Our third boy is due to be born any day now! Throughout this pregnancy there have been some key essential oils for supporting my health and well-being. In this post I’ll share how I’ve been using a few of them, not only for me and baby, but also with my other two young boys.
Lavender Essential Oil
So, in my opinion, any list of ESSENTIAL essential oils should begin with lavender. I actually have a hard time imagining life (and pregnancy) before lavender. I literally use it every single day. It is often referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of oils due to its versatility and range of uses and benefits.
I actually bought my first bottle of lavender from a “natural” store in Quito, Ecuador just before my second son was born as I’d heard it would be relaxing during labor and good for his sensitive newborn skin. The label announced that it was 100% pure lavender. When I got home and opened it, the obviously synthetic fragrance knocked me back and I never used it. It was not even remotely comparable to Young Living’s lavender which I discovered nearly a year later and which is made on an organic farm, NOT in a lab. So please be warned, not all essential oils are created equal, regardless of how “pure,” “natural” or “therapeutic” the labeling may claim to be! I don’t know…all I know is that I stick with Young Living because I’ve visited one of their farms and have seen firsthand that their oils are made with utmost care and integrity.
Lavender During Pregnancy
One of the many ways I use lavender is to support healthy, glowing, and elastic (very important for mamas to be!) skin. To do so, I mix 4 drops of lavender with 4 drops of frankincense in a 2-oz dropper bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with sweet almond oil along with about 5 drops of jojoba oil.
This is my twice daily skin serum that I use on my face, as well as my pregnant belly, thighs, and um, “the ladies”. Not only does this serum smell amazing but it moisturizes and nourishes my skin without feeling all greasy.
With my other pregnancies I used to pay $20 and upwards for small jars or spray bottles of anti-stretch mark products but now my homemade serum replaces these products entirely and I calculated them to be about 3 times less expensive. A 2-oz bottle of my skin serum lasts me a good 2-3 weeks and costs roughly $3.10. And, most importantly, I love that I know exactly what goes into it. Even after pregnancy, I plan to continue to using it daily.
I also use to lavender to unwind at the end of the day. My 5 year old son asks for lavender in his diffusor at bedtime as well, usually blended with Peace & Calming (see below). I put several drops of lavender in my diffuser and leave it running next to my bed. I also put 2-3 drops in my palms, rub them together and then rub them onto the back of my neck and the tops of my shoulders and then wipe them across the top of my pillow. So relaxing.
Lavender For Baby
When my first son was a baby he had frequent diaper rash until I eliminated the use of store bought diaper wipes which are typically laden with numerous chemicals. I switched to making my own wipes using chamomile tea, olive oil, and a few drops of a supposedly gentle baby shampoo. I’d make my mixture and then pour it over cotton cloths which I’d simply throw in the wash to clean. Or when out and about, I’d make up a batch of disposable wipes using soft paper towels.
With my second son, I followed the same procedure until he was about 8 months old. Then I came across several articles about the so-called “natural” baby shampoo I had been using. The articles revealed that the product contained several known carcinogens as preservatives. What!?
Shortly thereafter I began using Young Living’s essential oils. My new baby wipes formula consisted of about 5 drops of Lavender and 2 drops of Melrose (a Young Living blend of two species of Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary, and Clove).
I whisked these oils with a tablespoon of olive oil and and enough water to dampen all my cloths (I’d usually do about 20 at a time). Simple and totally effective.
I also used a small (2 oz) spray bottle filled with coconut oil and 4 drops of lavender that I occasionally sprayed on him with his diaper changes. * Note: In coastal Ecuador, my coconut oil never solidifies so is practical to use in a spray bottle. In cooler climates, coconut oil solidifies so I’d recommend using sweet almond oil instead if you want to use it in a spray bottle.
Gentle Baby Essential Oil
Gentle Baby is a soft, floral blend specifically designed to support both mother and baby. It contains Geranium, Rosewood, Coriander Seed, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose essential oils. Just, Wow.
I discovered Gentle Baby just a few months ago (it was out of stock for a long time and is now limited to one 5-ml bottle per month).
Like lavender (but like a supped up version of it!), Gentle Baby is excellent not only at providing healthy, supple skin but also for promoting relaxation. I have been adding 1-2 drops mixed with a a couple of drops of almond oil to both my belly and perineum at bedtime to increase my skin’s suppleness. Gotta support the stretch!
I plan to add a couple of drops of Gentle Baby to my diaper wipes recipe. It is also recommended for soothing babies so there’s a good chance I’ll get to try it out for that purpose as well!
Peace & Calming Essential Oil
Peace & Calming is a gentle blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Blue Tansy essential oils. As with Young Living’s Lavender and Gentle Baby oils, Peace & Calming is gentle enough for babies.
I use Peace & Calming for relaxing and taking the edge off (it really does help–ask my husband!!). I rub a drop along the bridge of my nose and onto my earlobes and insides of my wrists.
In the evenings I’ve found it to be very helpful for relaxing my legs when adding 2-3 drops to almond or coconut oil and massaging it into my feet, ankles, and calves.
Our favorite nighttime diffusing blend is 3 drops of Lavender and 3 drops of Peace & Calming.
For Baby and Young Children
Just as for adults, Peace & Calming helps relax babies and children. One option is to mix 1 drop with a small amount of carrier oil and rub into the bottoms of their feet. Or diffuse in the bedroom at bedtime.
DiGize Essential Oil
DiGize is a special blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.
In a nutshell, DiGize supports a healthy, happy digestive system and I feel indebted to it. One way in which I use it is to put a drop or two under my tongue after meals.
I also rub a drop directly onto the top of my belly after heavier meals. A drop rubbed between your palms can be inhaled for several seconds can be especially helpful to women during the first trimester.
Note: DiGize contains fennel and should be avoided if you have a family history of epilepsy or seizures.
For Babies and Young Children
DiGize can be used on babies and young children but should be diluted to at least 1:30 (1 drop to 1 Tbsp carrier oil). This diluted mixture can then be rubbed into their abdomen or the bottoms of their feet. My boys have had great results and I highly recommend it.
Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress oil came as a surprise for me. It was one that I received as a promo for my monthly Essential Rewards order and to be honest, it sat on my shelf unopened for some time as I didn’t quite know what to do with it.
But now that I’ve done some research and personal experimentation, Cypress has become one of my favorites.
Cypress supports a healthy circulatory system. I often use 2-3 drops mixed in a teaspoon of carrier oil as a massage for my feet and legs at the end of a long day.
Works even better if you do the massage with your legs elevated and massage in a circular motion, working upwards towards your heart.
For Young Children
Cypress has also been found to support healthy respiratory function. When needed, I dilute 2-3 drops of Cypress with about 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (usually coconut or sweet almond oil) and rub it into my son’s chest, upper back, and bottoms of his feet.
I wasn’t using essential oils yet when my other two boys were born so I’m looking forward to experiencing how oils will support me during labor and postpartum and will report back!
I’d love to hear which oils you have used to support your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum!