Aromatherapy and Pregnancy

I have recently received some questions in regards to whether it is safe to use aromatic essential oils and massage candles during pregnancy

While the rule of first asking your doctor or midwife applies, there are some general guidelines as to which aromas are safe and which aren't. For the most part it is safe to use essential oils while you're pregnant, provided you're healthy and you're careful with them

Before you decide to use any therapy it is best to take the following precautions:

- Always dilute essential oils in a base oil, such as sweet almond or grape seed oil

- Completely avoid using oils or massage candles during your first trimester

- Use only one drop of essential oil at a time. If using massage candles, don't exceed a single massage per week and use candles with 5% or less of oils

- If using a vaporiser don't leave it on for periods longer than 10 minutes. Leaving it on for long preiods can lead to nausea

- Avoid using the same type of oil in a prolonged period of time, such as every day or several times a week

The effects essential oils have on developing babies is unknown, and studies using animals have shown varying results

Sometimes, it's best to steer clear of essential oils altogether. Don't use any oils if:

- You suffer from epilepsy

- You've suffered Miscarriage in the past

- You suffer from any of the following: thyroid, blood clotting problems, or have diabetes, kidney or liver disease

- You've suffered any Vaginal Bleeding during pregnancy

- You have heart problems

Oils that are not safe for you to use are Nutmeg (hallucinogenic effects during labour), Basil (abnormal cell development), Juniper berry (could affect your kidneys), Jasmine and clary sage (trigger contractions), Rosemary (increase blood pressure and may cause contractions), and Sage and rose (uterus bleeding)

Oils that are safe for you to use are bergamot, black pepper, common lavender, cypress, citrus oils, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, German camomile, peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil (not in labour), and ylang ylang

Don't forget that essential oils are very powerful. Once absorbed in your bloodstream they act like medicine. Always check their content and only buy from trusted vendors that supply natural tested oils