Pregnancy is a time when many women look for natural ways to nurture and pamper themselves. Plant oils and butters can make simple, effective skin-care solutions that are safe and beneficial for mum and baby. Gentle Essential Oils can be added for their fragrance and therapeutic properties.
The key to safe Aromatherapy for pregnancy is to buy pure, high quality base products and essential oils, check with a qualified Aromatherapist which essential oils are not suitable for use in your pregnancy, and only use safe essential oils such as those mentioned below, in low doses.
Essential oils should always be diluted before applying to the skin and at 1% dilution maximum during pregnancy. This equates to 25 drops of essential oil in 100ml of vegetable base oil. As the sense of smell is often heightened in pregnancy you may well not want the maximum amount of essential oils to create yourself a wonderful product so just use a few drops.
During pregnancy skin changes are common and all women will experience a profound change in the shape of their body and the skin stretching to accommodate the growing baby.
Some people unfortunately seem prone to stretch marks but regular self massage and application of nourishing natural butters, creams and oils before, during and after pregnancy can help maintain optimal skin elasticity and keep the stretch marks at bay. Massage of bump and body during pregnancy also helps you connect with your baby, enhances circulation of blood and lymph and helps to relax you and baby.
Body & Bump Oil 100ml
This is a nourishing body oil. If you prefer a lighter oil use 100ml Apricot Kernal oil. Use approximately 5-10ml as a moisturiser after a bath or shower or as a massage oil. Keep the oil in a clean, dark glass or PET plastic bottle and use within 6 months of bottling.
- Sunflower Oil 50ml (Vitamin rich, softens and moisturises)
- Jojoba Oil 30ml (Excellent stability, emollient, very rich in Vitamin E)
- Rosehip Oil 20ml (Amazing regenerative properties, good for scars and stretch marks)
Blend 1 – Calming blend, excellent to ease anxiety, gently lifts the spirits
- Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) Essential oil 12 drops
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) Essential Oil 8 drops
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium var amara ) Essential oil 5 drops
Blend 2 – Soothing blend, promotes sleep, eases digestive discomfort and muscle aches
- Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Essential oil 12 drops
- Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia) Essential oil 10 drops
- Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Essential Oil 3 drops
Blend 3 – Balancing for fluctuating moods and emotions, alleviates stress and tension
- Bergamot (Citrus aurantium ssp bergamia) Essential oil 10 drops
- Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia) Essential Oil 10 drops
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) Essential Oil 5 drops
Whipped Body & Bump Butter
Rich body butter nourishes and conditions the skin and provides deep moisturisation. Whipping the butter gives it a lighter cream-like consistency and means it can be kept in a jar.
- 50g Cocoa Butter
- 100g Shea butter
- 50ml Jojoba Oil
- Weigh the butters and gently melt them until completely liquefied, over a low heat in a large heatproof jug or bowl using the bain-marie method. Once the butters are melted add the liquid Jojoba oil and stir well.
- Take the liquid butter off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Whip the liquid butter for a few minutes using a hand balloon whisk or electric whisk.
- You now need to cool the butter. If you have room place the jug or bowl in the freezer or alternatively make an ice bath in another bowl and place your liquid butter jug/bowl over the ice. Freeze or keep in the ice bath for 5 minutes.
- Remove the butter from the cooling device and whisk for 5 minutes. Repeat this process twice more. By the third whip the butter should be achieving a paler colour and consistency of thick whipped cream that forms peaks when stirred.
- You can continue cooling and whipping but the mixture will set slightly over the next few hours so be careful not to over- whip. When you are happy with the consistency, scoop the butter into a clean jar. Use the butter within 3 months.
If you wish you can add a few drops of an essential oil such as Mandarin to the cooled butter mixture for a delicious chocolate-orange fragrance or enjoy the natural cocoa and shea aroma.
It is good practice to vary the essential oils that you use, rather than use the same oils every day over long periods to avoid sensitisation. If you make a body oil with blend 1 for example use this for a few weeks and then swap to a plain base oil for a while or try alternating with one or more of the other suggested blends.
Ingredients, jars, bottles etc are available from www.naturallythinking.com
High quality Organic Essential Oils, Plant Oils and Butters are available from www.materiaaromatica.com. The owner Isabelle stocks a very special soft shea butter that can be applied in small quantities directly to the skin or mixed into creams. It is a skin conditioning treat in itself and is lovely to use for baby massage or to treat patches of dry skin.