Written by Pam Paulick
I went through my first pregnancy with my daughter in 2011 using some essential oils, but I was very cautious. It’s normal to become a bit of a nervous oiler when you’re new to either pregnancy or oils (and “new” is subjective)! By the second time around, I was more comfortable with both.
Since essential oils work best in a healthy body, I wanted to set myself up for success by making sure I was eating as organically as possible, and avoiding processed foods and GMOs, both of which I was more nervous about putting in my body than any oil on the “caution during pregnancy” list. I also supported my body and energy level (I had a 2 year-old to chase around) by ensuring I had a good routine with supplements, all of which I shared with my midwife. I was taking True Source, Master Formula Hers, MultiGreens, Essentialzymes-4, Life 5 Probiotic, and NingXia Red, all from Young Living, as well as fish oils, Vitamin D, and a Folic Acid/B12 supplement. I also took Inner Defense for immune support, but there is conflicting information on whether or not some of the oils it contains should be avoided during pregnancy, so some may find ImmuPro to be a more preferable option. Again, any supplement regimen for pregnancy should be approved by a health provider well versed in natural supplements.
During my first pregnancy, I spent much of the first trimester with “all-day sickness” (whoever coined the term “morning” sickness was terribly mistaken). During my second pregnancy, I had better dietary habits a much better routine with supplements, which seemed to shorten morning sickness to just a brief time in the late afternoon…a time period that falls inconveniently right after my daughter’s nap. I was surprised to find that a shot of NingXia Red or chewing Slique Gum was very helpful for me. Smelling DiGize or Peppermint, or placing a drop on my tongue or belly, was very settling as well. Rubbing Purification on the insides of my cheeks was helpful too – not incredibly tasty, but preferable over the ishy feeling!
I experienced some leg cramping in the middle of my pregnancy, often in the evening and overnight. Research has suggested that increasing magnesium or calcium has helped some women with this issue, and I did find that taking an extra Master Formula Hers (a multivitamin) would often mean no cramping that night. If I forgot the extra supplement and had cramping, using Ortho Ease Massage Oil, or Aroma Siez and/or RC essential oil (surprising, but yes) would lessen my discomfort. I should mention that Ortho Ease contains wintergreen, and Aroma Siez contains basil, which some resources suggest avoiding during pregnancy.
For emotional support and more restful sleep, I turned to some of my favorites – Lavender, Valor, and Idaho Blue Spruce – in a diffuser on my nightstand. I also enjoyed putting a few drops of Gentle Baby oil in ¼ cup of Epsom salts and adding that to my bath water. It helped me to relax and unwind for bed after a long day.
Later in pregnancy when I began to have what I like to call “practice surges” (more commonly Braxton Hicks), rubbing Peace & Calming oil on my belly was calming both mentally and physically. Lavender is another option, but Peace & Calming seemed to work better for me.
I found that I was somewhat more sensitive to certain oils while pregnant. When diffusing, I used fewer drops of oil because I was more easily overwhelmed. I also found it interesting that I didn’t care for some scents that I normally loved, and found myself loving some scents that I normally didn’t care for. I figured maybe this was the baby expressing his opinion. I tried to pay very close attention to what my body was telling me, and use the least amount of oil necessary to do the job.
Overall, essential oils were a wonderful benefit to me while I was pregnant, helping to relieve the minor discomforts associated with a healthy pregnancy, and keeping everyday stress at bay.