New Mother’s Day Event – May 12, 1pm to 3pm, Kitsap Mall, Silverdale WA
Safety and use information is based on Aromahead Institute certification program material and forum discussions, as well as Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young’s book Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the aromatic substance of a plant, found in specialized glands or cells (when in the plant, it is called the essence). They are usually steam distilled, but can be cold pressed or extracted using a solvent. The substance resulting from these extraction processes is much more concentrated, as it takes a lot of plant material to create just an ounce of essential oil. Essential oils can come from roots, leaves, stems, flowers, cones, needles, fruit, or other parts of a plant.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils to enhance mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Other plant based materials are often used in aromatherapy products, such as nut and seed oils (lipids), and aromatic plant waters called hydrosols, that are also produced through steam distillation.
What essential oils should I avoid during pregnancy or nursing?
Some essential oils contain molecules such as camphor or methyl salicylate that can be toxic to the embryo or fetus, or can affect healthy development
- Some common essential oils to avoid, especially during the first trimester (This is not an all-inclusive list – I omitted less common essential oils): Anise, Cassia, Carrot Seed, Birch, Cinnamon Bark, Fennel, Myrrh, Oregano, Arborvitae (Western Red Cedar), Wintergreen, Yarrow.
- Some common essential oils that should be restricted during these times are Melissa, Lemongrass, and the species of Frankincense called Boswellia papyrifera.
What other safety considerations should I know about?
It is assumed that essential oils can pass through the placenta to the fetus, and can end up in breastmilk, so great care should be taken to limit exposure.
- Limit topical use to a dilution of 1%, which is 5 to 6 drops of essential oil to one once of carrier oil (such as grapeseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.).
- Limit direct inhalation (steam inhalation or nasal inhaler) to occasions when you need the extra support.
- Limit frequency of use to occasional times of need, instead of every day.
- Do not use essential oils internally or orally.
- Do not use essential oils undiluted during pregnancy.
- Work with a midwife or qualified aromatherapist.
- Avoid poor quality essential oils, perfumes, and solvent-extracted oils (absolutes)
- Your sense of smell is likely to be very sensitive during pregnancy – if an aroma is off-putting to you, that may be your body telling you that that essential oil (or other substance) isn’t right at that time.
- Although peppermint essential oil is not contraindicated in pregnancy, a poll revealed that some women thought it to reduce milk supply during nursing.
How can essential oils and aromatherapy help me as an expecting or new mother?
Essential oils can help to reduce stress or aid relaxation (especially helpful during labor), or alleviate occasional feelings of nausea. Nut and seed oils, with or without essential oils added, can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks or scars.
It is recommended to use fewer essential oils in a blend so as not to overwhelm an already sensitive olfactory system. Keep in mind safe dilutions and contraindicated essential oils, especially during the first trimester.
This is a great way to reduce stress and uplift mood with minimal exposure to essential oils. Diffusing for intervals of 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off is a good rule of thumb. Some great ones to try are Cedarwood, Wild/Sweet Orange, Lavender, Clary Sage, Frankincense, or Roman Chamomile.
Essential oils – Peppermint, Ginger, Lemon, cardamom, grapefruit
Diffuse or put on a tissue or cotton ball and hold up to your nose and inhale as needed, or use 8-10 drops in an aromatherapy inhaler.
Hydrosols: Lemon Balm
Add to a piece of cotton or tissue and hold up to your nose and inhale as needed
If essential oils are too overwhelming, you can also smell or make a tea with the fresh herb
Vegetable oils: Avocado oil, Cocoa butter, Vitamin E Oil, Tamanu oil
You can use these without essential oils, since it’s better not to use essential oils on a daily basis during pregnancy. You can start around the 3rd month. Avocado and Tamanu oils are liquid at room temperature and can be massaged directly onto the skin, or you can make a body butter. Aromahead Institute has videos on you tube where they walk you through the process. Try a combination of 1oz beeswax, 3oz cocoa butter, 1 oz avocado, and 1 oz tamanu, following the directions in Aromahead’s video “How to make a body butter” (omitting essential oils) and melt the beeswax first, then the cocoa butter, avocado, and tamanu. Once melted, pour into jars and let cool. You can change the ratio of softer oils to beeswax to create a softer butter.
Swollen Ankles – Add up to 6 drops (total, not each, for a 1% dilution) of your preferred essential oils from these suggestions to one ounce of unscented lotion or carrier oil such as jojoba or avocado and massage a small amount into your ankles: Frankincense (except for Boswellia papyrifera), Sweet Orange, (and/or) Lavender
Labor – Having a few different massage oils on hand to choose from can be helpful – you can have a few 1 oz bottles of jojoba, avocado, or other carrier oil, (or unscented lotion or cream) that you can add 5 drops of essential oil to for someone to massage into your back or feet. Some favorites are neroli, clary sage, lavender, ylang ylang, wild/sweet orange, palmarosa, vetiver, roman chamomile, or rose. Some people like to have a couple of different aroma inhalers on hand as well.
Disclaimer: My services and the information from my website, Facebook and Instagram page, and printed material I provide are not a replacement for medical or psychological care or medication, and should not be considered an alternative to the advice of a health professional. Do not use information obtained from any of the sources I provide to ignore or disregard health professionals’ advice. I am a certified aromatherapist, but I am not a licensed medical professional. Essential oils and other aromatherapy products can help ease many different symptoms and minor concerns, but are not a replacement for working with a health professional to get to the root of the issue. I do not diagnose, treat, prescribe, or promise to prevent or cure any medical condition or disease. These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.
Class: Aromatherapy Basics – Make your own rollerball
Friday, May 11, 2018
6 to 7:30pm
Location: Blossom Baby
3381 NW Bucklin Hill Rd
Silverdale, WA 98383
Join me for a class on the basics of Aromatherapy and how to use essential oils to stay well throughout the year. The class is $10 and you can make a rollerball blend that you can start using right away to enhance your well being!
Space is limited to 20 attendees.
1. To register and buy tickets, please go here: Blossom Baby – Tickets
2. Next, head over to the Facebook event and mark yourself as “going”.