Despite all of those sensationalized blog post you might read online, essential oils are overall extremely safe to use during pregnancy, and yes, even on children.
I myself am a non-conservative. I like to try things out on myself, see how it feels in my body and make an assessment based on that. I tend to fall into the “give it a try” camp. However, some people are much more conservative and will try anything if there is even the smallest, most microscopic chance of a bad reaction. I’m not saying they are wrong, it’s just a different school of thought.
Ultimately, you need to make your own decisions, but overall, if you are generally healthy, use common sense, and listen to your body, you should be able to use essential oils safely and without worry.
That being said, there are some general guidelines to be aware of when using essential oils while pregnant.
Safety Tips for Essential Oils Use in Pregnancy:
- If you are brand new to essential oils start out slow. Just start by introducing 1 drop of oil to the bottom of your feet and tune in to see how your body reacts. Increase usage slowly over the next few weeks. Essential oils are strong substances that can create significant (positive) change in the body, but if you’re brand new you want to avoid too much change too fast.
- In general I recommend to always dilute with a carrier oils, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc. This will help it absorb more gently into the skin.
- Never put a citrus oil (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, bergamot, etc) onto skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight within 48 hours.
- Always use a good quality, therapeutic grade essential oil. It is estimated that 94-96% of oils on the market today are adulterated someone (diluted or mixed with synthetic chemicals…yuck!). Unfortunately, even though a label might say “100% Pure Therapeutic Grade” it doesn’t mean it is. There is very little regulation regarding essential oil labeling so it’s essential (pun!) to trust the source of your essential oils. For me, I like and trust Young Living Essential Oils. I’ve obsessed over the research with this, and these guys are LEGIT!
Oils that should be used with SOME CAUTION (according to conservative thinkers):
- Angelica, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cistus, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cuman, Cypress, Davana, Fennel, Laurel, Marjoram, Mountain Savory, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Rose, Vetiver, Yarrow
Oils that should be AVOIDED (according to conservative thinkers):
- Basil, Birch, Calmus, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Basil, White Fir, Wintergreen, Thyme, Sage, Tarragon.
Download this free printable “cheat sheet” for safe essential oil use during pregnancy and also get my best recipes for common pregnancy and postpartum concerns:
Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy
- LAVENDER – Often called the swiss army knife of essential oils, lavender is awesome for helping calm a pregnant mama’s occasional anxiety and reducing stress. Lavender is also wonderful to add to a relaxing epsom salt bath or to make into a linen spray to spray on sheets and pillows for a most restful sleep. Another great trait of lavender is that is amazing for skin. Slip a few drops into a homemade lotion and there you will have luxurious, relaxing lotion for a pregnant mommy. I kept lavender on hand constantly during my pregnancy because of my increase risk of preterm labor. Sure enough my baby tried to make her entrance into this world around 32 weeks gestation. As soon as I felt signs I lathered my lower belly with Lavender as we went to the hospital. After a few hours the contractions had completely stopped and I was able to go home on bed rest. After that I routinely applied lavender to my belly until I had the all clear form the Midwife to let labor happen. 1 day later I had my baby girl! Keep in mind this effect when you are actually in labor as you would not want to use lavender too soon in fear of it stalling or slowing down the progress.
- FRANKINCENSE – By far my favorite oil! So heavenly! Used for 1000’s of years, Frankincense is wonderful to reduce stretch marks and help soothe the skin. It is also a multi-use oil and supports the immune system. Many pregnant ladies struggle with a decreased immune system during pregnancy. Apply to the feet or down the spine in order to support the body to help it fight off any yucky bugs during pregnant months.
- PEPPERMINT – Oh Peppermint! Let me count the ways. Did you know that 1 drop of Young Living Peppermint oil is equal to 26 cups of peppermint tea! No wonder it works so well. This stuff is SAFE AND POWERFUL! Use for that dreaded morning sickness, headaches, congestion, and even for those sore muscles! Dilute with a carrier oil (unless your crazy like my sister, who, in her own word, “loves the burn!”). Note: For some women (me included) peppermint oil can decrease milk supply, so be cautious of this when breastfeeding. I learned that the hard way!
- GENTLE BABY – (YOUNG LIVING BLEND)– Gentle babies has so many uses. Awesome for the skin and encourages a feeling of peace. Many mom’s love to have this blend around. It can also help encourage healthy skin and works great in a belly cream.
- PEACE AND CALMING– (YOUNG LIVING BLEND)– Super helpful for helping a pregnant mama sleep well and give her an over all sense of well being .Peace and Calming should be in every pregnant mommy’s purse. This essential oil is also fantastic at calming down a crying baby too!
- DIGIZE – (YOUNG LIVING BLEND)– This amazing essential oils blend is known to help mama’s with stomach discomfort or digestive issues. It is MAGICAL! Just apply it to the top of the belly or swipe it on the inside of your cheek or under the tongue. The results are awesome! Sometimes if my belly is really upset I will take 4 drops in a capsule.
- NINGXIA RED – Just 1-4 ounces a day of “ninja juice” is said to hold the nutritional value of 42 heads of broccoli. Is that even possible? This is a powerful antioxidant drink from Young Living. Ningxia Red is awesome to help pregnant moms to maintain healthy blood sugar balance. Tales have been told that mama’s who drink Ningxia Red during their pregnancy have the most amazing looking strong, healthy placentas! I noticed a HUGE difference between my first and second postpartum experiences. My first I was not using essential oils or drinking Ningxia Red and my postpartum period was loooong and rough! Very emotional and I felt weak for a very long time. My second postpartum I had been drinking Ningxia Red for a few months already and my postpartum experience was COMPLETELY different. I had way more energy, much fewer emotional trials, and I felt back to normal within a week! Get started with Ningxia Red and get a Wholesale pass to Young Living by getting the Ningxia Premium Starter Kit HERE. (Select “Member account” then follow instructions.
These are just some of my favorites, but there are TONS and TONS of uses for essential oils during pregnancy. Want to know more? Pick up a copy of Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern
Remember, a very small amount goes a very long way. It is also very helpful to dilute essential oils is a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or Young Living’s V-6 oil if you are applying them topically. I just use a small bit of carrier oil and a drop or two of essential oil in the palm of my hand to make it super easy.