Congratulations, you’re pregnant! You’re already looking forward to ‘pregnancy glow’, extra thick luscious locks of hair and being able to feel less guilty about eating chocolate cake.

Unfortunately, there are also a number of less pleasant symptoms associated with pregnancy and alleviating them can’t always involve medication, now that you’re being more careful about what you put into your body.

The good news is that for a natural approach, aromatherapy and the use of essential oils can be very effective.

6 common pregnancy problems that can be improved with aromatherapy:

Insomnia – You might find you are exhausted but for some reason can’t sleep. There are a number of essential oils with sedative properties which you could use to help. Try a warm bath before bed with some candles and calm music and add the following relaxing blend: Two teaspoons (10ml) of grapeseed oil (you can use other base oils), 1 drop of neroli essential oil (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)) and 1 drop of sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album).
Nausea – If you’re feeling nauseous during the first trimester you can try putting a drop of ginger (Zingiber officinale) or peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) on a tissue that you can carry around with you and smell whenever you start to feel queasy. This should make you feel more refreshed, clear your head and help to block out any smells that have triggered your spell of nausea.

Constipation – The pregnancy hormones running through your body, along with a reduction in space for your digestive system, can cause digestion to slow down and lead to constipation. To help relieve this try doing some gentle abdominal massage in a clockwise direction using the following massage blend: Two teaspoons (10ml) of grapeseed oil, 1 drop of sweet marjoram essential oil (Origanum marjorana) and 1 drop of sweet orange essential oil (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis).

Spots – You signed up for a healthy glow and instead you got teenage acne! Don’t despair. Try using this blend of anti-microbial and astringent essential oils in a fragrance-free base lotion or facial wash to try and combat them: 10ml of base lotion or facial wash, 1 drop of petit grain essential oil (Citrus aurantium var. amara (fol)) and 1 drop of lemon essential oil (Citrus limonum).

Itchy skin – This particular symptom can be irritating but shouldn’t be ignored during pregnancy ns you should make sure you mention it to your midwife. If she’s happy that there are no serious underlying causes, you could try using the following blend as a body moisturiser: 10ml of jojoba oil or fragrance free balm, lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) and 1 drop of German chamomile (Matricaria recutica).

Headaches – This is another symptom that can be brought on by changes in hormones or muscular tension, but again make sure you talk to your midwife about your headaches if they are frequent and/or intense. To try and ease a headache, rather than reaching for the paracetamol try a cold compress using 100ml of cold water, 1 drop of lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita).

It is important that the oils you are using for self-treatment are not only effective but are pleasant to you. If the above blends don’t appeal, getting in touch with a qualified aromatherapist who can tailor a blend to your personal needs and preferences is always a great idea.