Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Essential Oils for the first Trimester

So here’s the thing. During my first pregnancy I was not into essential oils. I was barely out of high school and had no idea who I was yet as a person. I did know at that point that I wasn’t a fan of doctors, hospital or medication though- which is part of the reason why I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was way into my second trimester and getting really sick. But this time around I am older and I have grown into who I am. I know that I enjoy a natural approach to medicine and that essential oils are something I have been working with specifically for 5, almost 6 years now for myself, my family, and those around me. What I hadn’t done thus far was learn about essential oils for during pregnancy, and this was a daunting aspect for me since I found out very quickly that my first OBGYN wasn’t going to be any help and that I was now in a situation where I was going to need medication and I had no one to help point me in the right direction. My husband and I had been struggling for the past 4 years with conceiving, and so I had a little experience with what I could and couldn't use, but now that I actually was pregnant things were different.
If you are looking for essential oils that can help increase your fertility, click here.

**Before I get started letting you all know what I took, let me start with a quick disclosure notice, because essential oils in general, and the products I am about to mention are not FDA regulated. So let me confirm that I am not a doctor, or a chemist, or a prenatal specialist of any kind. No one is paying me to write what I am writing, and none of these facts have been checked by the FDA. What I will do is provide links to articles and additional material so that you can do your own research. The information given in this post is not meant to take the place of doctor treatment or recommendations and I always recommend that you ask your doctor before trying anything new. Essential oils, just like many other things can interfere with medications and treatments and should not be used without your doctors’ consent.**

STEP 1: The first thing I did was make sure that what I was using was legit. – Most therapeutic or essential oils out there are total BS because essential oils do not fall into a category that is FDA regulated. So I did my research and was pleased to find that not only were the oils I was using as pure as pure could get, but a lot of the accusations online about people saying things about the products not working or being dangerous were also debunked. Whew! … but that was only step 1. I do want to mention for those of you reading this that you will see me mention using some of these essential oils internally, and depending on what companies you use this is probably not a possibility. If you are interested in using the same company and products as are listed throughout this blog, I can help you with a free consultation; I’ll leave my contact at the bottom of this post.
Another thing I did was to find myself another OBGYN who was at least willing to help guide me in the right direction when it came to holistic health, and contact a Douala and a midwife.

Step 2 was to find out what I absolutely could not take, and the list is quite long and is not the same on every site. I decided to play it safe and avoid any essential oil listed on any of the sites just in case, and I am going to provide you with the list I compiled right here:
Birch (sweet)
Camphor (brown or yellow)
*Clary sage (OK during labour)
Cypress (OK after 5 months)
Jasmine (OK during labour)
Parsley (in large doses)
Sweet marjoram
Tansy (blue)
There were a few exceptions to the oils I avoided from this list, but before even thinking of using I researched a ton online, and checked with my doctor, doula, and midwife. This is me not trusting anyone and needing to hear it from 6-7 different sources before I accept it as a truth.
* These oils are not to be messed around with under any circumstances. They cause contractions and will make you go into labor early and or possibly lose your child.

Step 3: Start using the products and seeing what worked for me

Here are the essential oils I used:

1. Peppermint: (Let me address that peppermint was an oil I found listed on a few sites as not being safe to use during pregnancy. I asked both OBGYN doctors I had and their entire staffs along with my douala and midwife and they all said this is BS and that peppermint is perfectly safe to use while pregnant and often times is prescribed for women struggling with heartburn or nausea during this time.- of course check with your doctor first; I'm just saying I haven't found any reason for this to be on the not approved list.) I took this literally everywhere with me. My first pregnancy gave me horrible nausea vomiting heartburn and indigestion (yes I had a girl), so I was petrified of that happening again. Peppermint helps with more than just tummy issues though. This pregnancy had me exhausted all the time, and Peppermint helps give you a boost of energy. Plus the best part is that after I pigged out of pickles, ice cream, and buffalo chicken dip, I could get the nasty combo smells off my breath. -There is also a super cute beadlet version of this oil which contains only ¼ of a drop and is really easy for on-the-go use.

2. Serenity: This a blend of oils of which none fell into the “do not use category” that promotes relaxation and sleep. (I tried to make sure I was using a variety of oils so that I wouldn’t use too much of just 1 and possibly use too much and you’ll notice later that I used lavender for a few things, so this was a great way to reduce some of my lavender use). It is a blend of lavender flower, cedarwood, ho wood leaf, ylang ylang flower, marjoram leaf, roman chamomile flower, vetiver root, vanilla bean absolute, and Hawaiian sandalwood. I diffused this at night to help me sleep because for whatever reason that seemed to be the only time I couldn’t fall asleep. – There is also a serenity bath bar which is just a soap bar infused with this oil, that is great for evening showers for yourself (or to wash your kids in if you’re a stay at home mom so both you and the kiddos reap the benefits).

3. Roman Chamomile: This is another great oil for helping to promote relaxation and sleep. Now don’t get me wrong I was constantly getting tired during the day and literally falling asleep everywhere, anytime I had more than 5 minutes to myself, but when it came to sleeping at night I have always struggled, and now that I was even more limited than normal as to what I could and could not take, It was really important for me to find out what would help. Chamomile is a soothing and relaxing oil that I like to blend into hot water for tea. I did not use this very often, but when I had the chance for a nice cup of tea and some meditation time before bed, this was a go to favorite of mine.

4. Grapefruit: Oh the dreaded baby acne. During my first pregnancy I didn’t experience this at all, my skin was so clear, and I had no idea how lucky I was. This second time around I’ve got gray hairs and acne everywhere, I’m like a grandmother going through puberty. HAHAHA! Grapefruit is was helped me out big time with the acne I was experiencing. Grapefruit oil’s antibacterial properties have a positive effect on the skin, which help fight bacteria that cause acne, and its antibacterial properties help to keep the pores clear of additional bacteria.

5. Lavender: I used lavender along with grapefruit for my face neck and shoulder acne issues. Lavenders anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness, swelling and irritation from acne and its antibacterial properties and can kill bacteria that penetrate your pores, making it perfect for preventing and also healing acne.

Additional essential oil infused products I used:

1. Stretch Mark Prevention. Yes I homemade mine because I am never sure about what is actually in the lotion, moisturizers, and body butters out there. The recipe for my “Baby Belly Butter” is:
1 cup raw shea butter
1 cup cocoa butter
1 cup coconut oil
1 TBS argon oil
1 TBS rose hip oil
1TBS vitamin E oil
20 drops melaleuca
20 drops Frankincense
20 drops Lavender
Heat shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler until liquid then remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients, mix and store in a glass jar.
If you want to use a store bought body butter that’s fine too, but here’s why you want to add these three essential oils:
  • Melaleuca aka Tea Tree: This oil is great for skin.  This baby belly butter is thick and can make you break out even more so than just pregnancy breakouts. That’s one of the reasons I added the melaleuca. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling. The oil is a powerful solvent, which means it breaks the oil, dirt, and debris that builds up under our skin and clogs up our pores. It also helps to strengthen skin, and heal cuts which helps to add to the prevention of stretch marks.
  • Frankincense: Frankincense is known as the King of oils. It has so many amazing benefits, not only for the skin, but for the entire body. Specifically for the skin, its ability to revive and rejuvenate the skin makes it wonderful for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars, preventing acne, and healing minor wounds. Aside from just skin health it can help de-stress, and relax the body (which was perfect since I would apply this cream at night and sleeping through the night was always an issue for me). Frankincense is also an anti-inflammatory oil which I actually needed a lot of. I experienced so many aches and pains in my hips, and knees, that I was taking anti-inflammatories daily. Frankincense is also great for dental health, but I’ll come back to that a little later when I discuss toothpaste.  Lastly Frankincense rejuvenates and supports and encourages cellular function. Meaning that new little one you’ve got growing inside you that is trying to piece together all of its cells and their functions is going to get a little extra help from this oil as well as Mama, who is getting the benefits of healthy functioning organs.
  • Lavender: (this was another oil mentioned on the do not use list, which was approved for me to use) I mentioned that I normally used this baby belly butter at night and this was for a few reasons. 1. Its thick and takes a little time to dry so you don’t want to be wearing your nice going out in public clothes, PJs are best. 2. Two of the essential oils that I picked that are really great for skin health are also great for relaxation. Lavender is known for helping to relieve stress and anxiety as well as promoting restfulness and relaxation which I really needed at night since that seemed to be the only time I couldn’t fall asleep. The anti-inflammatory properties also helped me with my joint pain in my hips and knees as well. Lavender is known for healing injured skin from burns, cuts, and scrapes, because of its abilities to quickly heal skin. This come sin great for helping to prevent those stretch marks.

2. Replenishing Body Butter: For those of you who aren’t big into DIYing like me, or just don’t have the time, this is a great baby belly butter base, or even one to be used on its own. The base of this natural butter combines shea and cocoa seed butters, known for their deep moisturization and ability to promote skin suppleness. Jojoba seed oil absorbs quickly into the skin and helps keep skin looking hydrated while avocado oil provides essential fatty acids to nourish and soften skin. Essential oils of Wild Orange, Douglas Fir, and Frankincense turn this into an intensely aromatic spa experience while providing purifying, rejuvenating, and stretch mark reducing benefits.

3. LLV: LLV stands for Life Long Vitality which is a 3-part multi-vitamin. Personally, I am not a fan of prenatal vitamins because of the size of them and the fact that you have to take them with food (sometimes I don’t have an appetite first thing in the morning, but I still need to take my vitamins before I leave the house). The LLV has a “tummy tamer” blend in all three parts which allows you to be able to take them without food. I also liked this because it came as a vegan option, and although I am not a vegan most baby books will tell you to try to get as much of your nutrition from raw plants, so this seemed like the perfect fit for me. Now I was taking these before I was pregnant so by the time I was pregnant I was taking the full dose which is 2 of each vitamin 2 times a day. If you are looking to try a new multivitamin, I suggest starting at a ½ dose and working you way up because it can be a lot al at once.
Part1- Vegan Microplex MVZ: This formula includes a balanced blend of essential antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and an energy complex of B vitamins presented in a patented glycoprotein matrix. It also contains chelated minerals including calcium, magnesium, and zinc for optimal bone and metabolic health, and is encapsulated using sodium lauryl sulfate-free vegetable capsules
Part 2- Alpha CRS+: This is a proprietary formula combining potent levels of natural botanical extracts that support healthy cell function with important metabolic factors of cellular energy. It is to be used as a comprehensive dietary supplement foundation for a lifetime of vitality and wellness.
Part 3- vEO Mega: This is a revolutionary, 100 percent vegetarian-friendly formula blending CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with natural, plant-sourced essential fatty acids.
* Vegan Microplex MVZ does include Folate, but I did take an additional Folic Acid supplement

4. HD Clear Foaming Face Wash: So I mentioned before that I was using some essential oils to help reduce my acne, but a good facewash is always useful when fighting breakouts. HD Clear Foaming Face Wash is an exclusive and natural formula containing plant extracts known to improve the look and feel of skin. Designed with essential oils, it thoroughly cleanses skin with melaleuca (tea tree), eucalyptus, geranium, litsea, and ho wood essential oils, each renowned for their purification properties. This also contains an active licorice root extract, for clear, healthy looking skin, while white willow bark promotes a clear, smooth complexion. Additionally, it nourishes and soothes the skin with amino acids and helped keep my skin feeling and looking great.
Salon Essential Shampoo and Conditioners: There are so many chemicals in your hair care products, so I have done natural shampoos for quite some time. The problem is that Rosemary is a great oil for hair and many natural shampoos and conditioners contain it, in addition most natural dandruff hair care contains mentha (peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen or a mixture of these) and wintergreen is also an oil you should avoid. I went with this shampoo because it’s a natural shampoo that has a complementary conditioner that protects and strengthens hair without any oils that might interfere with baby.

5. Toothpaste: So we know that once pregnant everyone is constantly reminding us that oral health is so important, and while it can seem like a weird thing to prioritize, your oral health is super important and you should make sure to have at least one dentist visit during your pregnancy. Unfortunately, the natural toothpaste I normally use has rosemary, cinnamon, clove and myrrh so it was a bit out of the question for me to use:
4TBS coconut oil
3TBS baking soda
20 drops peppermint
20 drops frankincense
Heat your coconut oil in a double boiler to liquify, then add your other ingredients mix and store in glass jar or approved plastic squeeze tube. (another option is to include orange essential oil.)
  • Frankincense: Thanks to its antiseptic properties, frankincense essential oil is a natural solution to fighting the bacteria in the mouth that can cause plaque and bad breath. This can help prevent tooth decay and oral infections. Frankincense essential oil can be added to mouthwash and toothpaste to keep gums healthy.
  • Peppermint: Along with the fact that it freshens your breath and gives you a minty fresh feeling in your mouth after using it, peppermint oil displayed antimicrobial activities against oral pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus fecalis, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans.
  • Orange: Because orange oil has the ability to fight bacterial growth, it can help to protect teeth and gums from infections. It’s also been used to help ease a sore throat for fast relief when gargled with water and salt.

6. Mouthwash: In addition to brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be important as well. The formula is safe and gentle for everyone. Not all mouthwashes are made the same- did you know that Listerine was originally created as a floor cleaner and when they rebranded as a mouth wash, the formula was not even updated?!?!?!?! Some mouthwashes that contain alcohol can dry out your mouth and combat your natural mouthwash—your saliva—from doing its job. Any mouthwash that says it kills 99% of germs is doing your mouth a disservice! If you struggle with dry mouth at all, it is important to use an alcohol-free option. Fortunately, I made my own for years with just water and peppermint.  
1 cup water 
10 drops peppermint 
Store in a glass jar or vial with lid
The 1 cup to 10 drops is the ratio I used, but you are welcome to increase or decrease that depending on how minty you’d like, and you can also add frankincense if you would like.

For a video on how to make this toothpaste and mouthwash, click this link:

Here are a list of oils and what they can help with:
  • Bergamot-Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
  • Chamomile-Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and indigestion.
  •  Cypress-(OK after 5 months) Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and diuretic. Helpful for varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.
  • Eucalyptus-Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory congestion.
  • Frankincense-Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming.
  •  Geranium-(OK after 3 months) Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting. Eases aching legs and is good for poor circulation.
  • Grapefruit-Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with water retention.
  • Lavender-Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains of pregnancy, encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid retention.
  • Lemon-Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in massage for varicose veins.
  • Mandarin-Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant. Can ease fluid retention in leg and ankle massages.
  • Neroli-Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing. Useful in pregnancy to promote healthy skin cell regeneration and for easing nervous tension.
  • Patchouli-Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision and apathy.
  • Peppermint- helps alleviate nausea, heartburn, and indigestion. Gives a short term energy boost.
  • Petitgrain-Antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, refreshing, tonic. Helpful in dealing with pre or postpartum depression.
  • Rosewood-Antiseptic, sedative.
  • Sandalwood-Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
  • Tangerine-Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks.
  • Tea Tree-Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during pregnancy.
  • Ylang Ylang-Antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood pressure. Restorative when overworked or tense.

Here are a list of potential first trimester issues and how to help treat them:
  • Anxiety/Tension: Lavender, ylang ylang, melissa, or myrrh. Diffuse or dilute and rub on back of neck, temples, chest, shoulders, back or reflex points on the feet.
  • Breasts: Lavender (soothes), geranium (soothes), Roman chamomile (sore nipples), or fennel (tones). (Caution: Fennel should not be used for more than 10 days, as it will excessively increase flow through the urinary tract.) Add 3-5 drops to 1Tbs. carrier oil, and massage on location.
  • Energy Blend: Combine 2 drops Roman chamomile, 2 drops geranium, and 2 drops lavender in 2 tsp. carrier oil, and massage into the skin.
  • Hemorrhaging: Helichrysum. Apply 1-3 drops on lower back to help prevent hemorrhaging.
  • High Blood Pressure: Ylang ylang, eucalyptus, lavender, clover, clary sage, or lemon. Diffuse or dilute as recommended and apply on location, on reflex points on feet and hands, and over heart. (Note: Avoid rosemary, thyme, and possibly peppermint.) Bath: Place 3 drops ylang ylang in bathwater, and bathe in the evening twice a week. Blend: Combine 5 drops gernaium, 8 drops lemongrass, and 3 drops lavender in 1 oz. carrier oil. Rub over heart and on reflex points on left foot and hand.
  • Miscarriage (After): Frankincense, grapefruit, geranium, lavender, or Roman chamomile. Dilute 5-6 drops in 1 Tbs. carrier oil, and massage on back, legs, and arms. Add 3-4 drops to warm bathwater, and bathe. - For more information on the use of essential oils for the pain and grief of a miscarraige, click here.
  • Morning Sickness: Ginger or peppermint. Dilute and apply 1-3 drops on ears, down jaw bone, and on reflex points on the feet. Place 1-3 drops of ginger in empty capsule with 1-3 drops of olive oil; swallow capsule. Diffuse into the air, inhale directly from bottle, or apply oil to hands, tissue, or cotton ball, and inhale.
  • Preeclampsia (see also High Blood Pressure above): Cypress. Diffuse or dilute 1:1 in carrier oil, and apply 1-2 drops on bottoms of feet and on abdomen.
  • Self Love: Joyful Blend. Diffuse into the air or wear as perfume.

If you want to learn more about any of these products or about an essential oil company that has Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, that are safe for internal, expecting mothers, and infant and toddler safe you can comment on this blog, visit my website, or find me on Facebook @Colleen Faye.


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