oils for baby and you
By Ayesha Inoon
The incredible experience of nurturing a new life within you, and
bringing it into the world can be enhanced by the use of essential
oils or aromatherapy, says Kishani Gunawardena, a professionally
use of aromatic herbs during pregnancy, labour and the postnatal
period is centuries old, with midwives traditionally using them
long before the advent of modern medicine. The soothing effects
of many of the oils and massage techniques used in aromatherapy
can increase your sense of wellbeing and improve your general health
Ahangama, is a prenatal educator as well as a trained midwife with
several years of experience in Britain. Managing Directress of Pulse
Beat Gym, she says that preparing for childbirth should be considered
no less important than preparing for any academic examination. Although
it is a natural phenomenon, it is only a mother equipped with the
right knowledge of what her body is about to undergo and how best
to facilitate the process who can enjoy the ultimate experience
this end, attending pre-natal classes, and making use of methods
such as aromatherapy can be of benefit, she says, adding that although
these are relatively new concepts in Sri Lanka, aromatherapy is
widely used in birthing centres in countries such as Britain.
is the use of essential oils obtained from plants to promote the
health and wellbeing of the body. Essential oils are the ‘living’
elements of a plant extracted by various processes from different
parts of the plant. When used as indicated, they have no side effects,
which is significant, especially during pregnancy.
example, nausea can be warded off by inhaling essential oils of
peppermint, ginger, petitgrain, and sweet orange. The tantalizing
fragrance of the essential oil of lavender can soothe a nagging
headache. Other lotions prevent fluid retention or swelling, aid
relaxation and help prevent stretch marks and cramps.
there is a pre-blended range of drops and lotions, clients can also
request for specific blends, made up to suit individual requirements
and undergo a customized treatment including massages, throughout
their pregnancy, says Kishani whose clinic Aromystique offers specialized
aromatherapy treatment for the pregnant woman.
can also be used to ease the process of labour. When the muscles
are well toned from exercise and the techniques used in aromatherapy,
the baby positions itself more easily for birth, says Mrs. Ahangama.
an essential oil is inhaled, it travels along the nose to the limbic
system, or, the midbrain-that part of the brain which is responsible
for hormonal control.
mood and blood pressure are said to be controlled by the limbic
system, which is also looked on as a gland releasing the hormones
which are necessary for the process of birth inducing efficient
uterine contractions and protection against pain.
aroma of an essential oil such as lavender stimulates this part
of the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria and relaxation.
This succeeds in calming and soothing the mother, as well as less
pain being felt, enabling her to feel the true beauty of the last
precious moments of birth. This is of prime importance, says Mrs.
Ahangama. The trauma of labour is also lessened for the baby.
oils should always be used during pregnancy at 50% of the normal
strength, adds Kishanie. Various blends to combat baby blues by
aiding relaxation, and to treat conditions such as cracked nipples
and breast engorgement, as well as to stimulate lactation, can be
made use of during the postnatal period.
is a knowledge-based experience,” says Mrs. Ahangama, who
feels that with the right tools, childbirth can be the amazing,
profound experience that it was meant to be.