Herbal Remedies to Ease Discomforts of Pregnancy: Part 4 of 4

Bringing a new baby home is one of the most exciting moments of a parent's life. It can also be one of the scariest. Sure, mom and dad are eager to begin their new life with baby, but at the same time the unknown can be so daunting. And many new parents are surprised at how exhausted they find themselves during the first 3 months of parenthood.

One of the keys to making this new life transition smoother is to prepare in advance as much as possible. This includes:

Stocking up on food and other household necessities; prepare casseroles, soups and other quick meals and freeze them until ready to bake.

Establishing strong boundaries with friends and family; outline dates and time you will welcome visitors so you won't be overwhelmed by constant guests.

Talking to your birth advisor, doula, or your own mother for advice and tips to help you adjust to parenthood.

While your focus will obviously be on your new baby, it is ever so important that you commit to taking care of yourself, too. You, daddy and baby will all benefit. Find time to relax and sleep when baby sleeps. Nurture your body and mind--eat well, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage, read, meditate and exercise. And enjoy the natural benefits of aromatherapy with these easy aromatic recipes you can create right at home.

Note: Since babies are extremely sensitive and may react dramatically to the direct application or diffusion of essential oils, I recommend you do not use any essential oils on children less than 2 years old. Instead, use the infusion of herbs or hydrosols.

Baby's "Sweet Dreams" Bath

Prepare an herbal tea with either chamomile, lavender, or orange blossom. Allow it to infuse for 10 minutes, then pour the tea into baby's warm bath water. Its light and soothing aroma will help calm fussy babies.

Natural Diaper Rash Ointment

In a 2-oz bottle, mix the following carrier oils. This natural blend will soothe the skin, heal and calm any inflammations. Apply directly to affected area.

1-oz Calendula

1/2-oz Avocado

1/2-oz Sweet Almond

Blends for the New Mom

If you are breastfeeding, you should avoid using concentrated aromatherapy products. Essential oils can penetrate the different layers of the skin and go into your bloodstream. But you can get around this rule by adding a few drops of essential oils into a spray bottle filled with water (6 to 10 drops per 2oz) and misting around yourself. Shake the blend often and vigorously before use in order to disperse the aromatic molecules. It will be very gentle and you will still enjoy and benefit from aromatherapy.

Energy Boost

4 drops Orange

4 drops Rosemary

Relaxation Time

5 drops Lavender

2 drops Roman Chamomile

Uplifting Your Spirit/Postpartum Blend

4 drops Orange

3 drops Grapefruit

3 drops Ylang Ylang

Enhancing Self-Love

3 drops Rose otto or Jasmine otto

Blends for the New Daddy

You are not forgotten! Here are three aromatic blends that will help new dads cope with the stress of becoming a new parenting, can boost your energy, and calm your fears of this new life.

In a 10-ml bottle, pour the essential oils and then add an organic vegetable oil to fill.

Coping with New Responsibilities

6 drops Rosemary

4 drops Cypress

5 drops Cedarwood

Anoint the sacrum and solar plexus. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hands and inhale deeply.

Energy Boost

6 drops Peppermint

6 drops Orange

4 drops Rosemary

Anoint the sacrum and solar plexus. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hands and inhale deeply.

Easing Fears

2 drops Roman Chamomile

4 drops Lavender

Anoint the solar plexus. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hands and inhale deeply.

By Françoise Rapp

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