrupted with having to use the bathroom frequently or being woken up at night due to the baby’s movement. Lavender and chamomile essential oil can greatly aid in getting a better quality of sleep when you do manage to catch a few winks. Diffuse these oils in the bedroom before you go to sleep or have a drop or two on a pillow in your bed. 


So, don’t despair! Help is at hand in the form of these natural, therapeutic oils that not only smell amazing but are extremely effective. I wish you a wonderful, safe journey through your pregnancy!

Article by: Dr. Carolyn Goh
Integrated Health Consultant, 
BEng., MSc., PhD (DIC)., MBBS

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