Essential Oils and Pregnancy
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”- Rajneesh Oh, pregnancy! It is such a beautiful and rewarding time in a woman’s life. Your body is undertaking the most incredible job, creating another life. While pregnancy is the miracle of life, it brings major changes to your body and emotions. Your physical body grows and organs move to make way for the baby and your hormones feel out of whack, plus you can suffer from morning sickness and fatigue. Of course, natural products are a must when taking care of yourself during the journey. Any other time you would reach for your go-to essential oil blend without hesitation but now, you must think about the baby first.
Is it safe to use essential oils while pregnant?
When used properly many essential oils can be safe for pregnant and nursing women, however, we always recommend talking with a trusted medical professional or aromatherapist before usage. It is important to acknowledge that there are standard safe practices in regard to using essential oils while pregnant. Below we are going to go through the do’s and don’ts of essential oil use during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can bring on heightened senses. This can include skin sensitivity and a heightened sense of smell. When it comes to topical application, you do want to make sure that your essential oils are heavily diluted during this special time. The general guideline is to always use a 1% dilution rate. This is to help avoid any skin irritation as well as avoid nausea when that sense of smell is working overtime. When diffusing, it is recommended to follow safe diffusion guidelines. Use 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100ml of water in the diffuser. Diffuse in 30-60 minute intervals with break periods for safe and effective use.
Which Essential Oils Can I Use?
As an expectant mother, it is important to know which essential oils are safe and which ones can be potentially dangerous for mommy and baby. Below we have provided a list of essential oils that are considered safe or dangerous during pregnancy. (Please keep in mind that this list is not complete and only contains oils that Rocky Mountain Oils currently carries.)
- Basil- Ocimum basilicum
- Black Seed - Nigella sativa
- Carrot Seed - Daucus carota
- Cinnamon Bark - Cinnamomum zeylanicum
- Clove Bud - Syzygium aromaticum
- Fennel (bitter & sweet) - Foeniculum vulgare
- Hyssop (pinocamphone ct.) - Hyssopus officinalis ct. pinocamphone
- Myrrh - Commiphora myrrha
- Oregano - Origanum vulgare
- Ravintsara (camphor ct.) - Cinnamomum camphora ct.
- Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole
- Sage - Salvia officinalis
- Thyme - Thymus vulgaris
- Wintergreen - Gaultheria fragrantissima
Oils To Use Sparingly
The below oils we recommend using at a very high dilution rate .5% - 1%. You can learn more about how to dilute your oils here.
- Lemon - Citrus x limon
- Lemongrass - Cymbopogon citratus
- Litsea cubeba (May Chang) - Litsea cubeba
- Melissa - Melissa officinalis
Generally Safe Oils
- Bergamot FCF - Citrus bergamia
- Black pepper - Piper nigrum
- Chamomile German - Chamomilla recutita
- Chamomile Roman - Chamaemelum nobile
- Cypress - Cupressus sempervirens
- Frankincense - Boswellia carterii
- Geranium - Pelargonium graveolens
- Ginger Root - Zingiber officinale
- Grapefruit - Citrus x paradisi
- Juniper Berry - Juniperus communis
- Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia
- Marjoram Sweet - Origanum majorana
- Neroli (Orange Blossoms) - Citrus x aurantium
- Petitgrain (Orange Leaf)- Citrus aurantium
- Rose Otto - Rosa x damascena
- Sandalwood - Santalum album
- Sweet Orange - Citrus sinensis
- Tea Tree - Melaleuca alternifolia
- Ylang Ylang - Cananga odorata genuina
Why Use Essential Oils While Pregnant
Essential oils can be extremely beneficial for those pregnant bodies as long as they are used appropriately and responsibly. Why would we want to use essential oils during pregnancy? They can offer:
- Stress Relief and Relaxation
- Uplift Spirit and Emotions
- Help Ease Nausea
- Assistance With Achy and Tense Muscles
- Skin Nourishing Properties
- Just for the Smell Goods!
Here are some easy and fun recipes that include pregnancy safe oils and proper dilution
Massage My Feet
- 1 Drop Cypress
- 1 Drop Juniper Berry
- 1 Drop Sweet Marjoram
- 1 Drop Frankincense Carterii
- 3tsp Carrier Oil (Fractionated Coconut Oil or Almond Oil)
Mix essential oils and carrier oil together and massage into feet and legs as needed.
Smooth Baby Bump
- 2 tsp Better Butter
- 1 Drop Lavender Greece
- 1 Drop Roman Chamomile
- 1 Drop Frankincense Carterii
Melt 2 teaspoons of Better Butter in the palm of your hand, add essential oils and apply to your baby bump for smooth skin.
Spring Baby Diffuser Blend
- 2 Drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 Drops Orange
- 2 Drops Bergamot FCF
Morning Sickness Diffuser Blend
- 1 Drop Ginger Root
- 1 Drop Black Pepper
- 1 Drop Lavender Greece
- 1 Drop Grapefruit
* Safety Precaution* Please do not use essential oils while pregnant or breastfeeding if taking medication or have known allergies or sensitivities. Immediately discontinue uses if experiencing adverse reactions. Always check with a trusted and trained medical professional, aromatherapist, or midwife before use as medical history, current condition and medications need to be taken into consideration.
Tisserand, R., Young, R. Essential Oil Safety, second edition. London. Churchill Livingston, 2014
- Naha Safety - Pregnancy:
- IFPA Guidelines : Guidelines for Aromatherapists working with pregnant clients
- Aromahead Aromatherapy