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Love that Blooming Belly: 5 Herbs and Essences to Support Your Pregnancy

Robin Baglietto

  Robin at the Lavender Festival in Sonoma, CA June, 2014

Robin at the Lavender Festival in Sonoma, CA June, 2014

For thousands of years women have relied on our herbal sisters for emotional and physical support during pregnancy. During this fundamental time, caring for the mind, body, and soul is of utmost importance. The herbs and essences I’ve included in this article can help support your emotional and spiritual needs during this exceptional time of growth, and help you to nourish your growing body as well. :) 

 

Lavender

In my opinion, there is no better essence to relieve anxiety, and promote peace and self-love than lavender.  The sweet and refreshing essene of lavender is one of my favorites for relieving self-doubt and depression, and promoting confidence, acceptance, peace, and positivity.

How to use it

~Smell the flowers: lavender is not only aromatically appealing, it is visually appealing as well. If you grow lavender, sit with the plant and smell the fresh blooms. Gently rub your fingers along the stem, leaves, and to the top of the blossom; close your eyes and smell your hands. Cut a few sprigs in the morning and put them in a vase (you can do this with dried flowers too!). Display them in a space that you frequent, and remind yourself how blessed you are for being in this moment.

~Inhalation: simply inhale the essences directly from the bottle of essential oil, or add 3-5 drops to a cotton ball, or use a diffuser necklace. Take several deep breaths, pausing in between to enjoy the benefits of this beautiful essence.  

~Topical Application: Lavender is the only essential oil I will work with undiluted (FYI - it’s a great spot treatment for acne). Apply 1-2 drops to your wrists, rub together, and inhale as needed throughout the day. Lavender is also excellent treatment for repairing damaged skin. Use an ointment containing lavender essential oil, like the Blooming Belly Blend or powdered lavender like in the Basic Sugar Scrub to nourish your blooming belly. 

 

Ylang-ylang

This is my favorite essence for promoting confidence during pregnancy, especially the early weeks of pregnancy when we often find ourselves living in a world of nerves, anxiety, and fear. For me, ylang-ylang helped to quiet the ‘What If…?!’ and ‘What Was That?!’ voices in my head. It helped me let go of fear and doubt, and embrace confidence in myself and my body’s ability to do what it was designed to do. 

How to use

~Inhalation: This essence is a bit strong directly from the bottle, and it can be overpowering. I prefer 2-3 drops on a cotton ball, mixed with an aromatherapy blend, or add 4-6 drops to a diffuser. Inhale deeply and allow the rich essence to coat your whole being with a sense of protection, safety, and take comfort in knowing that you are strong enough to face anything this journey brings you to. 

~Topical application: Add 3-5 drops to a few tablespoons of pure almond or grapeseed oil and apply to the wrists to promote confidence, peace, balance, and harmony. If you’re getting a prenatal massage, ask if they have ylang-ylang for aromatherapy at the beginning of the massage. You’ll find that you are able to relax so much more! You can also bring your Blooming Belly Blend with you and ask that they use it as aromatherapy at the beginning, and as your massage oil throughout the massage.

 

 Peppermint

If you suffer from morning sickness this may be your new best friend. Peppermint can relieve nausea, but also helps you to feel refreshed, and energized. This herb is great for a midday pick-me-up, or a post-morning sickness rejuvenator.

How to use:

~Herbal tea: Peppermint gum and candies are widely available, but you may not want sugar or other ingredients. Instead, venture to the tea isle and pickup some peppermint tea. Peppermint tea is also great for promoting digestion. Drink a cup after lunch to help keep heartburn and gas away.

~Inhalation: inhale the essence directly from a bottle of pure essential oil, or add 2-3 drops to a cotton ball; this is also a great essence for a diffuser necklace. If you’re using peppermint in a room diffuser, start with 1-2 drops – this is a very strong essence!

~Topical application: add 3-5 drops to almond or grapeseed oil, or a few drops of an aromatherapy blend and apply to wrists for nausea, or to the temples for headaches and exhaustion.

 

Chamomile

If you're looking for a way to relax at the end of the day, this is your herb! Chamomile is one of the easiest herbs to utilize during pregnancy, as it’s so easily attainable. Chamomile relaxes the nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety; it's also beneficial for aiding digestion, and reducing inflammation and redness of the skin.

How to use:

~Herbal tea: A cup of chamomile tea after dinner can help you unwind, promotes proper digestion, and prepares you for a restful night.

~Inhalation: inhale the essence directly from a bottle of pure essential oil, or add 3-5 drops to a cotton ball. If you’re using a diffuser, start with 5-7 drops. You can also add about 5 drops to warm bath water to create a soothing soak.

~Topical application: Add 3-5 drops to a few tablespoons of pure almond or grapeseed oil and apply to the wrists, neck and chest. Chamomile is also great for reducing inflammation and treating the skin as it stretches. Basic uses chamomile infused jojoba oil to nourish the skin in the Blooming Belly Blend, and the Basic Sugar Scrub which helps to exfoliate and promote skin cell regeneration (a great treat for the blooming belly!).

 

 Rose

Rose, the beautiful symbol of love, is there a more perfect flower to include in this list? The blooming belly also symbolizes love; the love between two people, the love between mother and child, and a woman’s love for herself. Roses are magnificent for pregnancy as they not only evoke feelings of peace and love, but they nourish the skin of the blooming belly as well.

How to use:

~Smell the flowers: much like lavender, roses are as visually appealing as they are aromatically. If you have the option, bring some fresh, garden-picked roses into the home and enjoy this gift you have given yourself every time you walk into the room.

~Inhalation: Rose essential oil, rose water, rose absolute– whichever way you have to enjoy the essence of rose, do it! You will notice a wave of comfort and peace come over you with each inhale. Call on this essence in moments of fear and doubt, anxiety or depression, or whenever you want to feel beautiful and feminine.

~Topical application: Roses not only help us feel beautiful, they also nourish the skin to help it look beautiful as well. Using an ointment or blend that contains rose will help to prevent stretch marks, relieve itching and inflammation, and nourish the skin.

 

Soothing Blooming Belly Soak:

Baths are a beautiful way to treat the mind, body, and soul, especially when pregnant (just be sure to have some someone help you get out!). These are some of my favorite ingredients to soak in. Whether you use all of them or just one of them, you'll find that they help to protect and nourish the skin, and help you to feel beautiful, loved, and at peace. Light some candles, listen to some relaxing music, and take this opportunity to create a lovely experience for yourself, and in turn, for your baby. 

~1 dropper full of the Basic Blooming Belly Blend

~1-2 Tbps organic powdered milk (milk is an amazing moisturizer, especially for strained and/or dry skin)

~Optional: dried or flesh flowers: lavender, calendula, roses.

 

Wishing you peace, love, and joy during this incredible time. Be well, and enjoy! 

-Robin 

 

Curious about how aromatherapy works?

 

Note: be sure you’re using pure essential oils or blends made with pure essential oils. Fragrance oils or perfumes may smell like the plant essence, but are made with synthetic ingredients and do not have the natural therapeutic qualities of the pure essential oil.  The herbs and essential oils in this article are generally deemed as safe during pregnancy. If concerned about the use of essential oils during pregnancy, consult with your physician, midwife, or naturopathic doctor before use.  When applying aromatherapy blends topically, first apply to a small area of skin to test dermal reaction.