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Three Simple Ways To Use Essential Oils In Pregnancy

July 31, 2013

Let’s face it: Even in the healthiest pregnancies there can be certain discomforts.  Thankfully for many of those discomforts there is a healthy and easy way to address it.  You needn’t be an herbalist or buy a bunch of expensive supplies either.  Here are three simple ways I’ve used essential oils in my pregnancies.

Three Uses for Essential Oils in Pregnancy

For Itchy Skin

Probably every woman in her third trimester knows the feeling.  Like you want to find a tree to rub up against, like a bear.  If my husband starts scratching my back, I seriously will start purring like a cat.  It’s that belly that is stretched to capacity and all your other skin with it.  Here’s a lovely remedy to soothe itchy skin that Lila from the Central Coast Lavender Farm gave me in my seventh pregnancy.

  • Place a few tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of lavender essential oil in a cup of organic soy milk.  Pour this into your bath water and soak your irritated skin.
  • Why it works: Baking soda has a mid-range pH and it helps adjust the skin’s pH and bring balance.  The soy milk allows the oil to disperse evenly through the bath water and moisturizes the skin.

Three Uses For Essential Oils in Pregnancy

For Positioning The Baby

Towards the end of my sixth pregnancy we found out that the baby was breech.  This didn’t overly concern us, as I had had five other babies and so I knew my pelvis and cervix would open just fine, even if the baby decided to come into the world booty first.  Plus, our midwife is like the breech expert.  BUT, if there was a way to turn baby without any invasive means, that would be great.  So, I started doing various yoga and relaxation positions, hoping to create more room for the baby to turn.  Nope.  I tried soaking in tubs of water and singing the baby around.  Nope.

Then, through our midwife, we learned about myrrh oil.  I read some links from Ina May Gaskin and so we decided to try it.  For several days I laid on my side, liberally rubbed myrrh oil into my belly, talked to the baby and then took a nap.  Each time when I woke up the baby had moved from being breech to transverse.  But, quickly settled back to being breech as soon as I got up.

Finally, one day while I was sleeping she flipped all the way around.  And she was born the next morning head first!

Why it works:  I have no idea.

Theories: In Chinese medicine it is said that myrrh has blood moving powers and is therefore used commonly for uterine problems. In Ayurvedic medicine it is said to aid in circulation and nervous system disorders.  The name myrrh is derived from an Arabic word meaning “was bitter.”  It is said to relieve pain and help stretch sinews.  According to aromatherapy practitioners, myrrh cools and calms agitated emotions and promotes feelings of empowerment and motivation!  It is said that the scent helps to overcome emotional upsets, too.

Three Uses For Essential Oils in Pregnancy

For That Not-So-Fresh-Feeling

Oh, you know what I’m talking about.  Our bodies can get a little out of balance when pregnant, especially when pregnant during these hot summer months.  There can be vaginal itching and yeast infections are common.

Here’s what I do: (again a recipe I adapted from Lila of the Central Coast Lavender Farm)

  • In a peri-bottle place a tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 drop lavender essential oil, 1 drop tea tree essential oil, and 1 drop rosemary essential oil.  Fill the rest of the bottle with purified water.  Shake well.
  • Keep this in the bathroom and rinse yourself generously after using the restroom, patting dry.  I do this for three days and usually that takes care of the yeast growth and itchiness.

Why it works: Lavender is a natural  analgesic, antibacterial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory.  It comes from the Latin word that means “to wash.”  Rosemary is a natural analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, fungicidal.  Tea Tree is a natural antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, deodorant, fungicidal, immune stimulant.

Three Uses For Essential Oils In Pregnancy

What are your favorite home-remedies for pregnancy discomforts?  Share in the comments!

Disclaimer – The herbal information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not the intention of the writers to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have. 

 Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  The information on this web site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

(Linked to Encourage One Another Link-Up!Hope In Every SeasonFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Wildcrafting WednesdayA Little R & RSmall Footprint FridayHome Acre Hop, Wise Woman Link-Up, and Fabulously Frugal Thursday)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Jess Entrekin permalink
    July 31, 2013 9:06 am

    Thank you for all of your wonderful, natural posts about pregnancy! I’m currently 18 weeks with my first, and I’m the first woman in both my family and my community to plan a home birth with a midwife. It’s so encouraging to hear the perspective of women for whom this is normal!

    Do you think it would work to substitute normal milk for the soy milk in the bath? I am very sensitive to injecting or using soy products, they typically cause a huge negative hormone flux in me!

    Thanks again! I love your blog!


    • July 31, 2013 10:28 am

      I have not tried it with cow’s milk. I wonder if it would curdle? Let me know if you try it and it doesn’t curdle. If not cow’s milk, I would think a good substitution would be almond or coconut milk.

      Thanks for the encouragement with the pregnancy posts! 🙂

  2. Jess Entrekin permalink
    July 31, 2013 9:08 am

    Oops! I meant INGESTING, not injecting, soy…. 😉 very different!
    – Jess

  3. Natalie permalink
    August 8, 2013 12:20 pm

    Have you ever made a rinse to use in a peri-bottle for postpartum?

    • August 8, 2013 3:05 pm

      I do use a rinse post-partum. It’s just a very simple comfrey infusion. I boil the dry herb and make a gallon of strong comfrey “tea.” I keep it in a jug and then just refill the peri bottle as needed for the first few weeks post-partum. I rinse and pat dry after each bathroom visit. I use the same “tea” for baths if I need extra healing “down there.”

      Comfrey is a great herb for bringing down swelling and healing tissue and skin that needs extra care.

      You can purchase comfrey in bulk through Mountain Rose Herbs on our sidebar or at your local health food store. Comfrey should not be taken internally on any long-term basis. Use with caution and under the supervision of our midwife or doctor if you plan to use it internally.

      • Natalie permalink
        August 8, 2013 7:49 pm


  4. December 31, 2013 5:48 am

    Anything for nausea? I just found out i’m pregnant with our 3rd child and I usually have a lot of morning sickness.

    • December 31, 2013 10:30 am

      Congratulations!!! We are always excited to hear pregnancy announcements!!!

      I have struggled with various levels of morning sickness in my eight pregnancies, sometimes quite severe and sometimes very mild almost nothing. In connecting all the dots, doing research and trying things out on myself, I have come to believe that the primary cause of most morning sickness is mineral deficiency, particularly magnesium.

      The problem is that our food is generally mineral deficient (virtually all our meat is boneless and skinless, we don’t eat organ meat, the soil is pretty stripped, we drink bottled water where most of the minerals have been removed, etc.) so supplementing is often a good idea. Yet, even that, I have found to be difficult because unless you get your nutrients in combination with other nutrients (vitamin C aiding the absorption of iron, calcium needs magnesium to absorb, etc.) they generally don’t work very efficiently. I have supplemented religiously with cal/mag for years, with only half-hearted results. 😦

      Two things made all the difference for me in the last pregnancy: 1) Bone broths are now a regular part of our diet. We get some every single day. I wrote about it here: So many of my pregnancy complaints were alleviated by this easy thing: muscle cramps, cravings, morning sickness. Amazing stuff! Way better than any expensive supplement I’ve purchased over the years. and 2) a daily Epsom Salt soak. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. And it’s easy to absorb through the skin. In my first trimester I’d take a long bath everyday with a generous amount of Epsom Salt in the water. It really helped me to feel great.

      Hope this is helpful! Blessings on a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy!

      • December 31, 2013 10:45 am

        Wow! That’s great! Thanks for the interesting info, I am fascinated by alternative remedies (mostly because I’m a cheapskate,DIYer, and love science) I was reading and bookmarked your page where you mentioned the bone broth and I’ll go back and read it all now. We do have well water, so hopefully that helps with the mineral deficiencies. I’m 8 weeks and have been sick only once so far, I think taking my prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach is what did it. How did your body handle having 8 babies? I’m 26 and I don’t think I could do that. I still have diastisis from the first 2.

      • December 31, 2013 11:02 am

        Believe it or not, my eighth pregnancy was by far the easiest on my body. And I attribute that to the changes I’ve made in my diet and lifestyle in the past few years. The short list is: fermented foods everyday (kefir, kombucha, etc.), bone broths, and organ meats. You can check this out:


  1. Learning to Use Essential Oils for Natural Health at Home

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