So you're pregnant!!! Congratulations! Now you're going to hear all of the wonderful and confusing advice out there.... well I'm here to speak from experience and tell you how I used essential oils to make my pregnancy a little easier.
I just recently had my third baby. You can check out all my labor stories here: Long Birth Story, Fast Birth Story, and My Perfect Birth Story. But this was my first oily pregnancy and it was by far my easiest pregnancy. It was also my first boy. Yay!
So whether you're an experienced oiler, a newbie, or just scoping out this crazy voodoo witch magic, let me tell you about my story. So. I got pregnant with Harvey (Surprise!!!) and knew I was ready to take on this pregnancy with my oils. But before we get started, I'm not a doctor. I used to be a nurse; however, I am not qualified to prescribe, treat, diagnose, or make any health claims. BUT I can tell you my experience with essential oils in my recent pregnancy, how they worked for me, and give you some ideas on how you can use them. But when in doubt, ask your Obstetrician.
Firstly, It's all about quality. I recommend using essential oils that are very pure. And just because it says "100% pure" on the bottle doesn't mean a thing. I used to not get the whole "quality" thing. I mean, an oil is an oil, right? Well I applied diluted "pure" lavender oil to my daughter and she broke out in hives. Lavender is one of the most gentle oils. I was in shock and started looking into it a bit more. After a lot of research (I'm a research junkie), I decided to use Young Living essential oils. They have extremely high quality standards and they're very transparent about their methods. They own their own farms, distill their own oils, yada yada. If you want to find out more. Check out the my page on How to Get Started with Essential Oils.
Now let's dive into some of the specifics of Oils during pregnancy.
Oils to Avoid
Safety and SensitivityI found that my skin was more sensitive to oils during pregnancy. Every person is different, but I would be sure to dilute essential oils when using topically until you know how your skin will react. If you need more information about Essential Oils dealing with pregnancy, labor, and postpartum--a great book is Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern.
Common Pregnancy IssuesI'm talking about the common, run of the mill things that most women deal with during pregnancy. When in doubt, ask your OB. But here are some common issues you'll probably run into.
Emotions-I remember frantically calling my husband at work freaking out. Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, you are going to have a whole lot of big emotions. Like crying because you want something but don't know what it is. Frankincense, lavender, stress away, joy, valor, gentle baby, peace and calming, surrender and release were some of my best friends during pregnancy--and still are. I don't use them all at the same time, but I might pick 2-3 that fit the occasion. I like to diffuse the oils for emotional purposeless. There is a science behind that, but I won't get into that here. One of my favorite combos to diffuse is Lavender and Peace & Calming. I also apply the oils to my neck, wrists, and shoulders. Joy goes over my heart.
Occasional Nausea- Peppermint, Digize, and AromaEase For that all too wonderful queasy feeling. I found that digize may have been strong on its own but it's much more palatable mixed with peppermint. I would mix these two and rub them on my stomach then inhale from my hands. AromaEase was my other favorite. I would often wear this or peppermint on a diffuser necklace for when I was out and about and a smell or something just set my nausea off-- like the meat and seafood section at the grocery store. Or you can keep a bottle handy in your purse to inhale from.
Exhaustion- I was much more tired this pregnancy. Maybe that's because I'm chasing around 2 other little people. But we can't usually lay around and rest all day. Gotta make it work. I like to diffuse peppermint or put a drop on my thumb and press it to the roof of my mouth for a quick pick me up. I also kept a roller bottle handy and would rub it on the back of my neck when I woke up. The fresh bright smell and tingly feeling got me going. I also used Ningxia Red, Multigreens, Zyng and Nitro. Ningxia red is a whole body antioxidant supplement that supports energy, immune system, and a slew of other things. Multigreens in a greens supplement because Lord knows we don't eat enough veggies. Zyng and Nitro are energy drink alternatives that I literally survived on.
Muscles and Joints- We all know as pregnancy goes on, those hormones prepare our body for all that stretching and baby coming out. This can mean that our muscles and joints are a little loose and we need to take extra care of them. I used oils like PanAway and Deep Relief as well as Orthosport massage oil after any physical activity. Which, let's face it, at 49 months pregnant walking is physical activity. I also took a supplement called sulfurzyme daily.
Stretching Ribs- Oh those burning ribs. Thats always the hardest part of my pregnancy. I have to lay in very specific positions. I found a combination of Lavender, Frankincense, and Panaway mixed with a little carrier oil rubbed directly on my ribs and upper abdomen gave me some relief.
Stretching Itchy Skin-When our bellies grow, our skin stretches. Which means it can get tight and itchy. I love using Animal Scents ointment (yes, people can use it too), Lavaderm spray, and the massage oils rubbed on my buddha belly and all over. I made it through all my pregnancies without stretch marks. Which I'm not saying these are magically going to prevent stretch marks, but we all know it helps to keep our skin moisturized and hydrated. Plus the chemical components that make up these essential oils are wonderful for supporting healthy skin.
Sleep- Why is it that when you need sleep the most, you just can't sleep soundly. I found a good system. I took melatonin on the advice of my OB as well as diffused a few different combos. Some of my favorites were Lavender and Cedarwood, Gentle Baby and frankincense, or similar calming blends. I also rubbed Cedarwood and Tranquil on my neck and jaw. This way, when I rolled over in the middle of the night to position that big belly, I would get a new whiff of those oils on my pillow.
Perineum Prep---If you are not a woman--please stop reading---I warned you. Ok. So I tore with my first child and BAAAD with my second. She came so fast. Well when I spoke to my doctor he said that due to the scar tissue, I would most likely continue to tear worse and worse with each child. Well, that's great! I scoured the inter webs determined to find something to try because why not? What did I have to lose? I decided to try a combination of things. First I used the Claraderm Spray from Young Living and sprayed the area a couple times a day in the 6 weeks before my due date. I also used the combination recommended in the Gentle Babies book by Debra Raybern. It's basically certain oils mixed with a carrier oil and applied daily. Then you change it every week. It spans the last 4 weeks of your pregnancy. I highly recommend that book. The ClaraDerm spray is expensive but it's so worth it. I BARELY tore with my 3rd and he came out "sunny side up." My OB was shocked. She couldn't believe I didn't tear more because when they come out in that position it's usually worse. The ClaraDerm spray is also useful after the fact, but I'll get to that in my Postpartum Post.
Worry and Fear about Delivery- My second labor was fast and my epidural didn't "take" and I tore severely which I mentioned above. So I'm gonna be honest and say I was a little nervous about delivery. Would I tear even worse? Would my labor go so fast that I wouldn't make it to the hospital? Would I be able to get an epidural in time? Would it work? And they say if you carry those emotions through to delivery that it can cause further issues plus I wanted to enjoy it. So 8 weeks before my due date, I started applying Release and Surrender. I would apply to my wrists and then take a nice deep inhale and think about how awesome my delivery was going to go. It really did help to keep me nice and calm and positive.
So I know all of this information can be overwhelming. And if you aren't already using oils, it can seem even more daunting. But let me settle your fears. When you get your starter kit from me, you also gain a whole community of oily friends. We have a Facebook hangout group where we chat oils, recipes, uses, sales, and loads of other stuff. We offer free online classes and loads of materials to everyone in our group. It's a great place to ask questions. Plus, I'm personally here to help you along the way. That's the great thing about Young Living. You get 1 on 1 customer service. So if something comes up and you have a question, you can shoot me a personal message on Facebook or send me a text and I will happily help you out. I've met so many wonderful people and made some great friends all through this journey. I also gift reference materials to each person, so you 'll have some of your own resources to turn to. To find out how to get your very own kit--which includes several of the oils I mentioned above--check out the How to Get Started with Essential Oils tab.
I'm so excited for you and your oily pregnancy. I hope that it's glowing and uneventful. For more information about Essential oils during labor, Essential oils Postpartum, and Essential Oils and Babies--keep an eye out on my blog. I'm excited to share this series with you from my experience with my little guy Harvey.