Monday, July 8, 2019

Essential Oils for the Second Trimester

So, I know I'm a few weeks late in updating you all on my second trimester must haves, but this third trimester has barely started and it already kicking my ass!

If you are looking for essential oils to help with the first trimester, click here.

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 fertility, and conceiving, and unfortunately went through the grief of a few miscarriages, but things finally took a turn for the better, and I am currently 32 weeks today!

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 played it really safe only using things when absolutely necessary and even then I didn’t use anything without talking to my doctor and midwife first. Here however is a list I have compiled of oils that shouldn’t be used during pregnancy:
Birch (sweet)
*Clary sage (OK during labor)
Cypress (OK after 5 months)
Jasmine (OK during labor)
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 Used the Oils, and without further ado, here are the things I absolutely could not live without during my second trimester.

During my second trimester, the first thing That was really different for me was that I used less oils, but way more supplements. So I am going to start with a full list of the supplements I used that are made with essential oils: 

1. LLV
LLV stands for Lifelong Vitality which is a 3-part multi-vitamin. A full dose is 2 of each vitamins 2 xs daily totaling 12 a day, so there is definitely a lot involved, but when pregnant there are so many things you are suggested to take that can be eliminated by the use of this combo that I honestly found it worth it.
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 as possible, 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 all at once. During my second trimester though I did have a few adjustments to make to my doses.
Vegan Microplex MVZ- I have been steadily taking the full dose so 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. 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
Alpha CRS+ -I have been taking the full dose so 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening of this as well. I found this most helpful during my first trimester to beat some of the fatigue. My second trimester I didn’t find myself as exhausted, so this wasn’t as huge of a need for me, but I mean when coffee isn’t an option, nothing gets taken off the table to help me get an energy boost. 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.
vEO Mega- being that brain development spikes during the second trimester my maternity book suggested increasing omega, so I increased the dose to 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening. -this wasn’t recommended by my midwife, so if your considering this, I would absolutely run it past your doctor or midwife first. 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

2. PB Assist+ - I didn’t experience much digestive issues during the first 2 months of my second trimester, but by the last month, I started experiencing constipation, so I started taking this every other day, along with Terrazyme. This is a proprietary formula of pre-biotic fiber and six strains of probiotic microorganisms in a unique double layer vegetable capsule. It delivers 6 billion CFUs of active probiotic cultures and soluble pre-biotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that encourage friendly bacterial growth. The time-release, double-capsule delivery system is designed to help protect the sensitive probiotic cultures from stomach acid. PB Assist+ offers a unique, safe, and effective way to deliver the well-recognized digestive and immune system support benefits of probiotics.

3. TerraZyme- I had been taking this every other day as a protective measure, and during the first 2 months of my second trimester these alone on an every other day basis did the trick, but during the last month, I bumped up these doses to everyday.  This is another proprietary blend, but of active whole-food enzymes and supporting cofactors that are often deficient in cooked, processed, and preservative-laden foods. The powerful combination of digestive enzymes found in DigestZen TerraZyme supports the body’s constant production of enzymes critical for healthy biochemical functions, including healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy. DigestZen TerraZyme includes a variety of whole-food enzymes that help with the digestion of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, sugars, and fiber.

4. Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex- My first trimester I had a lot of inflammation and pain in my hips to where I was taking 2 of these a day. During my second trimester I wasn’t experiencing as much pain from walking and moving as so I was able to take only one of every morning. The brand name Deep Blue® is synonymous with soothing support. It only makes sense that an ingestible supplement would complement the topical benefits of the Deep Blue product line. Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex delivers polyphenol extracts of frankincense, turmeric, green tea, ginger, pomegranate, and grape seed, and is designed to provide soothing support to aching muscles and to other occasional discomfort.

5. Copaiba soft gel- Sleeping became difficult by the end of this trimester. Especially getting comfortable with sleeping on my left side. I don’t know if other women experience pain in their left hip from sleeping on their left side, but this has been the biggest pain for me in trying to sleep. Copaiba is an anti-inflammatory as well as an oil I used nightly even before I was pregnant to help reduce nightly stress and sleep better. Taking it now as a soft gel helped reduce the pain in my hip and fall asleep faster. I started taking this every night during month 5. Copaiba essential oil is derived from the resin of the copaiba tree which can grow upwards of more than 100 feet and can be found in tropical South America. Copaiba oil is widely used in cosmetic products including soaps, creams, lotions, and perfumes. Since the 16th century, copaiba essential oil has been utilized in traditional health practices by the natives of north and northeastern Brazil.

6. Bone Nutrient Lifetime Complex- I mentioned that one of the things that baby is developing these months is its brain, but another is bones, so my baby book mentioned increasing calcium intake. However straight Calcium was not an option for me seeing as I am highly anemic, and calcium inhibits the body's ability to absorb iron. I started taking the bone nutrient Complex because it contains more than just calcium and allows for one nutrition without compromising my iron intake. If you are not anemic taking just calcium is fine, but if you are anemic you and your doctor or midwife may want to look into other options like the bone nutrient complex. At an early age, women begin to build bone mass, reaching a maximum bone density in their late twenties. A diet rich in essential bone nutrients is critical during these early years of bone development, but food intake surveys suggest that women consume half the recommended amounts of calcium and other bone nutrients for optimal bone health. This deficiency is pronounced in teens who are less likely to eat right but who would benefit from increased bone nutrient consumption as their young bones are absorbing nutrients at a rate nearly double that of adult women. The Bone Nutrient Essential Complex is formulated with bioavailable forms of natural nutrients that include vitamins C and D, plus calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals that support healthy bone density as a woman ages.

7. TriEase - months 4-6 of my pregnancy happened during the spring for me, and so allergies were a struggle. Mainly I just wanted to stop sneezing because I peed myself almost every time, and bringing extra underwear with me everywhere I went was not as convenient as just taking this. I was nervous about the peppermint in TriEase would effect my milk coming in but during a second trimester milk supply is not a huge necessity for me, so I wasn’t too worried. My milk did come in though and read that when taken daily peppermint won’t have as much of an effect of milk supply as when taken sporadically. While I do not know this to be a fact, it was true for me. TriEase Soft gels were developed to protect against seasonal and environmental elements and to promote a healthy respiratory system when needed most. Each soft gel contains equal parts of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils, known for their ability to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response when combined together.

8. (NOT A SUPPLEMENT, but I wanted to include with the supplements) TrimShake- anyone else have trouble eating enough? I constantly forget to eat- like even when I'm not pregnant, eating is not on my to do list, and so I normally forget to stop moving, and find time to eat, so I am constantly looking for ways to make sure that when I do eat, I am getting enough nutrition for me and the baby. TrimShake is a great way to make sure of just that. I add it to cereal, to desserts, and have it as a shake to help make sure I am getting enough nutrition even when I forget to stop and eat. Now I know that taking a weight management or weight loss shake seems ridiculous but when you’re not replacing a meal, but instead enhancing or adding extra meals then it becomes less of a weight loss technique and more of a healthier weight gain technique. Slim & Sassy TrimShake is a convenient and delicious weight management shake mix that provides essential nutrients and 70 calories per serving. Blended with water or nonfat dairy, almond, rice, or soymilk, TrimShake can be used as part of a weight-loss strategy of reducing daily caloric intake and burning fat stores through exercise. Slim & Sassy TrimShake includes the patented weight-loss ingredient EssentraTrim®, which research has shown to help manage cortisol—a stress hormone associated with fat storage in the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Slim & Sassy TrimShake also includes Solathin®, a special protein extract from natural food sources that supports an increased feeling of satiety. Available in natural chocolate and vanilla flavors, TrimShake blends well with water or milk and provides 8 grams of protein per serving.

Here are some of the essential oil combos and DIYs I used during me second trimester:

1. Lavender, Melaleuca, Frankincense- these 3 oils I used in my baby belly butter for preventing stretch marks. I mentioned the recipe in my first trimester post, but I'm going to give it again because of how awesome it has been working (I do not have a single new stretch mark on my belly, things, butt, or boobs):
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. Frankincense is also an anti-inflammatory oil which I mentioned need a lot of. I experienced so many aches and pains in my hips, and knees, that I was taking anti-inflammatories daily. 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 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: I normally used this baby belly butter at night, and this was for a few reasons. 1. It's 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.

1a. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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:

4. Lemon Lavender and Peppermint: earlier I mentioned using something called TriEase, which is a supplement containing these three oils. for those of you who aren't keen on taking essential oils internally, you can certainly use this combination topically or aromatically to help combat seasonal threats. Keep in mind that as you get closer to your due date peppermint may begin to affect your milk supply, so if you are planning on breastfeeding, this combination may need to be altered when you are ready to start that.

Single Oils used during my second trimester:

1. Neroli- This super sweet oil is actually great for your skin and is known for reducing stretch marks. I absolutely love the smell and started using it during the day on my belly. Most moms know that having nice clothes is a luxury and most clothes we own turn into a tattered stained mess quite quickly. As I had mentioned before, the baby belly butter is rather thick and can stain shirts with oily residue. Using Neroli, I was able to continue allowing my skin to be nourished without staining all my clothes, and thus keeping my nice shirts and dresses looking nice. Neroli essential oil is said to reduce inflammation, alleviate stress, stimulate circulation, and enhance mood. When used in skincare and hair products, neroli essential oil is thought to treat oily skin, reduce signs of aging, and diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

2. Lavender- This is still my all time favorite go to for sleep help. In addition to applying it at night in my baby belly butter, I also diffused it every night to help me get a good nights sleep, which in all seriousness is a super hard thing to accomplish during pregnancy. I also used it in my morning facial routine along with grapefruit.

3. Grapefruit: I use this as a spot treatment for acne. While lavender is one that I applied all over my face, grapefruit is one I would apply directly to individual breakouts to help fight the bacteria causing the breakout, and help keep the pores clear to help prevent future breakouts.

1. HD Clear- oh the dreaded baby acne. I have been using this skin clearing system and have been lucky not to have a lot of breakouts. This isn’t to say that I have been 100% breakout free, but I’ve been pretty close to it since I started using this product. HD Clear is a three-step system that works synergistically, with each product building on the next to thoroughly cleanse and purify the skin and deliver optimal hydration for a balanced moisture level. Made with pure plant extracts, the ingredients in HD Clear are gentle and calming to the skin, but powerfully effective. Using HD Clear every day will help reduce the appearance of blemishes; promote a clear, healthy complexion; and soothe the skin.

2. Fortunately, I did not have a lot of nausea during my second trimester, however if you find yourself battling nausea Ginger, Peppermint and Digest Zen are a few options that can really help. Ginger and peppermint are both great as a tea. Simply heat up a cup of water to the temperature you desire and add 1 drop of oil.

Here's a list of useful oils I found on another site:

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.

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.