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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Skills update – Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Aromatherapy Pregnancy Massage with Essential Oils
Photo by noblec.
Today I attended a one day workshop on Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Childbirth which was run by TEACH Therapy . The course was run by Julie Duffy who also teaches Clinical Aromatherapy at the University of Wales Institute.

The course covered the different conditions which are common during pregnancy such as indigestion, stretch marks, oedema (fluid retention), back pain etc. and how essential oils can help. It covered essential oils which can be safely used during pregnancy, dilutions and blends, massaging techniques and positions, and essential oils to help during labour.

When I first trained in Aromatherapy, I was taught that there were certain oils which shouldn’t be used on women who are pregnant at any stage, some which could only be used in the second and third trimester, and some which could only be used during labour. On this recent course, I was taught that the majority of essential oils can be used safely at any stage during pregnancy and that there hasn’t been a single case of any harm coming to mother or baby from using essential oils in massage – only when they have been ingested.

I was also originally taught not to give massage to women in the first trimester as this is when miscarriage is most likely. But I have recently learned that this is not the case. There has been no evidence to suggest that neither massage nor essential oils can cause miscarriage.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was very informative and was quite an eye opener for me. Many therapists shy away from treating pregnant women due to the misconception that massage and/or essential oils can harm the baby. But now I am no longer one of them! The training providers (and also many books state this misinformation) are to blame here by not teaching the correct information to their students. Massage is very beneficial to women at all stages of pregnancy and is very soothing to the baby.

On the course, I was also introduced to several new oils which I haven’t smelt or used before which was quite exciting including Myrtle, Plai, and a different variety of Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus Radiata. I’m going to be adding these to my collection soon along with a few others.

Although I have treated many pregnant women with various holistic therapies including Aromatherapy, after this in depth training in essential oils for pregnancy, I feel very confident in massaging and using essential oils on pregnant women.

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