Pregnancy can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You may be feeling overwhelmed with the changes in your body and the mood swings that come with pregnancy.
Essential oils are a great way to help relieve symptoms of depression during pregnancy without using medication or other substances that could harm you or your baby.
In this blog post, I will discuss ten essential oils that can improve your mood and keep you happy!
What is depression during pregnancy?
Depression during pregnancy is, unfortunately, a common problem. The symptoms start and end when the woman has her baby, but it’s possible to continue feeling depressed for some time after delivery.
For many people who experience depression during their pregnancies, this condition starts before they even know they are expecting. At the same time, others find themselves fighting feelings of sadness or loss at an unexpected time in life.
The reasons behind depression are complex and can be related to hormones such as progesterone that cause mood swings (also seen in PMS).
Also, the pressures that come with being a parent can take their toll; from mental health to relationship issues, there’s no shortage of stressors in this day and age.
It is never easy to accept the changes that your body goes through during pregnancy. The reality of a balancing act between what you have and what you still want can become tangible, with depression as a side effect.
Changes in hormone levels, stomach capacity reduction, mood swings are just some of the difficulties pregnant people might experience, making for feelings of anxiety or sadness.
It’s normal to feel a little low when you’re pregnant or postnatally. But if it’s more than just the baby blues, there are ways to help.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy?
Depression during pregnancy is an actual condition that many pregnant people face.
Around 1 in 10 people will experience depression during pregnancy, and in many cases, it can lead to postpartum depression after the baby is born.
Pregnancy is a significant life transition for many people. It can be an exciting and joyful time, but it can also bring on some complicated feelings that pertain to the changing body and relationships with your partner.
Depression during pregnancy can result in adverse outcomes for both parent and child.
- Feeling sad or down more than usual for a prolonged time.
- Lack of energy or motivation as well as feelings of worth
- Can’t concentrate or make decisions
- Feeling tearful
- Lack of appetite
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling restless or agitated
People who had depression before becoming pregnant may experience more intense symptoms due to hormonal changes experienced at this time.
There are different levels of severity for the signs and symptoms: some people will be mildly depressed, while others might feel suicidal and have thoughts about hurting themselves or their newborn baby.
Symptoms vary from person to person but are often worse before the first maternity checkup at about six weeks gestation through 12 weeks gestation–the second trimester.
Some researchers have noted that symptoms may improve by 18–19 weeks gestational age or with the baby’s delivery.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with antenatal depression, he/she may prescribe antidepressants that may help with these issues; it’s essential, though, that if there are any concerns about continuing medication, speak with your GP.
READ MORE: What is Pelvic Girdle Pain?
Treatment for depression while pregnant
As a parent-to-be, it’s essential to take care of yourself. Feeling depressed is natural and often occurs during pregnancy. However, depression can affect your health and the health of your baby.
While some people may need medication for their symptoms, there are also many other ways to manage depression without taking medication.
One thing is sure: it’s essential to know that there are resources available during times like this.
How to use essential oils to cope with the symptoms of depression during pregnancy
Luckily, essential oils can help ease the symptoms of depression and promote a sense of well-being.
That’s why I’m so happy to introduce you to essential oils!
These natural mood stabilisers are perfect for just about any occasion; whether it be anxiety or irritability, these oils have been shown to help relieve symptoms naturally without medication or side effects.
Essential oils can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of depression during pregnancy and postpartum periods. They work by balancing hormones and easing stress, and these are what can cause mood swings.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural plant extracts used for centuries in many cultures to heal, soothe, and rejuvenate.
They work through our sense of smell by sending signals to the limbic system- also known as the emotional brain. The limbic system is where emotions like joy, anger, sadness, happiness- all reside.
This means that when smelled or used topically on skin (think massage), they can help calm us down from an overwhelming situation or lift our mood if we’re feeling down. Aromatherapy is a massive part of it!
They can be extracted by distillation or cold pressing and contain various chemical compounds, including terpenes, esters, alcohols, ethers and ketones.
Essential oils have been used in many cultures for centuries as a way to promote health and wellness.
Essential oils that may help
Many oils have been reported to be beneficial in dealing with the symptoms of depression, and some people say that certain types of aromatherapy can help a person overcome depressive episodes.
Oils that may be of benefit during depressive episodes include:
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
- Orange (Sweet) (Citrus sinensis)
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
- Lavender (Bulgarian) (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera)
- Basil (Linalool) (Ocimum basilicum chemotype linalool)
- Mandarin (Citrus reticulata, Citrus nobilis)
- Sandalwood (Santalum album)
- Chamomile German (Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita)
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens, Pelargonium x asperum)
“Aromatherapy showed potential to be used as an effective therapeutic option for the relief of depressive symptoms in a wide variety of subjects. Particularly, aromatherapy massage showed to have more beneficial effects than inhalation aromatherapy.”
Personal Inhaler Recipe for Depression
To a personal inhaler, add the following essential oils:
- 7 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia, Citrus aurantium
- 5 drops Orange (Sweet) Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantium var sinensis, Citrus aurantium dulcis
- 3 drops Clary Sage Salvia sclarea
These are safe for pregnancy (from the 2nd trimester onwards), safe for breastfeeding, and safe for dogs to inhale.
Essential oils are a popular and effective way of healing your mind, body and soul. If you’ve been suffering from anxiety or depression, essential oils can be an excellent remedy that is also safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. I have extensive knowledge of how to incorporate aromatherapy into your lifestyle with no risk.
Which types of essential oils do you have in your home? I would love to hear what you think about them!