Author: A Nutt
As any soon-to-be-mother knows, pregnancy can be a mixed bag of highs and lows. While you are excited about meeting your new bundle of joy, observing a hundred and one do's and don'ts can present something of a challenge, especially if you are a creature of habit.
Take for example, the use of essential oils.
Found in many spas, candles and aromatherapy products, they can present a problem to a mother's unborn child. The problem is many women use these items for holistic skin care regimens or a relaxation tools. Being told that they can no longer use these products may cause a sense of despair as impending motherhood can cause skin reactions and stress.
However, it is best for a pregnant woman to stay away from these oils. Understanding why could go a long way in aiding women to firm their resolve in avoiding these substances.
Harmful affects of essential oils
Botanical products are normally very beneficial to adult humans, but these same oils could cause birth defects or premature delivery, especially when used in certain doses.
This is because some of these oils produce hormone like affects that can "trick" the uterus into contracting. Others, while normally okay, can be highly toxic to an unborn child. Since oils can quickly absorb into the skin and into the blood stream, this is not a good thing.
A few oils to avoid
While it may seem like a bit of an over kill, you would be wells advised to consider what oils may not be safe to use.
There are literally hundreds of oils that are off limits during your pregnancy. To be certain which ones may cross the placenta and pose a threat to your unborn, ask your doctor or do an online search.
There are even a few pregnancy forums where mothers gather to swap anecdotes, ideas and advice. You may be able to get the info you need from such boards.
While the list can be fairly comprehensive, there are few common oils that most people use that would be best to avoid, and they are:
Basil, black pepper, citronella, clove , jasmine , lemon , nutmeg , peppermint, rose wintergreen, rosemary and chamomile in certain doses.
Many of these are uterine stimulants and can cause contractions. Causing early contractions, as you may know, may result in premature labor.
To avoid this, stay away from these particular oils altogether. Again, when in doubt about an essential oil, consult your OB/GYN for guidance.
Safe alternatives for Mom and baby
Women who find that their skin is now breaking out or are seeking new ways to relax and unwind may feel at a loss of what to do.
The answer is relatively simple.
There are many products especially made for the pregnant woman that contain organic ingredients like Shea butter oil, which is safe for use during pregnancy. While these may be a tad bit on the expensive side, you can console yourself by the thought that a) you will only be using them for a few months and b) you are doing it so your baby can remain healthy.
Besides, don't forget that daddy can be an indispensible help during this time. Ask him for occasional gentle messages to relieve stress and promote relaxation. You may be surprised, but the request will make him feel useful in a time where he may feel left out.
A happy, healthy pregnancy
Being pregnant can be an amazing time in a woman's life. It can be hard and extremely stressful, yet alternatively rewarding. Yes, there may be things, like essential oils, that you have to worry about in conjunction with a million and one other things, but when you finally hold your child in your arms, giving up a few habits here and there won't seem quite so bad.
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