When you’re expecting, you will take just about any relief you can. As wonderful as the miracle of life can be, there isn’t much magic in the swollen feet and aching back that can come with it. Dramatic hormonal changes in the body can be rough on your emotions, as well, with stress and anxiety being a common experience for pregnant women.

Aromatherapy is the weapon of choice for many women who are seeking a little comfort and relaxation while they’re expecting. Essential oils can be used in massages, dropped sparingly onto a pillow, used with baths, or put into a diffuser to spread through the home. However, as with many things, you may wonder how safe it is to use aromatherapy when pregnant. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you’re using essential oils responsibly and which ones might be of particular benefit to you.

Aromatherapy tips while you’re pregnant

First of all, don’t apply an essential oil directly to your body. There are a few different ways to mix them that we will cover below. Don’t use them too often for a long period of time, either. They’re good for helping when a problem is particularly severe, but shouldn’t be used every day for weeks.

Oils to use

No kind of therapy can soothe all your ails during pregnancy, but many women trust aromatherapy to at least take a little of the pressure off. What’s more, aromatherapy is known to help with some very specific problems when you’re expecting, so here are a few to match some very common woes:

  • Sleep-improvers: Mix 12 drops of lavender, ylang-ylang or mandarin in 2 tablespoons of water that you can mist-spray on pillows before sleeping.
  • Nausea-relievers: Use a drop or two of chamomile or ginger on a cotton ball that you can sniff to ease that morning sickness.
  • Muscle-soothers: Mix 12 drops of an essential oil like ylang-ylang or lavender with 2 tablespoons of an essential oil like jojoba and mist-spray on a pillow to lay down and give your achy muscles some relief.
  • Haemorrhoid-helpers: Mix two drops of tea tree, cypress, lavender and geranium altogether with a couple tablespoons of aloe vera and use a tissue to apply to the affected area.

Once again, make sure you talk to your doctor about any aromatherapy oils you plan on using. It’s wise to keep them updated.

Oils to avoid

While plenty of oils used in aromatherapy can be very helpful, there are some that can have unintended consequences. Pregnant women should avoid using the following oils for aromatherapy:

  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Pennyroyal
  • Juniper
  • Thyme

These essential oils can cause painful uterine contractions, similar to those you will feel when you’re in labour. Other oils, such as fennel, clary sage, marjoram and tarragon are worth avoiding because experts aren’t certain on what effect they may have on you and the baby as well.

Be a responsible mom when it comes to aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be a perfect stress reliever and help solve many of the aches and woes of pregnancy. However, make sure you involve a doctor in your decision to rely on aromatherapy and choose only those oils that you know the benefits of. You have enough on your plate already, you don’t need to go complicating things with unknown quantities!