Aromatherapy in Pregnancy
In aromatherapy, essential oils, which are extracted from plants, are applied to the skin or inhaled. These oils can have a beneficial effect on the mind and body: some are relaxing, while others are energizing. This is due not just to the scent of the oil but also to the chemicals that the oils contain. Usually, the oils are mixed with a 'carrier'oil, such as grapeseed oil, or added to water.
It is best not to use any essential oils during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Before using any oil you should do a patch test on your arm to check for any adverse skin reactions. Certain oils should not be used at all during pregnancy (see box below) and, if you have any doubts about the suitability of an oil, consult a qualified aromatherapist.
How to use essential oils
Always dilute oils in water or use them in a carrier oil and do not use them more than three times a week.
Footbath: Add 2-3 drops to a bowl of warm water.
Inhalation: Add 3 drops of essential oil to warm water and inhale the vapour. Alternatively, put a drop or two on a handkerchief and inhale.
Fragrance burner: Heat 1-2 drops of oil, diluted in water.
Bath: Stir 4-6 drops of oil into the warm water. Do not use soap and do not stay in the bath for more than 20 minutes.
Massage: Mix 5 drops of essential oil with 25 ml of grapeseed oil.
Compress: Add 3-4 drops of oil to a bowlful of warm water. Soak a flannel in the water then wring it out.
|Essential oils to use
|Essential oils to avoid