By Sonya Edmonds, MAMA’s resident clinical aromatherapist + massage therapist
Pregnancy brings many changes, physically, psychologically and socially. There is often some concern about the use of aromatherapy during pregnancy. However, under qualified, expert care aromatherapy can enhance wellbeing through each stage of pregnancy in the following ways:-
- May help to alleviate common discomforts such as nausea, muscular complaints, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, pruritis (itch), fatigue, insomnia and emotional upsets.
- To help maintain good general health through regular use of essential oils and prevention and early treatment of infections
- Support your pregnancy through reduction of stress and anxiety and ensure good sleep patterns.
- Preparation for labour, both physically and psychologically.
Research regarding the use of essential oils during pregnancy and birth is very positive leading to aromatherapy being incorporated into various health care settings. Aromatherapy can be combined with massage to support the changing body during pregnancy and is valuable for birth preparation. One study done by The Touch research Institute showed a reduction in anxiety, stress hormones and obstetrical complications in women who received regular massage during their pregnancies.
Aromatherapy can be employed for childbirth to help reduce anxiety, encourage relaxation, promote uterine contractions and relieve pain as well as to treat associated symptoms such as nausea and fatigue. Fear, anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on the commencement and progress of labour. Odour has a direct pathway to the area of the brain that governs fear and research shows the use of positive aromas can help to reduce pain perception.
Consultation with a qualified aromatherapist is strongly recommended when using essential oils during pregnancy. Sonya uses high quality essential oils and a variety of massage techniques safe and appropriate for each stage of pregnancy.
Becoming a new mum (or dad) is life changing! This time is full of wonder and excitement as well as challenges and readjustment. During the postnatal period aromatherapy and massage can be beneficial for new mums as they recover from birth and adjust to the physical as well as emotional demands of motherhood.
Aromatherapy and/or massage can provide support for new mums in the following ways:
- Healing of wounds & prevention of infection
- Relief from muscular tension, often associated with birth or breastfeeding posture
- Help treat breastfeeding issues: under or over supply, mastitis
- Ease other discomforts e.g. digestive issues, poor sleep, fatigue
- Alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, low confidence
- Empowerment as a new mum by learning how to care for your family with natural, aromatic remedies.
Each stage of our children’s lives brings new challenges as parents. Especially significant for parent is the saying “fill your own cup first so you can give to others”. Sonya provides nurturing treatments specific to your needs at any stage in your parenting journey.
Babies and Children
With guidance from a qualified practitioner essential oils and other aspects of aromatherapy can safely be used to treat many minor ailments in babies and children. Special care needs to be taken when treating babies and children and consultation with a qualified aromatherapist is recommended, especially for children under 12 months of age.
Childhood conditions that can be treated with aromatherapy include:
- Respiratory issues, coughs and colds
- Asthma and allergies
- Digestive upsets such as colic and constipation
- Muscular discomfort
- Skin problems
- Poor sleep
- Emotional upsets
Mother Nurture aromatherapy products are also available at MAMA to help nurture the whole family.
Infant massage is also offered at MAMA through classes or private consultation.
Touch is integral to our wellbeing and there is a comprehensive list of benefits for infant massage, based on extensive research. Some of the many benefits to babies and children include:
- Reduced crying time
- Improved sleep, improved mood
- Relief from wind, colic, reflux and constipation
- Boosts immune system
- Relief from sinus and chest congestion
- Enhanced co-ordination
Research has also shown that performing regular baby massage has helped caregivers feel more confident and less stressed, enhancing the special bond with their baby.