DO NOT DISTURB: SALT SOAKIN' MAMA
Pregnancy comes with a laundry list of things to avoid. Things that could be harmful for that little life growing inside of you. Annoyingly, a lot of those things were my pre-pregnancy stress relievers. Anxious about an upcoming ultrasound? Why not have a glass of wine and a nice hot bath…oh right, those are now off the menu….
I craved safe indulgences.
Since my OBGYN didn’t have any concerns with warm baths, I set to work looking for salts and oils that would complete my home-spa experience.
Himalayan Sea Salt was my top choice because it’s food-grade. I figured that if I was going to be soaking in it, my skin would absorb some of it and therefore expose my little one to it. The fact that I could eat it without concern gave me peace of mind. Salt aficionados also point out that it’s mineral rich, and free of modern day pollutants given that the salt beds were formed by ancient oceans roughly 250 million years ago when the Himalaya mountains were being formed.
Once I settled on my salt of choice, I noticed that most salt soak blends feature essential oils. These smell lovely, however after doing extensive research I wasn’t convinced that they are safe for use during pregnancy. Because of their small molecular size and lipid solubility, many of these highly potent oils are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (“BBB”). The BBB’s primary function is to keep foreign materials out of the brain, however when I asked my OBGYN about a fetus’ BBB, she explained it’s most typically described as “leaky.” Partially because of this heightened exposure risk, and partially because of risks for the pregnant mama (such as pre-term contractions), pregnant moms are told to avoid essential oils all-together during the 1st trimester, and then to only use the “safe” ones during the 2nd and 3rd trimester (I use "" because there's a fair amount of discretion when it comes to what makes the "safe" list, so many lists contradict each other). New moms are also told to wait until a baby is at least 3 months old to expose them to any essential oils, and even then to only do so with certain ones, from trusted sources, and on a diluted basis. So, if you’re keeping track, that’s unsafe, safe(ish), unsafe, and then safe(ish) again. For me, it was just too questionable, so I preferred to simply steer clear.
I still wanted the fragrance, though, so found a USDA organic source for dried lavender buds and infused my Pink Himalayan Sea Salt at home instead. It’s not a complicated process, and doesn’t involve any chemical additives. It really just involves a bit of muscle and patience. I combine the lavender and salt in an airtight contain, shake it like crazy, and then let it steep for at least one month. Voila! Spa-worthy, aromatic, stress-relieving, pink and purple Sunset Salt.
So, I know you’re busy, but pencil in some YOU time this holiday season. Fill up the tub, pour in a generous amount of Sunset Salt + 2-3 pumps of your favorite Paraguas oil and spaaaaaahhhhh……