There’s a lot of debate around aromatherapy and whether it can be beneficial to your health and wellness. Here we give a quick rundown of everything you need to know, especially as a new mom.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the art of using plant oils to promote psychological and physical wellbeing. More than just providing pleasant aromas, these oils are used have been used as an alternative medicine technique for centuries and can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian times. Essential oils, made from the pure essence of a plant are highly concentrated and are absorbed into the bloodstream when applied directly to the skin, meaning results can often be seen quicker than with traditional medicine.
What are the benefits?
Research shows that aromatherapy is linked to improving both short and long-term health problems including:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Respiratory infections
- Digestive issues
- Skin woes
- Blood sugar fluctuations
How can aromatherapy benefit you as a new mom?
Aromatherapy is a great way to lift your moods, bolster acts of self-care, and help promote a sense of all-over wellbeing. It’s a practice that can provide a calming outlet for negative energy and can serve as a powerful way to bring in positive energy to your life. Ultimately, if aromatherapy is something that speaks to you and brings you a sense of peace and purpose, then it’s something you definitely can benefit from.
Are there any risks?
As essential oils are so powerful and concentrated, they should never be applied to the skin in their undiluted form. Remember to only use one drop at a time and dilute it with a teaspoon of water before applying it to your skin. If you are using a vaporizer or diffuser, it’s best to let it run no longer than 10 minutes as the smell can become overpowering and defeat the purpose it’s meant to serve.
Can I use any essential oil?
There are quite a few essential oils that women should avoid during pregnancy, due to their highly concentrated nature. Generally, it’s recommended that the oils that are deemed ‘unsafe’ for pregnancy should also be avoided if breastfeeding. You can always check with your healthcare professional to see if any oils you want to use should be avoided but in general the most common ones to avoid if breastfeeding or pregnant are: nutmeg, clary sage, jasmine, basil, sage, rose, and wintergreen. Of course, if you have any allergies to certain plants, you would not want to use essential oils derived from those plants.
How do I use aromatherapy?
There are various ways to enjoy aromatherapy oils. You can diffuse one or several oils into the air using a diffuser, you can get a massage using essential oils, you can inhale them gently from a cloth sprayed with an oil, you can take a soak in an oil-infused bath, or you can place a small drop directly onto the skin. As we mentioned before, it is imperative that you dilute all these oils prior to use.
The 5 best oils to use as a new mom:
Lavender – If you’re suffering from sleepless nights with a new baby, try dropping some diluted lavender oil on your pillow. It will help you fall asleep faster and dream deeper.
Peppermint – In the mornings put some diluted peppermint oil in the palms of your hand and inhale deeply to invigorate you and awaken your senses. This will keep you on the ball when you’re on baby duty all day. Just be sure to properly wash your hands before touching your child after using essential oils.
Lemongrass – Suffering from a tension headache can be even more stressful when you’ve got a little one to look after. If your head’s hurting pour a few drops of lemongrass oil into a vapouriser and let the uplifting scent carry your bad mood away.
Tangerine – Muscle aches and pains you might feel in your post-baby body may be relieved with tangerine oil. It can energize muscle tissue and aid in pain relief.
Geranium – Your hormones can play havoc with you anytime but especially when you are trying to raise a baby. Put a few drops of geranium oil into your bath and let the comforting aroma calm your emotional state.
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