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Aromatherapy for Babies

My two-year old daughter Natalia is asthmatic like me. And I know for a fact that strong scents, molds and mildew, dust mites and household chemicals are among the many allergens that can trigger an attack.  She seems to have inherited from me a sensitivity to dust allergens and strong perfumes and heavy scents, so I have always given a doubting frown when it comes to aromatherapy and my little girl.

I have always thought Asthma and Aromatherapy are unlikely to blend together, thus, when her pediatrician suggested aromatherapy for babies as a supporting treatment and therapy for my own six month old asthmatic baby, I was shocked.

My state of disbelief and curiosity got the best of me and I decided to look into and research further on aromatherapy for babies and its possible curative effects. What I have learned has improved my standpoint for this kind of alternative medicine.

Aromatherapy is an age old practice that includes the usage of plant oils and essential oils to treat both physical and emotional ailments. Essential oils are often confused as perfume oils, as I have done so in the past. However, these oils are actually pure and natural essence of plants and are extracted from flowers, trees, barks and seeds thus containing no synthetic ingredients that may aggravate allergy and asthma attacks.

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways, congesting the path for easy breathing. A person who is considered asthmatic is sensitive to a variety of allergens and irritants that would cause the airways to constrict. It is characterized by chronic coughing at night and very early morning, wheezing and noisy breathing and difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.

With these in mind, I had to make sure that I heard my pediatrician correctly:
Aromatherapy can be used to help my asthmatic baby.

And here are the reasons why the doctor is right:

  • Aromatherapy can be used by application. For asthmatic children and babies, aromatherapy is advised to be used through massage and not through inhalation. As an asthma attack may be triggered by anything that causes stress to respiratory system, strong scents included, aroma-therapists would encourage the use of essential oils via massage and foot reflexology. Massages using essential oils help ease breathing and provide a calming, comforting and warming effect by improving proper blood circulation. This greatly helps our babies have a calm and restful slumber. 
  • Essential oils like lemon, lavender, peppermint, ginger and Frankincense are suggested to be beneficial to asthmatics, as they contain properties which are anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and are good decongestants and bronchodilators. Eucalyptus Oil however is best avoided as it has been found out to make the condition worse.

  • Constant carpet cleaning and sheet changes allow us asthmatics to stay away from dust mites and other allergens that may trigger an attack. However, usage of commercial cleansing and disinfectant products pose threats to asthmatics, as these often contain a high proportion of ingredients that are irritating to our olfactory system.

    Using essential oils like teatree and citronella not only cleanses our bedding and general living quarters but also disinfects them from mold, mildew and bacteria growth. These particular essential oils also do not contain heavy scents that can irritate and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Substituting chemical laden skin care baby products with lavender baby bath, diaper cream and massage oils, proves to be beneficial to asthmatic babies due to muted scents and pure and untainted mixture of skin care formula. As such, baby care is made easier and safer with the use of aromatherapy and essential oils.

Since my Natalia turned six months of age, I have religiously adhered to aromatherapy as a supporting treatment for her asthma. The nightly massages have proven to increase our bond as mother and daughter, promoted my daughter’s development of high emotional quotient, improved her immune system and most importantly, eased the asthma attacks and reduced its occurrence to nearly half.

Aromatherapy for babies is highly recommended for those without sensitivity conditions, but has been found out to be beneficial to people like us asthmatics. As always, it is best to speak with a licensed aromatherapist and coordinate with your pulmonologist and pediatrician for proper administration and care.

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