Bathing is meant to be super relaxing, right!? Well, sadly that can be wrong if you’re an anxious first time mum like me. I am now 34 weeks pregnant and whenever I have had an achy and tired body or feeling the woes of morning sickness people suggest I have a bath. Yet, the problem with that is that I’m scared I’m going to boil my baby! I have always loved a scorching hot bath. I love bubbles, I love oils, I love body scrubs, I love candles, the lot! Yet, which oils are appropriate and what temperature should the water be at for a pregnant woman and another thing…black smoke from candles, is that a thing and if it is, what on Earth is it? There’s so much to think about that I end up avoiding baths all together. I put out an Instagram story asking what temperature is appropriate and so many mums and mums to be were also in the dark to what was correct, so like me avoid(ed) a “relaxing bath” altogether. I have asked some industry professionals what the actual answers are so you don’t have to worry anymore. Happy bathing…
Glenda is first and foremost my gorgeous mum and according to Vogue UK, “an Aromatherapy Guru”. Mum knows everything there is to know about aromatherapy and beauty products. Having created and sold many beauty companies over the years she knows an inci listing inside and out. Make sure you ask her a question over on Instagram if you are at all worried about beauty, beauty products, ingredients or aromatherapy.
Laura is a doula and a hypnobirthing instructor. I am currently taking her classes every Wednesday evening over Zoom with a couple of other expectant parents. I’m learning so much and whenever I have a pregnancy question Laura has the answer straight away. Give her a follow if you have any pregnancy questions, are looking for a hypnobirthing class or need a doula.
WEB Stripped Back Birth
Laura says that the temperature you should have your bath at whilst pregnant is the same as it would be if you were in a birthing pool. It would also be the same if you were bathing your newborn child. The temperature you can have the bath at is 37°c. This is the same as your core body temperature. I advise that you buy a bath thermometer. I had so many people recommend this one from Tommee Tippee so I bought it right away for both myself and for when my baby arrives. It also lets you know the temperature of your room and has an ambient light that shows when the bath or room is too hot. My first bath with the bath thermometer was an interesting moment…I’ve 110% been having baths that were too hot for me whilst pregnant! 37° is not that hot at all for a steamy bather 🧖🏻♀️. The light flashed a lot whilst I was initially running my bath. This recommended temperature is also the temperature that you would have your birthing pool at so I would advise you to try a long bath at this temperature before you make it part of your birthing plan. I personally think I would get a little bit too chilly sitting in a pool of 37° for a few hours but you can always make your room warmer and mums I have spoken to have said you get quite warm during birth anyway so it doesn’t actually feel too cold.
THE OILS AND SCENTS YOU HAVE TO AVOID
Clary Sage is an essential oil that you must stay away from for most of your pregnancy. That being said, once you are 37 week plus you are considered full term and Clary Sage is then allowed and can be incredibly beneficial. Clary Sage is considered a very powerful essential oil that can help trigger labour. The reason it can trigger labour is because it can stimulate uterine contractions triggering the start of labour. It can also help boost your oxytocin and endorphins which after many hypnobirthing classes I have learnt is great to keep adrenalin at bay.
Even though Clary Sage is often recommended for labour, Glenda prefers recommending the use of Frankincense during labour. As an essential oil, Frankincense can promote deep meditative breathing which will keep you calm and in control. By simply placing a few drops on a cloth and inhaling it from time to time it can be really helpful.
Other oils that you must avoid during pregnancy (especially in your first trimester) would also include, juniper, black pepper, cinnamon and geranium.
ESSENTIAL OILS TO HELP YOU RELAX AND SLEEP
Lavender, Camomile and Benzoin
ESSENTIAL OILS TO HELP YOU BALANCE AND GET READY FOR THE DAY
Grapefruit, Mandarin and Lavender
(Lavender is balancing and can refresh or relax you according to which other oils you combine it with).
HOW TO USE YOUR OILS
You can use between 6-10 drops of essential oil in total. Put your oils in your bath after the water has finished running. Make sure you drop the oils in at the other end from where you’re sitting so you don’t sit on the oils if they haven’t fully mixed in to your water. It’s not dangerous to sit on them but you could aggravate your skin like a stinging nettle. The ratio of the oils is up to you, but use the above oils I mentioned and have fun mixing them together to create your own blend. Babies baths are a whole other story, so maybe I will write another blog post on that, for example you wouldn’t use any more than 3 drops of essential oil and it must be diluted.
BLACK SMOKE CANDLES
Black smoke in candles are caused by the wick being too long, so make sure you always trim your candles. This will also stock too much flickering of light from your candles which is never relaxing. Trimming you candles will stop the black smoke but also prevent too much fragrance dispersed at any one time. If too much fragrance is released it could be far too “heady” and overwhelming for you. The safest option is for you to purchase fragrance free candles. Use this lovely trick that Glenda has taught me…When your burning candle has produced a little puddle of wax, you can drop in one or two drops of one of the essential oils we have discussed above. You can do this each time you light it. This way you will avoid any artificially fragranced candles and create the loveliest most naturally bespoke scented candles.
You must not use candles which are made from paraffin wax as they are carcinogenic. Soy wax candles are great but avoid candles which are artificially fragranced and look for natural oil blends only.
An essential oil starter kit for both your pregnancy and for your baby (make sure you get full guidance before using oils on your baby before the age of 2).
(Comes from the word Benzoic which means calming.
It is a resin which is sold alongside essential oils)
• Clary sage or Frankincense
(37 weeks plus only)
• Bath thermometer
• Fragrance free candles
I hope this can help you have a safe and relaxing bath now. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments and I will get them answered for you.