Floral Waters in the Fourth Trimester

Aromatherapy in the Fourth Trimester:

Aarin with rose scented pram.

After giving birth recently, I have found myself using floral waters (also known as flower waters, hydrolats & hydrosols) in various ways to support myself and my new born son.

In the main I avoided using essential oils in pregnancy because they are so potent and can cross the placenta*, but floral waters are extremely gentle so are perfect in pregnancy, when breast feeding and for baby care as well as for delicate sensitive skin. You do need to make sure you get a good source of floral water, so you get the qualities, similar to the essential oil, in it (don’t grab a rose water from the supermarket). I have a small range of the most useful flower waters here that come in spray bottles: rose, lavender, chamomile & neroli. https://shop.essentialoilsandyou.co.uk/collections/custom-skin-care

You can get a wider range of floral waters from Oshadhi here: https://oshadhi.co.uk/hydrosols-hydrolats/

Here are my top tips on using floral waters in the fourth trimester:

Click to shop floral waters.

Baby bottom care: I have spent a lot of my time cleaning a tiny bottom with rose water during nappy changes to make sure his skin doesn’t get sore. A friend recommended I make up a flask of hot water to keep by my nappy changing station, so I had this with a small bowl and some cotton pads ready for cleaning when nappy changing. I pour a little of the hot water from the flask into the bowl, allow to cool slightly, dip the cotton pad into the water and then spritz rose water on each side of the pad. Depending on how messy it is I may do this a few times and his delicate skin gets the nourishing properties of the rose water along with the anti-microbial action.

When I notice his skin is red, then I use chamomile water as it’s particularly anti-inflammatory, so more helpful for this, lavender water would also be suitable. I sometimes just pat the chamomile or lavender water on his skin so it’s more effective. If I’m out and about, I just use a gentle wet wipe, and can spritz the floral water on this for extra nourishment.

Nipple care: to make sure my nipples don’t get sore from breast feeding I spritz them with lavender or rose water several times throughout the day. It’s so gentle it would not be an issue using it if the baby is then feeding shortly after.

Episiotomy care: I had an episiotomy which made life a bit more uncomfortable for the first few weeks after the birth, it meant I had to be careful keeping the cut clean to avoid infection and as I couldn’t have a bath due to stitches. I used lavender flower water which acts as a gentle antiseptic. After a shower and before bed I would soak a cotton pad in lavender or chamomile water and gently clean the area.

I also applied my scar care balm (click here for recipe or click here to order) made of rosehip oil, myrrh, lavender and chamomile essential oils, to support the cut healing & avoid infection. I applied this around the area while it was still closing and directly on it when completely sealed.

Skin care: I ended up with several spritzer bottles of lavender, rose, chamomile & neroli flower waters around the house so I would also give my face a spray whenever one was nearby for nourishing my skin and refreshing my senses.

*It is possible to use certain essential oils in pregnancy and with babies, but generally only for specific issues and you would need to be treated by an experienced, qualified practitioner.

 

How to make a Stretch Mark Balm

I made a balm to help with stretch marks this week. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and my tummy is beginning to expand, so this is to help ensure I am not left with stretch mark scars as my body changes. You can use this balm to help avoid stretch marks when gaining or losing weight for what ever reason, including during and after pregnancy. Since my breasts have also increased in size, I will be using it on them until the baby is born. If breast feeding, then only apply at times when there is space between your baby feeding as you don’t want them feeding on the balm, or being put off by it.

Stretch Mark Balm – Recipe for 50g Pot

  • Beeswax, 5g
  • Shea butter, 5g
  • Rosehip oil, 20g
  • Calendula oil*, 20g
  • Essential Oils (optional):
  • Caution: not all essential oils are safe to use in pregnancy, so check any safety advice if you want to tweak the recipe. Also, essential oils should be used at a much lower dose in pregnancy, as they can cross the placenta, so use around 0.25%.  I always imagine I’m choosing oils that will be safe for the baby if I’m making something for someone who is pregnant.
  • *You can replace the calendula oil with something else if you wish for example daisy oil, olive oil, apricot oil, safflower oil or camellia oil. You can also replace the rosehip oil, but this is particularly useful for scars.

Instructions:

  • Weigh out the beeswax and shea butter using the scale and weigh or measure out the base oil.
  • Use a bain marie or double boiler to melt the beeswax (do not heat directly), then add the base oil and continue to gently heat. Add the shea butter at the end so it is not heated longer than necessary. As soon as it’s completely melted remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool a little before adding essential oils, so they are not affected too much by the heat.  If it begins to solidify give the mixture a stir.
  • Pour the mixture into a clean, dry container and leave to cool and set before applying the lid and labelling so you don’t forget what’s inside.
  • The balm should last for 12-18 months, but if it smells rancid, it may have been contaminated and should not be used.

Click here for more details on making a Balm.

You can order a custom made massage balm for pregnancy, stretch marks, scars and many other health & wellbeing conditions here: Bespoke Blends.

A Sniff About Airport Fragrance Halls

I usually take a walk around the perfume & beauty products when I’m in an airport, just to see what’s out there – it often makes me feel a little sick, not just the headiness & intensity of most of the fragrances, but the feel of the advertising & packaging. You get a sense of what’s behind the product, the intention to draw you in & make you feel like you need something to make you more sexy, desirable, attractive, younger, confident &/or cool… most of the models in the ads have a look of total emptiness, a dash of aloofness & there is more than a whiff of porn in many of them.
It actually feels totally disgusting to have that directed at me, and the layout of the airport means you can not escape passing by it.

Face rollers – apparently?

The product shown in the image here caught my attention and actually disturbed me as I realised we have come to a point where women are being marketed something that looks like a sex toy that we are supposed to roll our faces with.
I’ll let you feel into your own response to this but it’s worth being aware of the energy behind something we might buy, be that clothes, food, beauty products, anything, we are saying ‘yes’ to that product and supporting that business.

I wrote the following two blogs a while back on appreciating the quality we bring in the way we use skin care and beauty products, so even though we may not find many products on the market that offer something to truly honour how precious we are, we can bring it in the way we use it:

Nurture – Cherish – Adore  

Connection – Rituals – Nurturing

How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health

The key reason I use geranium essential oil is for its balancing effect on the endocrine system. When you consider how much the endocrine system and our hormones play a key role in every part of running our bodies, geranium oil becomes a useful tool to support health and wellbeing, especially with regards to a woman’s health and her cycle.

Geranium Essential Oil – Pelargonium graveolens flower oil

It’s important to actually see and feel how, as women, we are constantly in a cycle, whether it be our monthly menstrual cycle, which goes through various phases as shown in the video below by UnimedLiving, or our life cycle as a woman and the way we move from beginning our periods as a girl or young woman to menopause and beyond… I like to think of it as the way a rose begins to bud and bloom, continuing to open until each petal eventually falls. Even when all the petals have fallen the cycle is not over, it is then that rose hips begin to form, a stage as gorgeous as the flowering… Just as with women, when our  monthly bleed ceases, there is much to appreciate and enjoy as a woman enters her elder years.

Geranium is an oil you can use to support you, your connection to your cycle and your body at any stage in life. The key is to use the oil to support the whole cycle, rather than as a quick fix when you feel tension (and all the other possible symptoms such as moods, exhaustion, hot flushes, period pain, bloating, breakouts, cravings etc.) – although it can still help at these more intense times, it would be more effective to make it a regular ritual.

For example you could use geranium essential oil in the following ways:

How ever you decide to use geranium oil, make sure it feels lovely, that you enjoy it and that it doesn’t become a chore. If you find a way that you really adore, you are more likely to make it a part of your natural rhythm. It’s worth noting that if you don’t enjoy the scent of geranium, then you could replace it with rose essential oil, which has a deeply nurturing quality; or lavender essential oil, which is very clearing (in fact, all three together would make a great blend). Alternatively, you could blend a small amount of geranium oil with other essential oils that make the scent more appealing. You could also look at making a blend of essential oils that can address other symptoms you may experience, such as period pain, back ache, nausea, hot flushes, tiredness, dizziness, etc.

The endocrine system is a very delicate, subtle system in the body, and although geranium oil has this balancing effect on it, once you find a way to bring essential oils into your day-to-day life, you will naturally be building more of a connection and awareness to your body. This connection and awareness is key as you then have an opportunity to respond in a more nurturing, loving way, something that can continue to grow and deepen as you move through your cycle.

For more support with women’s health wether it be how to prepare for your first period or support with going through menopause, there are some amazing articles on the following sites:

www.esotericwomenshealth.com
www.unimedliving.com – women’s health