Using Lavender During Pregnancy: Is It Harmful?
Pregnancy brings with it a gamut of physical and emotional changes. Although all expectant mothers look forward to bringing their little bundle of joy into the world, some have a difficult time through their pregnancy journey. There is enough emphasis on sleeping, eating and exercising right, but the stress and fatigue won’t leave easily. That’s when one can make complete use of herbs which have therapeutic properties and can prove to be a worthy choice for pregnant women. In this article, we shall talk about lavender in its different forms available for therapeutic use and know if lavender in pregnancy is safe for use.
What Is Lavender?
Lavandula Officinalis, or Lavender, is a fragrant plant native to southern France and the Mediterranean. It thrives in sunny, low-water conditions. This historically significant herb has been used for perfume and medicine for centuries. Lavender, characterized by small shrubs with purple flowers, can be cultivated in various U.S. regions. For optimal medicinal potency, harvest the flowers just before they open.
Is Lavender Safe to Use During Pregnancy?
Lavender can be used by pregnant women, but only when administered in controlled and limited quantities. The two most popular forms of lavender available and extensively used at present are lavender tea and lavender essential oil. In either form, precautions need to be taken as excessive use/consumption can cause health issues. The best way to go about using lavender essential oil is it to dilute 1 to 2 drops in 2 to 3 tablespoons of carrier oil (coconut, sesame, almond oil, etc.).
To know if you can use lavender oil when pregnant, it is necessary to know if you need to. There are tons of benefits you can gain from using lavender oil during pregnancy, and some of them can be extremely relaxing as well.
Benefits of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil provides a combination of various benefits, all within a single package of sorts. Here are some of lavender essential oil and pregnancy benefits:
1. Easy to Get and Apply
Numerous stores near your home or even online stores for that matter house lavender oil preparations from various brands. Applying the oil on your body is not complex since all you need to do is make sure it is diluted and it covers the right areas. A few drops of the essential oil can also be added to the bath.
2. Gets Rid of Stretch Marks
As your tummy increases in size, the stretch marks begin to get more and more evident, which might prevail after your pregnancy as well. Combining 1 to 2 drops of lavender oil with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of jojoba oil and massaging over the stretch marks can help reduce their prominence effectively.
3. Combats Stress
The aroma that emits from lavender oil is enticing and relaxing, to say the least. There is a reason why so many natural massage therapies make use of lavender oil in their regimen. Its nutrients, when infused within your body, provide a rejuvenating effect and help reduce stress substantially, keeping you calm and satisfied.
4. Aids Better Sleep
For mothers suffering from insomnia, there is no better remedy than a small quantity of lavender oil. That’s all that it takes to relieve any kind of depression, exhaustion or headaches that prevent you from sleeping peacefully. Leaving a tissue that has a few drops of the oil can effuse aroma within the room that can lull you to sleep.
5. Alleviates Labour Pains and Contractions
The pains that women experience in the first trimester can be reduced effectively by using lavender oil. Similarly, usage of lavender oil in pregnancy labour is also suggested by many women.
6. Used in Aromatherapy for Prenatal Massage
Aromatherapy makes use of the various smells emanated from essential oils to calm your mind and improve your pregnancy. Combined with a massage, this can prove to be extremely relaxing and can be combined with certain aroma cushions as well.
Therapeutic oils do have some benefits, but you cannot just use them blindly. Knowing if they could have side effects will help you keep yourself and your baby away from any possible harm. Read on to know the side effects and precautionary tips.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Lavender Oil
The application of lavender oil can cause skin irritation in some cases. It could also stimulate your hormones and could have different effects on your body. Similarly, using lavender oil in the early months of pregnancy can result in a miscarriage.
Adhere to the following tips while making use of lavender oil in your pregnancy.
- Try a small quantity of diluted lavender oil initially to check for any potential allergies.
- Stay away from the Lavindin species of the flower, which is quite harmful to pregnant women.
In the article above, we have covered most things you must know about applying lavender essential oil. Now, let’s take a look at what you need to follow if you wish to make lavender a part of your pregnancy diet.
Drinking Lavender Tea While Pregnant
Some women also recommend drinking lavender tea during pregnancy to great effect. While its consumption is safe, and so is the usage of lavender as a seasoning element, the tea needs to be prepared appropriately or avoided completely. Also, tea made exclusively with lavender flowers could be harmful; therefore, go for a safer variety of tea which is flavoured with lavender.
Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware that while lavender tea is generally considered safe during pregnancy, individual reactions may vary. Therefore, it’s advisable to start with small quantities and monitor for any adverse effects. If you experience any discomfort or unusual symptoms after consuming lavender tea, consult your healthcare provider promptly. Remember, moderation is key, and it’s best to seek professional guidance regarding its consumption during pregnancy.
Are There Any Advantages of Consuming Lavender Tea
As mentioned earlier, it is best to avoid any tea that is prepared exclusively using the lavender herb. Drinking any other tea that has the flavour of lavender can bring a soothing effect within the body, along with benefits of the actual constituent used to make the tea.
Side Effects of Drinking Lavender Tea
The side effects of drinking tea prepared directly from lavender are quite substantial. Here are some of them:
- The development of the foetus can be affected in myriad ways.
- Increased headache and constipation can be observed, as well.
- Can cause uterine stimulation and lead to abortion.
Here are a few tips to be adhered to while consuming any kind of lavender tea:
- Choose a tea that has a lavender flavour instead of it being the main herb.
- Check with your doctor before you add lavender tea into your pregnancy diet.
- Stop drinking lavender tea if you experience issues such as a skin rash, nausea, headache, constipation, etc.
Lavender Baths and Scents When Pregnant
While further research is needed, lavender creams have demonstrated potential in addressing psychological issues during pregnancy. Preliminary findings indicate that lavender foot baths and creams can offer positive outcomes for expectant mothers, potentially reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. Lavender foot baths have also been associated with potential sleep improvement.
For those who enjoy baths, some Epsom salt blends with lavender are available and safe for use. Epsom salt baths can help alleviate muscle cramps and spasms during pregnancy.
1. Is It Safe to Ingest Lavender Essential Oil While Pregnant?
When it comes to lavender and pregnancy, avoid ingesting lavender oil at any pregnancy stage, as it may lead to stomach upset. Inhaling its scent from a bottle, cotton ball, or tissue is safe. Ingesting the oil can irritate stomach membranes as it doesn’t dissolve in water.
The benefits that are provided by lavender essential oil during early pregnancy may not be observed in lavender tea preparations. It is important that the safety of both you and your baby are not compromised. Therefore, before including lavender in any form, you must check with your medical practitioner to be hundred percent sure it is safe for you and your baby.
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