Based on the current advice/information supplied by Helen Carr (Complementary Therapy Midwife and Aromatherapist).
Aromatherapy should only be used in pregnancy under guidance of a practitioner who is qualified in the use of aromatherapy in maternity care.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of highly concentrated essential oils, extracted from various parts of different plants. Each oil is made up of different complex properties that enter the body’s blood stream and are then circulated around the body. As such, caution must always be taken when using essential oils.
Is aromatherapy safe to use in pregnancy?
All essential oils cross the placenta to your baby. Some oils are deemed safe to use at certain times during pregnancy and birth, however certain oils must never be used. It is therefore important you receive safe advice from a person trained in the use of aromatherapy in pregnancy. If you have any doubts it is always better to avoid using essential oils.
How can aromatherapy help you and your family?
• Promote mental wellbeing – reduce stress, fear, anxiety and depression.
• Promote physical wellbeing – reduces pain and relieves minor pregnancy
ailments e.g. tiredness, insomnia.
• Provide choice.
• Enhance your birthing experience.
• Promote the normal and natural process of birth.
• Aid recovery and wellbeing after the birth of your baby.
Can anyone use essential oils during pregnancy?
There are some medical conditions in pregnancy, labour and following the birth of your baby where it is not recommended to use essential oils. It is therefore important you receive the correct advice from an appropriately trained person prior to using essential oils.
Can I bring my own oils into hospital to use?
If you choose to bring an aromatherapy massage blend or essential oils into the maternity unit, the staff are unable to administer the oils as we currently do not offer this service. There may also be situations where we advise you not to use you oils but the reasons why will be explained at the time.
How are essential oils applied?
The aromatherapy oils can be applied in a variety of ways including:
• By massage
• By inhalation
• In the bath
• In a perineal wash
• In a foot bath
• In a compress
Aftercare advice following use of essential oils
Aromatherapy is a relaxing and healing treatment that has effects on your mind and body. Due to the detoxifying effects of aromatherapy you may experience some of the following symptoms:-
• Tiredness or fatigue
• Increased thirst
• Increased visits to the toilet
• Slight headache or nausea
• Heightened emotions.
Your aromatherapist should provide you with verbal and written after care advice following any treatment you have.
Essential oils MUST NOT be taken orally.
Essential oils MUST NOT be used neat on the skin.
In the unlikely event of skin irritation from a diluted oil or blended mix, wash with warm water immediately and inform your midwife.
When using essential oils at home please keep out of the reach of children and store safely. If swallowed drink 500ml of full fat milk to dilute and contact maternity triage for advice.
If an essential oil enters the eye wash out immediately. If experiencing pain/ burning then attend A&E.
If you have any concerns, please contact your midwife maternity unit or doctor.
If you require further information please contact:
Catherine Owens (Consultant Midwife) firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Carr (Complementary Therapy Midwife) email@example.com