Pregnant woman meditating at home

How to Use Aromatherapy Safely During Pregnancy

While there are some key symptoms to watch for during pregnancy, their frequency and intensity can vary for everyone. Some people have regular morning sickness, while others might experience fatigue and occasional headaches. 

These symptoms occur due to the hormone spikes and additional changes that happen to the body during each trimester. Luckily, essential oils for pregnancy can help curb common symptoms. To increase comfort while waiting for your bundle of joy to arrive, follow this guide on using essential oils correctly and safely with your Canopy diffuser or humidifier. 

Essential Oils and Pregnancy  

Essential oils are a vital component of aromatherapy. When a scent is directly or indirectly inhaled, the aroma interacts with smell receptors in the nose. These receptors communicate with the area of the brain that regulates emotions and physical pain. 

Woman filling well of Canopy diffuser

Although essential oils have therapeutic benefits, there are certain risks for pregnant individuals. Essential oils are highly concentrated compounds extracted from different parts of plants and distilled. Direct absorption into the skin can have toxic effects, so essential oils are diluted before application.

Even when diluted with a carrier oil (such as olive, almond, or coconut), essential oils should not be applied topically while pregnant. The compounds could enter the placenta and disturb the fetus. 

Sensitivity to smell increases during pregnancy, too, which means applying certain fragrances directly to the skin could make the scents overbearing and unpleasant. For the reasons mentioned earlier, avoid using essential oil-based lotions and bath products when you’re expecting.

Instead, put the essential oil in a diffuser to release the fragrance into the air. If strong scents trigger symptoms, place the diffuser in a well-ventilated area and only run it for no more than 15 minutes per hour. This way, you can enjoy your favorite relaxing or invigorating aroma without side effects.  

Only use essential oils during the second and third trimesters. The compounds could affect the fetus in the early developmental stages during the first trimester or prompt uterine contractions.  

Which Essential Oils are Safe?

To ease morning sickness, lavender and peppermint are reliable essential oils for pregnancy nausea. Both can help calm an upset stomach for relief from queasiness and vomiting. The smell of lavender also has a calming effect of prompting sleep and reducing stress and pain during labor. This tranquil fragrance is part of the Lull blend in the Little Dreams by Canopy Aroma Kit. Refreshing peppermint in the Laneige x Canopy Aroma Kit Peppermint Twist blend can also help ease headache pain. 

Bergamot, featured in the Unwind By Canopy Aroma Kit, is a lively citrusy scent that can help lift one’s spirits to curb depression during and after pregnancy.  

Essential Oils to Avoid

Pregnant individuals shouldn’t inhale sage, as the essential oil contains thujone. Exposure to the fragrant oily ketone can prompt a menstrual period and miscarriage. The warm, spicy smell of cinnamon should be avoided, too. It could trigger uterine contractions and reduce the platelet count, leading to excessive bleeding during delivery.  

Jasmine oil can cause contractions that trigger premature labor, so it’s also on the no-go list. The licorice scent of basil pairs nicely with minty and citrusy aromas. Basil and blends with the herbal fragrance could contribute to the development of abnormal cells in a fetus. 

Now that you know which essential oils are safe for pregnancy, browse Canopy’s selection of aroma kits to find scents that match your mood. Pick up a waterless diffuser for up to 400 square feet of fragrance or a bedside humidifier for fragrance plus moisture in spaces up to 500 square feet. The larger Humidifier Plus is perfect for living spaces up to 1,000 square feet, so you can enjoy a comfortable environment anywhere in the home.  

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