Are essential oils safe to use during pregnancy? Today – we’re going to take a deep dive into whether you should avoid your favorite oils altogether while you’re expecting, or if you can actually use these to help you along the way.
Essential oils can serve as a fantastic aid in soothing various symptoms during pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond.
They have the ability to reduce stress, swelling, nausea, and more. We want to help our moms-to-be stay informed and safe during this exciting time!
And whether you are new to essential oils or a tried and true advocate, these tips and tricks will help you navigate which products are safe and can be utilized during each trimester, and while nursing.
Please note that there are no definitive rules in essential oil use. Be sure to follow directions, and when in doubt, consult a medical professional to be as safe as possible.
Essential Oils And Pregnancy – Do They Go Together?
When it comes to essential oils and pregnancy, you’ve likely heard conflicting information. But we’re here to clear things up for you. When it comes to the use of essential oils during pregnancy, the good news is you don’t have to abstain entirely.
While there are certainly some essential oils to avoid while pregnant, others are entirely safe when used as directed. In fact, these particular oils will make your pregnancy more enjoyable!
We’ll cover which essential oils you can and cannot use during pregnancy in a bit – first, let’s explain why you should use essential oils during pregnancy!
Why Use Essential Oils During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings on many changes to the body. Many women experience a wide range of symptoms. Essential Oils, when used appropriately, can help to reduce, mitigate and provide relief for the following:
- Reduce Nausea
- Calm feelings of Anxiousness
- Reduce Stress and Relaxation
- Combat Cold Symptoms
- Heighten Mood
- Ease Tense Muscles
- Decrease Hormonal Breakouts and Blemishes
Use Essential Oils During The First Trimesters To Reduce Nausea & Increase Energy
This is a very fragile time of pregnancy, and for safety purposes, we recommend no topical application at this point. We know that constituents in Essential Oils can cross over into the placenta, so you need to be extra careful.
To ease nausea, diffuse a blend of any of these oils or try them individually. Keep in mind that everyone has their own scent preferences, so if one blend doesn’t work for you, try another.
- Ginger Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- Green Mandarin Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil (do not use while nursing)
- Chamomile Essential Oil
INCREASING ENERGY LEVELS – Fatigue is a common symptom, especially during the first trimester. Grapefruit, Lemon, and Sweet Orange can be used separately or blended to use in your diffuser in the morning or as a pick-me-up in the afternoon.
Use Essential Oils During The Second Trimester To Combat A Stuffy Head While Reducing Stress & Swollen Ankles
As you enter this next stage, you begin to feel more secure in your pregnancy. At this point, topical application is considered safe, while inhalation is still being recommended. If you choose to use topically, most experts suggest using only as needed with a 1% dilution rate.
STUFFY HEAD – During pregnancy, physicians recommend avoiding a majority of over-the-counter cold medications.
However, this doesn’t mean you must suffer through the pains of a nasty head cold without any relief.
Eucalyptus, Peppermint, or Cypress can be utilized for easing both sinus and respiratory congestion. We recommend using a personal diffuser and inhaling a blend of these oils.
REDUCE STRESS AND PROMOTE RELAXATION – Stress can hit at different times in life and it is something we all must learn to manage.
During pregnancy, it is important to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Frankincense can be used to combat a variety of ailments, but we especially love it for fostering relaxation! Other uses include reducing the risk of stretch marks, aids the immune system, and improves sleep.
Lavender is also a favorite for stress relief. This soothing oil is perfect to help bring on sleep as well. Try diffusing a blend of Lavender, Frankincense, and Orange at bedtime.
SWOLLEN ANKLES – While pregnant, your blood and fluid volume increase by 50%. This excess fluid ensures the baby has access to what it needs. Oftentimes it will settle into the feet and ankles. We recommend combining a few drops of Cypress, Ginger, Lemon, and Lavender into a rollerball.
Use Essential Oils During The Third Trimester To Promote Healthy Skin While Battling Indigestion & Stretch Marks
During the third trimester, you may really begin to feel uncomfortable in your own skin as your body grows and changes. Essential Oils make a great natural remedy for many of these ailments.
HEALTHY SKIN – Hormonal breakouts can be treated with our Organic Tea Tree by applying directly to blemishes diluted with a carrier oil or added to natural soap.
INDIGESTION – Apply a few drops of Ginger and or Peppermint mixed with a carrier oil to the abdomen or the bottom of the feet. You also may diffuse these oils throughout the day to soothe indigestion symptoms.
STRETCH MARKS – Tiny tears may cause scars that appear as stretch marks for up to 90 percent of women during pregnancy. Luckily, combining a few drops of Lavender, Frankincense, and/or Helichrysum Oil with a carrier such as coconut and massaging over can soothe skin. Additionally, you could use this oil as a preventative measure to keep spreading stretch marks at bay.
What Essential Oils Are Safe During Pregnancy?
To make things easy for you, we’re going to share a list of essential oils you can use throughout your pregnancy. These have been approved by the IFPA and will pose no complications to your pregnancy when used correctly, as directed.
If you’re using a blend, you may find multiple oils are in it. You’ll need to ensure all the oils in any product you use fall under this umbrella. Similarly, avoid any diluted or synthetic essential oils. Keep in mind that these essential oils must be 100% therapeutic grade to be safe.
COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF ESSENTIAL OILS DEEMED SAFE TO USE DURING PREGNANCY BY THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AROMATHERAPISTS (IFPA):
- Black Pepper
- Chamomile German
- Chamomile Roman
- Clary Sage
- Marjoram Sweet
- Rose Otto
- Sweet Orange
- Tea Tree
- Ylang Ylang
Which Essential Oils Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?
Now, some essential oils have been linked to miscarriage or other pregnancy-related complications. To help you and your little one stay safe, avoid any essential oil blends containing the following oils:
- Anise Star
- Parsley seed or leaf
- Sweet Birch
Essential Oils For Pregnancy – Our Personal Favorites
If you are looking to purchase a few oils to help get you through pregnancy, here is a shortlist of suggested Essential Oils:
Using Essential Oils For Specific Aspects Of Your Pregnancy
As we mentioned from the beginning of this guide, certain unpleasant aspects of pregnancy can be alleviated by using essential oils.
This includes labor, postpartum/breastfeeding, and morning sickness to name a few. We want to share why we recommend you use essential oils for these occurrences, and how to go about using them!
Using Essential Oils For Labor
When the time comes to give birth, Essential Oils can be a great support system. If your doctor allows the use of a diffuser, this is a great time for a stress-relieving blend. Additionally, massaging the abdomen or back with an oil blend can encourage the progression of labor and ease discomfort.
A clinical study showed that women who smelled Lavender oil during labor reported a lower intensity of pain. Also, a separate study proved that women who inhaled Lavender at night improved their sleep quality at night postpartum.
A few oils that we recommend bringing with you in your hospital bag would be:
- Frankincense for grounding and to help regulate breathing
- Lavender to help calm and reduce pain.
- Jasmine or Clary Sage to help stimulate uterine contractions.
Using Essential Oils For Postpartum/Breastfeeding
Well, you have done it! You have successfully made it through pregnancy and childbirth but now is when the hard work really begins. With busy days and sleepless nights, dealing with a newborn is no easy task. You may find yourself mentally and physically drained, so this is a great time to look to Essential Oils again for a natural aid.
Essential Oils we recommend postpartum (These are for mama, not baby. EO’s not recommended for use with newborn babies):
- Lavender for pain relief and inflammation either from a vaginal birth or a C-section.
- Frankincense and/or Helichrysum for scar healing from surgery or deep stretch marks.
- Citrus oils like Lemon or Grapefruit to boost energy after dealing with exhaustion.
- Fennel is a good choice for breastfeeding woes; may help to improve milk supply.
- REVIVE Joy is a great blend for postpartum depression. Additionally, a study showed that a blend of Rose and Lavender decreased postnatal sadness.
- Peppermint oil is NOT recommended while nursing because it may lower milk supply.
Final Thoughts On Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy
Now you know it is possible to use essential oils during pregnancy! You also have a good grasp of which oils to use at which points of your pregnancy. Whether you’re trying to combat morning sickness, swollen ankles, indigestion, insomnia – or any other aspect of pregnancy – there is an essential oil for you.
Just be sure to consult your doctor before using essential oils throughout your pregnancy if you aren’t sure which are safe and which aren’t.
To ensure you and your little one are safe, we only recommend the use of essential oils by Revive – as we produce 100% therapeutic-grade essential oil. These are as good as you’ll find, and they’re affordable too.
All that’s left to do is head over to our shop with your list of oils – grab your diffuser, roll-ons, essential oil blends, carrier oil – whatever you need to start making your pregnancy more enjoyable!