When looking for natural healing alternatives and remedies during pregnancy, it’s hard to determine what is safe and effective for use with regard to a developing fetus. Given the copious variety of herbs and essential oils available, it’s nearly impossible to navigate all of the benefits and possible risks involved in using aromatherapy to relax, soothe aches and pains, prevent stretchmarks, ease morning sickness, and provide relief during labor and postpartum. For these reasons I consulted expert Rachel Winard, creator of Soapwalla organic skincare products so she could give us the lowdown on how to safely use aromatherapy as a natural source of healing and relief during the fragile months of pregnancy, and beyond.
I have used and loved Rachel’s Soapwalla products, from her Resilience Pregnant Belly Oil to her ingenious and effective deodorant cream. She creates every item in her collection by hand using vegan, cruelty-free ingredients, and she very fittingly wears the title “Soapwalla Chef” as she concocts, mixes, and whips up recipes for miraculous serums, soaps, scrubs, body washes and more in her Brooklyn kitchen. Read on to benefit from Rachel’s expertise on how to use aromatherapy during pregnancy, labor and postpartum.
Aromatherapy During Pregnancy
With regard to the creation of her Resilience Pregnant Belly Oil, Rachel shares, “I performed hours and hours of research on essential oils that are healing during pregnancy, and was somewhat dismayed to find that several well-known commercial pregnant belly oils contain essential oils that are strictly prohibited during pregnancy. This prompted me to create a product I am really proud to offer my clients. Rose essential oil should be avoided in the first four months, but can be tolerated the last two trimesters. Because borage oil is such a potent skin healer, it appears in several well known anti-stretch mark oils. There are some schools of thought that borage oil is safer as the pregnancy progresses as long as it is thoroughly diluted. However, other resources strictly prohibit its use during pregnancy and even while nursing, so I decided to be safer rather than sorry!”
When it comes to trying your own hand at aromatherapy, Rachel suggests, “Always use therapeutic grade essential oils purchased from reputable sources such as Mountain Rose Herbs or Young Living. ALWAYS dilute essential oils in a carrier oil such as a high quality sweet almond, coconut, or grapeseed oil — never apply directly to the skin. Pregnant women are more sensitive to essential oils, so use half of the usual amount.”