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Aromatherapy remedies for pregnancy & labour


Scent is one of the most prevelant scenes and especially during pregnancy it can have a huge effect on your mood and wellbeing. It can change during your pregnancy - scents you absolutely loved you can't stand anymore and vice versa. It can also be a great natural remedy to help ease some of the not so fun things that come with pregnancy such as aches, swelling and nausea. In today's post we will talk about aromatherapy during pregnancy and labour and its benefits.


Aromatherapy during pregnancy

Pregnancy is undoubtedly exciting time, but it doesn't always feel great for every woman. Some women may feel amazing, while others may struggle with nausea, tiredness, acne, swelling, aches and other common struggles that may come with pregnancy. Natural remedies can help with this, including aromatherapy and essential oils. But you should always consult this with your healthcare professional as not all oils are suitable for everyone.


Aromatherapy has many positive effects not only during pregnancy. It can help with physical effects as well as relax your mind and help you look after your mental wellbeing.

You can use aromatherapy in many different ways. The most common are:

  1. Scented natural candles and scented sticks

  2. Essential oil baths

  3. Essential oil massage

  4. Aromatherapy lamps and essential oil diffusers

You should always consult an aromatherapy professional and refer to safety instructions of products before use.


Essential Oils safe during Pregnancy

The following list is generally considered safe during pregnancy (second and third trimester, many professionals advise against using essential oils during 1st trimester), but you should always consult with your midwife or other healthcare professional before you start using any remedies.

  • Bergamot 

  • Roman chamomile 

  • Eucalyptus 

  • Geranium 

  • Ginger 

  • Grapefruit 

  • Lavender 

  • Lemon 

  • Lime 

  • Mandarin 

  • Neroli 

  • Patchouli 

  • Petitgrain 

  • Rose Otto 

  • Rosewood 

  • Sandalwood 

  • Sweet orange 

  • Tea tree 

  • Ylang ylang

Oils to avoid during pregnancy

You should avoid the following:

  • Basil

  • Cedarwood

  • Cinnamon

  • Clary sage (may be OK during labour)

  • Clove

  • Cypress (may be OK after 5 months)

  • Fennel

  • Hyssop

  • Jasmine (may be OK during labour)

  • Juniper

  • Lemongrass

  • Myrrh

  • Parsley

  • Pennyroyal

  • Peppermint

  • Rosemary

  • Sweet marjoram

  • Thyme

Aromatherapy to help nausea:

Nausea is one of the most common niggles that come with pregnancy. To help you ease the discomfort, you can try lavender, chamomile, lemon or ginger to help you.


Aromatherapy to ease muscle aches:

Back ache can make especially the later stages of pregnancy rather uncomfortable. Try a relaxing massage using lavender, ylang-ylang, ginger, chamomile or frankincense to ease your pains and aches.


Aromatherapy to help relaxation and sleep:

Lavender, ylang-ylang, mandarin, frankincense.



Aromatherapy to help combat tiredness:

Citrus essential oils and fragrances such as lemon, orange or mandarin have energising effects and may help you beat exhaustion.


If you want to try aromatherapy during pregnancy, look for aromatherapy professionals in your area or consult with your midwife who may be able to help you choose the right solution for you.


Aromatherapy for labour

Some parents to be may want to enjoy the relaxing benefits of aromatherapy during labour to help them. Some midwife lead units and birthing centres may offer aromatherapy for their clients for labour. If you'd like to try aromatherapy during your labour, ask your midwife and discuss if this is possible and about their recommendation.

It may help you feel relaxed and help you achieve a positive experience during birth. However please be aware that due to lack of research, there is no concrete evidence that aromatherapy helps with easing pain directly, however many parents swear by the positive effect of aromatherapy on their labour. It may also not always be advisable and safe to use aromatherapy - you should always listen to your healthcare professionals advice to ensure you and baby are safe.


If you had used aromatherapy during pregnancy or labour and would like to share your experience, please share your stories here in the comments or let other parents know in our private support group called Lockdown Babies Oxfordshire - Support Group for Pregnant and New Parents.

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