Uses for Lavender Essential Oil During Pregnancy

Aromatherapy can be very beneficial in pregnancy, if you use it carefully. Image by g4hire

Aromatherapy can be very beneficial in pregnancy, if you use it carefully. Image by g4hire

Lavender essential oil might be one of the most widely-used oils during pregnancy – it is so versatile, so you can use it for a variety of discomforts. You’ll find Lavendula, the scientific name for the most widely-used species, around the Mediterranean Sea and throughout southern Europe. You can also find Lavendula in both north and eastern Africa, as well as throughout the Middle East, southwest Asia, and southeast India – but you don’t actually need to find the plants yourself. Just find a good source of pure essential oil. 

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil is steam distilled, so it is thin and clear – once distilled, this oil is most known for its soothing, calming, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

Producers must harvest approximately 250 pounds of lavender to produce only one pound, or 16 ounces, of lavender essential oil.  That is why quality oils without additives can sometimes be a bit more costly – but they are worth it. You should never use an essential oil therapeutically if you don’t know its quality, especially while you’re pregnant. To ensure safety, research your chosen brand of oil to assure quality and purity before you purchase.

Lavender has a wide variety of uses, and supports your body in healing everything from seasonal allergies to sunburns. You can enjoy lavender’s therapeutic benefits by diffusing, putting a few drops in a warm bath, or diluting it in a carrier oil such as avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. When it’s diluted, rub this relaxing scent on your feet or down your spine for nearly-instant relief.

Please, as always, have a conversation with your caregiver about any natural remedy before changing your regular routine.


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Lavender in Pregnancy: Supported by Science

Science is behind the use of lavender for pregnancy and post-partum relief. For example, a 2011 study reveals that the use of lavender essential oil can be helpful in wound healing after undergoing an episiotomy. Additionally, a 2013 study shows that inhaling lavender essential oil was helpful to reduce pain in postoperative cesarean patients.

Essential Oil Cautions

Even an essential oil can be dangerous during pregnancy, so be careful and check out these warnings before you start using any new oils.

  • Be cautious to not use Lavindin, another species of lavender – it is absolutely not for use during pregnancy. Quality essential oils will always list their scientific name on the bottle label, so read the label for safety’s sake.
  • As with any food, oil, or medication — if you have a lavender allergy, don’t use lavender essential oil.

Lavender essential oil can be a source of comfort and relaxation during the stresses of pregnancy, but impure oils, the wrong type of oil, and essential oils used improperly or at the wrong time can be harmful. Always ask your caregiver before using any supplements, essential oils, or new medications when you’re pregnant.

Resources:

Vakilian, K., Atarha, M., Bekhradi, R., and Chaman, R. Healing Advantages of lavender essential oil during episiotomy recovery: clinical trial. (2010). PubMed. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Koulivand, P., Ghadiri, M., and Gorji, A. Lavender and the Nervous System. (2013). PubMed. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Olapour, A., et al. The Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Blend Containing Lavender Essential Oil on Cesarean Postoperative Pain. (2013). Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Raybern, D. Gentle Babies: Essential and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants, and Young Children. (2013). Growing Healthy Homes, LLC.

© Copyright 2013 Rebecca Webb: Childbirth, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Pregnancy
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  1. […] pregnant. Not all aromatherapy is safe for pregnant women or their developing babies, but soothing lavender and invigorating peppermint essential oils, for example, can make your pregnancy more comfortable. […]

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