The Benefits of Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

The Benefits of Aromatherapy During Pregnancy
Lorenzo Veridian 2/08/23

Understanding Aromatherapy: The Basics and the Perfume of Life

Have you ever been entranced by the distinct heavenly scent of lavender? Or how about the citrusy zing of lemon? It would be most surprising if you said no. And, mind you, it’s not just about having an enjoyable olfactory experience. The divine orchestra of scents has a power hardwired into our beings - the power to affect our mood, our health and our very essence. This power is harnessed in the form of aromatherapy, an age-old practice that takes advantage of the therapeutic effects of the natural distilled essences of plants, also known as essential oils.

Essential oils are potent, concentrated versions of the healing properties contained within plants. The practice of aromatherapy involves using these oils, either in diffusers or topically, to promote health and a sense of well-being. Aromatherapy is one of the most non-invasive yet powerful therapies available. For pregnant women, it can be a true savior, helping them navigate through the hormonal roller coaster, mood swings, and physical discomforts associated during this time.

A little confession here, though. My first introduction to aromatherapy did not come from some scholarly article or a seasoned aromatherapist. It came from my little daughter Sofia, who came home one day from school, excitedly chattering about some essential oils her teacher had been talking about. I, Papa Bear, being all ears, found it intriguing and dived into the splendid world of aromatherapy. Little did I know, it would engross me deeply and make a lasting impact on our family, especially when my wife was expecting our darling boy, Lucas.

Embracing Aromatherapy During Pregnancy: The Mind-Body Symphony

Pregnancy is an interesting and beautiful journey, one filled with anticipation, apprehension, and changes galore. Can aromatherapy help tackle the whirlwind of pregnancy-related ups and downs? Absolutely, yes. The pleasant scents from essential oils can greatly help to manage discomfort, soothe heightened emotions, encourage relaxation, and strengthen the emotional and physical well-being of an expecting mother.

Let's say the pregnancy has made the circles under your eyes darker than a moonless night, and you'd swear it was because that blanket of fatigue just wouldn't let you crawl out from under it. A gentle whiff of a citrus-based essential oil, such as sweet orange or lemon, could slice through that foggy tiredness in an instant, illuminating your mind with refreshed energy.

Or take nausea for that matter. Morning sickness, or 'all-day sickness' as some pregnant women may tell you, can be really tough. A gentle aroma of peppermint or lemon in your living space, or making the occasional sniff from a handkerchief dabbed with a drop or two, can keep those queasy feelings at bay.

A Safe Scented Journey: Choosing the Right Essential Oils

Oils have personalities, just like us. Some are gentle and soothing. Others are bold and invigorating. Some are best avoided during pregnancy, while others are safe to use. So, it's important to remember the big 'R' when delving into aromatherapy - Research!

Safe oils that can be used during pregnancy include lavender (for relaxation), citrus oils (for energy), peppermint (for nausea), and frankincense (for grounding). These oils can be used in a diffuser in your home, or diluted for a relaxing massage. However, certain essential oils like basil, cinnamon, and juniper are best avoided due to their strong potency which can lead to contractions or affect the baby.

Also, less is more in the world of aromatherapy. One or two drops of oil in a diffuser or diluted in a carrier oil is typically sufficient. Overdoing it can lead to headaches or skin reactions in some individuals.

Maximizing Benefits: Tips for Incorporating Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is versatile and easily adjustable to fit into your everyday routine. Here, allow me to share some practical tips on how you can incorporate it into your daily life during your pregnancy journey. My wife found these particularly helpful.

  • Get a portable diffuser for your work or rest space. You can have uplifting scents during the day and calming ones for after hours.

  • Add a few drops of oil to your bath or shower for an invigorating start to your day. A word of caution, though, certain oils can make surfaces slippery, so tread carefully.

  • How about trying a gentle essential oil massage? A lavender-infused massage can be a perfect nightcap. But yes, you need to dilute essential oils before applying to the skin, using carrier oils like almond or coconut.

  • Pregnancy can make the olfactory sense overly sensitive. In such cases, opt for subtle scents. There’s nothing wrong with gravitating towards a milder eucalyptus over an overwhelmingly heady rose.

On a funny personal note, my dog Max, a lovable old hound, is an absolute fan of our home scent-scape. On days when the diffuser is working its aromatic magic, Max can be found snuggly snoozing right by it, while Whiskers, our cat, maintains a curious yet cautious distance.

So, dear reader, into the mesmerizing milieu of aromatherapy, why not step in? Especially during pregnancy, you could find a comforting mirage right in the solitude of your natural home landscape. As always remember, each body reacts differently to essential oils. So listen to your body, do your research and if unsure, ask the experts. And lastly, remember, you are innately powerful, and your body, a wonderfully intricate system, is capable of incredible things!

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