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Scent of a Mom

For pregnancy, labor, and beyond, four soothing aromatherapeutic oils lend comfort and balance.

By Aimee Snow

ayurveda oil massage

Aromatherapy, the age-old science of using essential oils extracted from botanicals to enhance physical and emotional well-being, can help relieve many of the discomforts experienced during pregnancy, including fatigue, tension, and stressed, overstretched skin. During labor, aromatherapy can help calm the emotions and reduce pain. Before using essential oils, first talk to your midwife or doctor. Essential oils shouldn't be taken orally and should be combined with carrier oils, such as jojoba or almond, before applying to the skin. These four soothing oils are known to be beneficial and safe during pregnancy:


Lavender (lavandula officinalis): Lavender has antidepressant, antiseptic, healing, soothing, and relaxing qualities and is useful for stretch marks and scarring, as well as for stress and insomnia. Use in baths or massage oil, or on a cool, damp washcloth applied to the face during labor.

Mandarin (citrus nobilis): The properties of mandarin are antiseptic, digestive, and sedative. It can be used to refresh and inspire, to relieve stress, and to prevent stretch marks. Use in massage oil, bath oil, body oil, foot baths, or as an aromatic spray.

Neroli (citrus aurantium): Renowned for its rejuvenating, emotionally uplifting, relaxing, soothing, and antidepressant qualities, neroli promotes cell regeneration and improves skin elasticity, thereby making it useful for stretch marks and scarring. Use in massage or bath oil.

Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): Ylang ylang is balancing, calming, and uplifting. It has a soothing effect on the skin and has been used to reduce blood pressure, slow breathing, and promote peace of mind. Use in bath oil, foot soak, or massage oil.


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