Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Since I’m currently 27+ weeks pregnant I figured one of my first posts should be on Essential Oil use while pregnant.

*Please do not take any essential oils internally, especially during pregnancy. It’s a good idea to consult with an Aromatherapist as well as your main healthcare provider before using essential oils during pregnancy.

There’s a lot of information floating out there on what’s safe and what’s not safe when it comes to essential oil use.

But what about what’s safe during

pregnancy or breastfeeding??

The recommendation for essential oil use during pregnancy is to steer clear of any topical applications during the first trimester.

Diffusing oils from the pregnancy safe list is ok but if you’re anything like me your super sniffer won’t want anything to do with them!! I never started diffusing again until around 18wks, my nose just couldn’t handle it, not even 1 drop. Let your body/nose be the judge of what you can handle when it comes to diffusing oils.

It is recommended that you use a 30-60 min on/off rotation when diffusing essential oils.

– Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety

Chances are, you only have a select few of the most common oils kicking around. And that’s ok! The average person really only uses about 5-15 different oils on a regular basis.

The max dilution rate to be used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy is 1-4% for topical use.

I’ve put together a list of Pregnancy Safe Oils that will allow you to use what oils you have safely and confidently through your pregnancy.

The following lists are not exhaustive, I chose oils you likely would be familiar with and might own. If you are questioning a specific oil you have please email me or contact your local Aromatherapist.

Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy:

  • Benzoin – Styrax benzoin
  • Bergamot – Citrus bergamia
  • Black Pepper – Piper nigrum
  • Basil ( Sweet ) – Ocimum basilicum
  • Cajeput – Melaleuca cajeputi
  • Cardamom – Elettaria cardamom
  • Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica
  • Chamomile Roman – Anthemis nobilis
  • Chamomile German – Matricaria recutita
  • Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
  • Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens
  • Eucalyptus – globulus or radiata
  • Frankincense – Boswellia carteri
  • Geranium – Pelargonium graveolens
  • Ginger – Zingiber officinalis
  • Grapefuit – Citrus X paradisi
  • Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis
  • Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
  • Lemon – Citrus limon
  • Lime – Citrus aurantifolia
  • Mandarin – Citrus reticulata
  • Marjoram ( Sweet ) Origanum majorana
  • Neroli – Citrus aurantium
  • Orange ( Sweet ) – Citrus sinensis
  • Patchouli – Pogostemon cablin
  • Peppermint – Mentha peperita
  • Petitgrain – Cirtus aurantium var. amara
  • Rose otto – Rosa damascena
  • Sandalwood – Santalum album
  • Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Vetiver – Vetiveria zizanioides
  • Ylang ylang – Cananga odorata

Essential Oils to use with Caution During Pregnancy:

  • Lemon Basil – Ocimum citriodorum
  • Frankincense – Boswellia papyrifera
  • Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus
  • Melissa / Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis
  • Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citriodora
  • Lemon Tea Tree – Leptospermum petersonii
  • Lemon Thyme – Thymus citriodorus
  • Lemon Verbena – Aloysia citrodora

Essential Oils NOT Safe During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding ( Any Route – Diffusion, Topical, Internal ):

  • Aniseed – Pimpinella anisum
  • Birch ( Sweet ) – Betula lentz
  • Carrot Seed – Daucus carota
  • Cassia – Cinnamomum cassia
  • Cypress ( Blue ) – Callitris intratropica
  • Dill Seed – Anethum graveolens
  • Fennel ( Sweet or Bitter ) Foeniculum vulgare
  • Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis
  • Lavender ( Spanish ) – Lavandula stoechas
  • Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha
  • Oregano – Origanum heraclioticum
  • Parsley ( Leaf or Seed ) – Petroselinum sativum
  • Sage ( Common or Spanish ) – Salvia officinalis
  • Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare
  • Wintergreen – Gaultheria procumbens
  • Yarrow – Achillea millefolium

Here are some uncommon Essential Oils that fall into this category as well.

  • Wormwood – Artemisia absinthium
  • Rue – Ruta graveolens
  • Camphor – Cinnamomum camphora
  • Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris
  • Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium
  • Thuja – Thuja occidentalis

It’s a good idea to avoid all essential oils you’ve never heard of or if you are unsure of the oils botanical name.

Aromatherapy can be an excellent way to help alleviate some of the most common pregnancy-related symptoms and issues. While most of these symptoms that develop are quite minor they can be very uncomfortable.

Some of the symptoms you may or may not experience are:

  • Morning Sickness / Nausea – place a drop of peppermint oil on a tissue or piece of essential oil jewellery and sniff as needed.
  • Heartburn – Don’t eat before bed, prop yourself up to sleep. Roman Chamomile Hydrosol sprayed / rubbed into the chest may help.
  • Backache – surprisingly this can start fairly early in your pregnancy. Get lots of rest and have your partner give you a Lavender massage.
  • Insomnia – diffuse a couple drops of Lavender during bedtime or spray linens with Lavender Hydrosol.
  • Itching – stay hydrated!!!! Use a carrier oil such as Jojoba to keep the skin hydrated. Lavender baths with sea salts are also great for the skin. Remember to use a carrier oil in the tub as oil and water don’t mix!!!
  • Constipation – diet and water are extremely important during pregnancy. Back massage can also help stimulate things and get them moving.
  • Varicose Veins – elevate the legs whenever possible, cold compress on the legs and keep mobile.

Post Partum Depression ( after baby is born ) – affects many new and experienced mothers, medical help could be necessary. Try diffusing your favourite oils. Ones that lift you up and comfort you. For me those oils are Sweet Orange, Grapefruit and Vetiver.

Pregnancy is an incredible journey.

It’s full of ups and downs and the unknown but Aromatherapy has helped me to be comfortable throughout the time my body and emotions are changing at such a rapid pace.

I hope this post has given you the confidence you need to be able to use your oils safely and effectively throughout your pregnancy.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!


One thought on “Essential Oils and Pregnancy

  1. Ashley says:

    With my entire friend circle being pregnant or having children (and still nursing) its so nice to have somewhere and someone to go to for real essential oil safety!! Thank you so much Krista for being so passionate about holistic health care and our safety while obtaining a healthier life style!!

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