Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Birthing

By Heidi Higgins

Been hearing a lot about essential oils lately? Well, there's a reason for that. More and more people are recognizing they are safe, powerful and effective, and can be used to address a myriad of physical and emotional concerns.

In our family we successfully use essential oils almost daily for everything from scraped knees and germ prevention to kicking colds and pitch removal. In our chiropractic clinic they're used with patients to soothe muscle and joint pain and as support for more serious conditions. But, one of the uses I most enjoy sharing about is how they can be used during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and baby.

Essential oils can be a tremendous blessing during pregnancy. In addition to eating right, proper exercise, reducing stress and informed supplementation and self care - essential oils can help promote overall health and wellness.

Stephanie Fritz LM, CPM is an author and midwife who frequently uses essential oils in her practice. Her book, Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies, is one of the best guides I have found for using oils during pregnancy and beyond. Her suggestions are helpful and reassuring. We often reference this book during our Mothers Haven classes, and share tips with many moms in the making. Having just returned from a seminar and hearing her speak- I wanted to share some of her insight on the safety of essential oils and pregnancy.

She only recommends certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils for use during pregnancy and beyond. These essential oils have been carefully selected and tested for their safety and positive impact for mother and baby. Some sources suggest avoiding essential oils completely during pregnancy. According to Stephanie, most books and resources were written for ALL oil users and need to be super conservative because they cannot guarantee quality. She quotes Dr. David Hill on the quality of oils "You will find warnings everywhere about which oils you should and should not use during pregnancy. These previously were very valid concerns because of the impurities that were so prevalent in the oils available and the threat they posed to a developing fetus. But now that we enjoy the purity of this grade of essential oil it is no longer an issue."

She does suggest practicing common sense. Skin can be very sensitive during pregnancy. Essential oils are pure and potent. The oils used that are certified therapeutic grade do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and a little goes a long way. It is best to start with a small amount (1-2 drops) and use more frequently rather than to apply many drops at once.


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