Constipation, headaches, pelvic pressure, leg cramps, hemorrhoids, edema, low amniotic fluid, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, nausea, and difficulty sleeping can all be helped by bathing with epsom salt and essential oils during pregnancy.
Aim for 1-2 epsom salt baths a week. Add 2 cups of epsom salt to the water, swirl the water until you create a vortex, and soak for 20 minutes. Keep the water temperature warm, but not hot - avoid temperatures above 102F.
Baths help relieve edema by pulling excess salt from the body. Benefits of Epsom salts are: reduced inflammation, constipation relief, soothing of muscle aches, and immunity support.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate - the magnesium is absorbed into the skin to: help the body release harmful toxins; regulate over 300 enzymes in the body; and positively act on the circulatory, digestive, and muscular systems.
Epsom salt is safe during and after pregnancy. It is inexpensive and can easily be found at any drug store or supermarket in the first aid section (Target, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart all sell epsom salt.)
Adding essential oils will add to the healing and relaxation from the bath. Add 10-20 drops to the bath water. When purchasing essential oils try to get wildcrafted or organic oils.
Suggested essential oils:
Lavender is always a good essential oil to use because it reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation. It also soothes the skin which can be itchy as the belly expands. It helps manage morning sickness.
Chamomile is good to soothing the skin and decreasing inflammation. Also alleviates nausea.
Lemon oil can be used to reduce edema, ease moodiness, and make you happier. It is super if you are experiencing swelling in your feet and ankles. Use 10-20 drops per bath.
Geranium helps calm the nerves and relax the body. Great for relieving headaches.
You can also add 1-2 cups of baking soda in the second and third trimester to soothe irritated and itchy skin.
Julia Erickson, the founder of Aphrodite Project, is a wellness authority who uses food, meditation, and movement to create extraordinary health and wellness. Julia's practice is focused on helping women thrive and heal from chronic disease. She is also mother of seven.