Nausea and vomiting are caused by increased levels of various hormones that take place during pregnancy. They are some of the most common complaints of pregnancy, so much so that “morning sickness” (though it occurs throughout the day for many, especially on an empty stomach) is one of the symptoms that notifies many women to their pregnancies. To fight nausea with aromatherapy, try inhaling Ginger, Lemon, Sweet Orange, or Grapefruit essential oils by putting a drop on a tissue and taking several deep breaths every few minutes until the symptoms lessen.
Heartburn plagues most expectant moms at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus. To alleviate heartburn using aromatherapy, mix 10 drops of each of Sweet Orange, Lemon, and Mandarin into 6 oz. of carrier oil and massage on chest or inhale when you feel heartburn starting.
As the uterus expands and your body begins to carry more weight in the front, aches and pains occur due to overworked muscles in the back, abdomen, thighs, and hips. To use aromatherapy to get some relief, put a few drops of essential oil in an ounce of carrier oil and massage aching muscles. Try Black Pepper, Spearmint, Lavender, Grapefruit, or Cypress.
Tiredness and exhaustion can be caused by hormones, weight gain, lower than normal blood pressure and blood sugar, increased blood production, and the emotional highs and lows of pregnancy. To promote rest, try making a room spray using 20 drops Lavender, 5 drops Clary Sage, and 5 drops Sweet Orange in 3 oz. water and ½ oz. alcohol. Combine in a 4 oz. spray bottle. If you would rather restore your energy than rest, use your favorite Citrus essential oil combined with Spearmint or Eucalyptus. Try inhaling on a tissue, diffusing throughout the room, or mix a couple drops into an ounce of carrier oil for an invigorating massage.
A final word of caution: Listen to your body! While the essential oils mentioned in this post are safe for pregnancy, tolerace varies from person to person (just as tolerance to mainstream medicine do). Test over a small area before widespread application, and if any itching, burning, or redness occurs rub affected area with a generous amount of carrier oil to further dilute the essential oil.
Coming soon in this aromatherapy series: Aromatherapy for Labor, Aromatherapy for Postpartum Care, and Aromatherapy for Breastfeeding.