Brighten Your Pregnancy with Citrus Oils: Aromatherapy

Orange essential oil can calm you after childbirth. Image by WGyuri

Citrus oils, which are truly multi-purpose oils, can be beneficial when used both during and after pregnancy. Whether the manufacturer extracts the essential oil by cold press or expresses it, the color of each oil should be identical to its corresponding fruit. These oils are thin in consistency and will be similar in color to that of their fruit.

Citrus Oils for Pregnancy and Postpartum Discomfort

After the first few months of pregnancy, during which essential oil use may not be appropriate, diffused citrus oils or a citrus oil blend can increase your energy and improve your mood. This can be extremely helpful when pregnancy fatigue sets in.

Safe Citrus Oils During Pregnancy: Lemon, Lime, and Sweet Orange

Citrus oils are helpful and safe in non-toxic cleaning solutions while you’re pregnant, and you can also diffuse the oils to keep germs from invading your home.

  • Lime oil is wonderful for use during colds, flu and fever.
  • You can rub lemon oil on insect bites to relieve discomfort. We commonly use lemon oil as an anticoagulant, as well, so if you have any blood clotting issues, please consult with your health care provider before using this oil.
  • Sweet orange oil is antifungal, calms the nerves, is a digestive aid, and can calm cramping. Much like lemon oil, this oil can also be helpful in aiding digestion. For a pregnant woman suffering from diarrhea or constipation (or both), orange oil can be a blessing; just rub it on your tummy diluted in a carrier oil. For the common problem of muscle cramping during pregnancy, mix sweet orange oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the affected area (such as the calves or feet).

Citrus Oils and Sun Exposure

All these citrus oils are phytotoxic, which means you should avoid the sun for at least an hour after you put them on your skin. You can use them safely in homemade beauty products, and for aromatherapy on the skin, but again, there should be no sun exposure for an hour or two after you put them on.

Aromatherapy During Pregnancy and Childbirth

Try diffusing citrus oils during and after birth as well, for energy – all the stages of labor can be exhausting – just put it in your birth plan, so no one forgets your favorite oil! Remember: All pregnancies are different, so whether you choose to use essential oils topically or via a diffuser, make sure you check with your healtcare provider to make sure they’re safe for you and your baby.

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National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Exploring Aromatherapy: Pregnancy. (2013). Accessed September 15, 2013.

International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists. Guidelines for Aromatherapists working with pregnant clients. (2013).  Accessed September 15, 2013.

Alliance of International Aromatherapists. Aromatherapy Safety. (2013).  Accessed September 15, 2013.

Hawkins, Jessie. Understanding Holistic Health. (2010). Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health.

Raybern, Debra. Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children. (2010). Growing Healthy Homes LLC, Fourth Edition.

Worwood, Valerie. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment. (1991). New World Publishers.

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