The end result of pregnancy is a miracle, but for many women, the journey to get there may not feel like it.
Pregnancy is harsher on some bodies than on others and for all our strides in modern medicine, researchers still don’t really know why. For many women, most of these symptoms, like nausea and joint pain, will be temporary, confined either to a particular trimester or likely to subside once the baby is born. Knowing this, often the best advice doctors can give is to just wait it out.
But 40 weeks is not a short amount of time, and many women will seek natural remedies to ease their pain. Before our founder, Anahit, started Nairian, she had been experimenting with essential oils and aromatherapy because of the nausea and aversions to synthetic smells she experienced in her second pregnancy with her second child. It was perhaps her body’s way of firing the alarm bell regarding the safety of these chemicals for the fragile baby growing inside of her.
To honor our roots, we've put together a few of Anahit’s essential products that are safe for pregnancy and may offer some relief to those who need it. Please keep in mind that every woman’s body is different and will respond in its own unique way to different smells and therapies. What works for some may not work for others and that’s okay.
According to research, approximately 90% of women will experience nausea at some point in their pregnancy. For some, it’s a blip on the radar, and will subside by the end of the first trimester. For others, it can be debilitating, and last the entire duration of their pregnancy. (The latter is symptomatic of a terrible condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, and if you fall into this category, we encourage you to seek help and know that you’re not alone.)
For many women, this is the most frustrating symptom, because there’s not really much you can do until it’s over (though there are nausea medications your doctor can prescribe).
It's often smells that cause the waves of nausea in many pregnant women. This is where the aroma therapeutic properties of our products come in, Nairian’s Rosehip Day Serum in particular. Wild Rosehip Seed Oil, renowned for its smoothing and retexturizing properties; Apricot Oil, a light and nourishing oil that protects from signs of premature aging; and a few drops of Damask Rose Essential Oil, which has a calming floral fragrance and offers a powerful dose of antioxidants. This obviously isn’t how this product is advertised to be used, but it’s actually fitting that its aromatic properties are so healing.
During pregnancy, many women may notice spots appearing on their skin seemingly out of nowhere. This is a common symptom of pregnancy, and (like pretty much all unwelcome symptoms) is a consequence of the new cocktail of hormones your body is releasing in preparation for growing a child.
Some women will try to tackle this symptom using cleansers and face washes, which contain salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, which has been studied in pregnancy. High doses of the acid in its oral form (it's an ingredient in aspirin) have been shown in studies to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. So when looking for a facial wash or cleanser, make sure it contains no more than 2% salicylic acid.
We recommend Nairian’s Calendula Cleanser, one of our best-selling products. It contains no salicylic acid or any other harsh components and yet thoroughly cleans the skin while moisturizing it and as its made with citrus peel oil, its smell is incredibly refreshing and healing, and was another smell that provided a pleasant reprieve from my nausea. You can combine this cleanser with our Rose Petal Exfoliant, which blends Rose, Rice, and Burdock root powders to gently remove dead skin. Our recipe also includes Thai Basil to brighten the complexion, and mineral-rich Red Clay to eliminate impurities.
As the body grows and makes room for our little bundles of joy to hibernate and grow for nine months, it can really do a number on the body’s largest organ, the skin, pulling and stretching it out and creating the conditions for stretch marks to occur. A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
This is perhaps the area in which Nairian can be most useful, because nearly every product offers something beneficial. Nairian’s anti-aging line comes in particularly handy. Both the Firming Cream (infused with moisturizing, antioxidant Pomegranate Oil and firming Linseed Extract that fortify the skin) and the Apricot Night Serum (which contains Apricot Kernel Oil, which offers a potent combination of vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids that tone, brighten, and firm) are very powerful moisturizing agents that boost collagen production and restore skin elasticity. But depending on the size of your bump, it can require quite a bit of product to cover all the bases.
During showers and baths, we recommend the Ylang Ylang Shower Oil, which nourishes skin with a luscious layer of healing oil. (We cannot recommend sitz baths highly enough to help soothe achy pregnant lady joints: the epsom salts from Epsoak, a brand of San Francisco Salt Co. are especially healing). Outside the shower, consider applying some healing Day Serum, which is also part of the anti-aging line, and is jam packed with antioxidants and collagen boosting compounds.
This article focuses on how to use Nairian products to make yourself more comfortable during a special but, all things considered, quite uncomfortable time in life. But it goes without saying that the first person you should be consulting is your doctor or midwife, who can prescribe helpful medications or therapies to help you in your journey, should you need them.