There are many tools that can assist you on your journey to becoming pregnant, as well as moving through the process of pregnancy, birthing, and then supporting yourself and your baby through life after birth.
When I decided to start trying for a baby, I suddenly became hyper-aware of my environment, and all the ways that I could boost and support my body to be a vehicle for conception, and pregnancy. I started to look more deeply at environmental toxins and the way these can impact our health, our ability to conceive, and the health of our embryos.
Environmental Toxins & Their Impact on Your Body
Environmental toxins can include anything from chemicals in cleaning products, skin and body products, makeup, perfume, laundry powders, candles, and even air pollution. Most (if not, all) conventional cleaning and beauty products contain many chemicals that have been shown under testing to cause significant impact on the body ranging from respiratory distress, skin reactions, neurological disruption, and endocrine or hormone disruption.
If we don’t have fully optimized hormonal regulation in our bodies, how easily are we going to conceive, carry a baby to term and thrive in the post-partum period?
Beauty Products & Toxic Chemicals
Research has shown that women will be exposed to upwards of 168 chemicals per day just from our beauty care products. These products are known to contain chemicals that are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, reproductive stress, and more. And this is just what we place on our skin; what about the cleaning products we use, the perfumes we apply, the candles we light, the laundry powder we wash our clothes and bedding in?
Toxic Chemicals & their Effect on Fertility
What is the impact of this toxic burden doing to our fertility? Fertility can be an overall reflection of the health of our system, and if our system is bogged down by the toxic burden of processing all these different chemicals daily, how can we expect it to be a clear and open vessel for the role of carrying a child? And when we are pregnant, what are we exposing our babies in utero to?
Once those babies are born, how comfortable are we going to feel lathering creams, body washes, and fragrances onto their underdeveloped immune systems? How comfortable are we going to feel to have our babies nuzzled into us if we have layered synthetic toxic perfume on our neck? How happy are we going to be if we expose our crawling babies to the toxic floor cleaners we use; the surface sprays their food is placed on; the bleach that we cleaned their bath in?
The Impact of Toxins on Your Baby
These were the questions I started asking myself, and once I ‘saw’ the insidious level at which toxic compounds had leeched into our lives as a society, it was something I couldn’t ‘unsee’. Did you know that in numerous studies of post-pregnancy umbilical cord blood, the cord blood has been tested and in every single study the world over, there has never been ONE umbilical cord that has been completely clear of any toxicity?
Penelope Jagessar Chaffer explains this so beautifully in her documentary and TED talk ‘Toxic baby’. and explains that when our babies are in utero, they pull everything that is floating around in our bloodstream, and absorb it into their body to be used. She references our babies in utero as being ‘toxic waste dumps’
That toxic soup floating around in our bloodstream then directly impacts the health of our children. Our toxic burden becomes their toxic burden before their life has even begun. Our babies become the final resting place for the chemicals we ingest and absorb.
In her TED talk, Jagessar Chaffer explains that in one such study, on average, 287 chemicals were found in human umbilical cord blood. 180 of them are known to cause cancer and many other significant pathologies.
These chemicals have the significant ability to turn genes on and off, and completely change the way genes function in our children, setting them up for a lifetime of health OR a lifetime of disease and poor function. Affects our babies’ cognitive function, the way their hormones regulate, the ability of their immune system to work effectively, and presents in myriad ways throughout this baby’s life.
Considerations for Preconception
Here’s something else to consider- did you know that staff that works in the labs with embryos in the field of IVF are prohibited from wearing perfumes? This is because it is known that exposure to the toxic compounds in these perfumes can harm the embryo.
And yet, they are just another ‘beauty product’, along with cleaning products, that are marketed to us every day as being ‘safe’ for consumption. Over time I became very aware that the products I was putting on my body, cleaning my house with, doing my laundry with, and filling my home with were full of toxic compounds that were actually very easy to replace with low or no-toxin versions. Around this time, I was introduced to essential oils. And the world of low-tox living opened right up to me!
Essential Oils During Pregnancy & Beyond
Doterra oils are the most potent and pure form of essential oil I have come across. As a total oil novice, I was originally looking for a handful of essential oils that I could use across my home and personal care that would be a ‘natural first aid kit’. Doterra essential oils delivered that and so much more. In 5 years now of using Doterra oils, they have replaced most of my old pharmaceutical or supermarket-based products. I now make my own cleaning products and clean my house with NO chemicals.
Importantly, these oils have also become a first-line defense against common alignments such as coughs, colds, digestive issues/tummy ache, tension headaches, pain, inflammation, plus skin concerns such as pimples, rashes, etc.
Using pregnancy essential oils to replace all of my conventional cleaning products as well as my skincare and body care has created so much space and freedom in my life. I have used Doterra oils almost exclusively to manage my children’s health and to combat issues that have arisen for them- things such as fever, nappy/diaper rash, sleep issues, insect bites, sore tummy, ear infections, and more.
It is such a good feeling to know I am doing something so proactive for my health and the health of my babies. Reducing our toxic burden in the way of reducing our exposure to these harmful substances creates a sense of space and ease in our bodies, in our homes, and in our wallets too! Yes, creating my own versions of products I used to buy at the supermarket has also saved me so much money over time!
How Do Essential Oils Help During Pregnancy?
How do they work? Well, because of their purity (Doterra oils are 100% pure extracts from plants, with no synthetics added, nothing subtracted as well as being organically farmed and harvested), they are simply an extract of a plant. Therefore, the compounds of these plants have many powerful properties that can be harnessed by our bodies to help support them to thrive and heal.
Essential oils work in symphony with the cells of our body, providing plant-based compounds to help it maintain homeostasis. There are plant compounds that aid digestion, compounds that support our body’s natural immunity, there are compounds that allow our body to become still and calm and ready for sleep. There is literally an oil protocol that can support you with any physical or emotional needs.
Because they are such pure and potent extracts from plants, they can be considered ‘plant medicine’ in this way, and by using the oils you are simply just using the plant to support you. A common example is a lavender. The compounds in lavender can be used by our body to treat rashes, infection (it is naturally antibacterial and also works as an antihistamine), and other skin concerns such as pimples and cold sores.
The high linalool component in lavender is amazing at being a ‘hug’ for your central nervous system, supporting you to ground, calm and rest. This makes lavender perfect oil to help you support your baby to sleep, help to soothe anxious feelings and be emotional support.
My first powerful experience with lavender was right after my first child was born. I had come home from the hospital with a slight infection in my stitches. I didn’t want to take antibiotics as I had just started breastfeeding and didn’t want the effects of the antibiotics to affect my daughter through my breastmilk. So instead, I used Doterra lavender oil on the stitches, and within 24 hours all signs of the infection were gone!
Because of the purity and the quality of pregnancy essential oils, you can use these oils aromatically (in a diffuser or inhale from the bottle), you can dilute them with a carrier oil and apply them topically on your skin, and you can even ingest them by adding them to food, water, tea or taking a drop under your tongue. (I do not recommend ingesting oils during pregnancy- wait until the baby is born for this)
Some of the common ways to use Doterra oils in pregnancy:
Skin issues- body balms, stretch marks, etc.
Sore, aching body
Emotional support to help anchor the connection with your baby
You can use pregnancy essential oils in the birth space too – certain oils will help support you in active labor by helping you manage contractions, and for pain relief
And then in the postpartum phase and in creating a no-toxin haven for your child, Doterra oils are so useful
Support your baby to sleep with sleep oils in a diffuser at night
Make your own baby bottom balm and skin oils
DIY baby wipes that are toxin-free and inexpensive
Manage a cold or cough, or elevated temperature easily with essential oils
And then they are the perfect way to start overhauling the health in your home.
DIY surface spray/ “spray and wipe” spray
No-tox bathroom scrub
Add a couple of drops of oil to your mop bucket
Easy no-tox stain removal for clothes, couches rugs etc.
Click here for recipes and ideas to get you started. This is just a tiny taste of the possibilities of using Doterra oils.
Once you decide to get started with our own essential oils you will get invited into our community, where we have so many resources waiting for you.
Ebooks, private Facebook and Instagram communities, plus a google drive that houses all our content!
You also receive a consult with me to set you up and empower you to get the lids off the bottles and to start using them every day.
If you would like help getting set up with Doterra oils, book a chat with me or Jen! Find me at email@example.com and on Instagram as @_kathrynhood_