Because of their potency, essential oils are diluted in vegetable (also called base or carrier) oils such as sweet almond oil, before being massaged onto the skin. They can also be used in steam inhalations, diffused in oil burners or added to bath water, to name but a few of their varied uses.
It is a good idea to purchase the essential oils you like in preparation and make up the blends in dark, glass bottles which you then have on hand when you need them. Don’t assume that because essential oils are derived from natural sources, they are completely safe: there are some oils which should be completely avoided and it is wise to always stick to a low dilution when pregnant and breast-feeding. See below for more information.
Put a few drops on a tissue and inhale as needed. Alternatively, try putting a drop of spearmint on a tissue near your pillow – it can help you wake nausea-free.
Ginger • Spearmint • Lemon.
Indigestion and Constipation
To ease heartburn and gassy discomfort in your chest or abdomen, put 5 drops of lemon oil on a tissue and inhale after your meal. To ease constipation, put 5 drops of mandarin or tangerine oil in 20ml organic vegetable oil and massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction.
Getting into the habit of massaging your tummy every day is a great way to communicate and connect with your growing baby and will help prevent stretch marks into the bargain. Try adding 15ml of a thick and nourishing vegetable oil, such as jojoba, apricot kernel, wheatgerm (which has a strong smell and yellowish colour but is very nourishing), Vitamin E or avocado oil (again, a staining colour) to 15ml thinner oil such as sunflower, olive, sweet almond or grapeseed. To this lovely, rich 30ml base, add:
Neroli – 3 drops • Mandarin – 2 drops • Lavender – 2 drops
Cajole your friend or partner into massaging the following blend onto your back whilst you relax over the back of a chair or on your side, supported by pillows. Using the same base oils as above add:
Lavender – 4 drops • Roman Chamomile – 2 drops • Ylang ylang – 1 drop.
Keep some essential oils handy as a pick-me-up for when you feel you are flagging. Once they are blended in 30ml base oil, you can use them for massage. Alternatively, you can add them to an oil diffuser/burner or add them to some filtered water to create a room spray.
Lavender – 2 drops • Grapefruit – 3 drops • Orange – 2 drops.
For peace and tranquillity
These oils are perfect for meditation and relaxation, easing fears about birth and helping you feel more connected with your baby. Use them to massage your abdomen, sacrum and heart chakra and allow yourself to feel safe and loved.
Frankincense– 2 drops • Lavender – 2 drops • Neroli – 3 drops
Always dilute essential oils in a base or carrier oil for use on the skin (any organic vegetable oil you have in the kitchen can be used, though be aware of their differing smells and consistency). Make sure you get your oils from a reputable supplier – essential oils vary greatly in price, avoid anywhere selling them all at the same price. Avoid ‘fragrances’ or ‘essences’, if in doubt look for the Latin name on the bottle. Some oils, particularly citrus ones, don’t keep for long – all the more reason to make up a lot of lovely massage blends!
Avoid during pregnancy:
Basil, birch, cedarwood, clary sage, hyssop, jasmine, juniper berry, sweet marjoram, myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, tarragon, thyme.
Your safe pregnancy oils in low doses:
Lavender, Neroli, Mandarin, Tangerine, Petitgrain, Sweet Orange, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Tea Tree, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Grapefruit, Frankincense
How many drops of essential oil should I add to the base oil?
To a 100ml bottle of carrier oil add 25 drops of essential oil
To a 50ml bottle of carrier oil add 12 drops of essential oil
To a 30ml bottle of carrier oil add 7 drops of essential oil
To a 10ml bottle of carrier oil add 2 drops of essential oil