Essential Oils in Pregnancy – Why the Frenzy?
When I was pregnant with my precious bundle, I would be paranoid about the safety of literally EVERYTHING, like whether it was safe to eat a piece of pineapple or papaya, whether I could exercise, whether I could drink cold items, and the list goes on and on. I’m sure many pregnant mamas can relate with me!
Funnily enough, when it came to using essential oils in pregnancy, I seemingly forgot to be paranoid about whether I could use them or not, which is alarming because lack of knowledge about which essential oils are safe in pregnancy can seriously put the life of your growing baby in danger. Luckily enough, I only used a few essential oils that turned out to be safe in pregnancy when used topically such as lavender, frankincense, eucalyptus and tea tree oils.
But why all the hype when it comes to using essential oils in pregnancy? It is because the low molecular weight and fat-solubility of the components found in essential oils make it easy for them to cross the placenta and reach the fetus. That is why it is best to stay away from essential oils that have been found to be unsafe in pregnancy, especially if they are known to have abortive effects.
Essential Oils in Pregnancy – Safety First
Since essential oils are extremely potent concentrations of plant essences, caution is always advised with their use especially where babies, children, expectant mothers, lactating mothers and those with allergies are concerned.
Even perfectly healthy adults may find themselves reacting negatively to an essential oil, and since there are over hundreds of essential oils, there’s no better way of knowing if you’re allergic to an oil than doing a simple patch test.
A patch test is done by simply placing a few drops of essential oil mixed in a teaspoon of carrier oil and applying it on the inner wrist, where the skin is particularly sensitive. Wait for 2 – 6 hours to check for any adverse reactions, such as redness, itchiness or rashes.
Tips for Essential Oil Use in Pregnancy
- Always do a patch test before using an essential oil, especially if you are new to essential oils.
- Never use anything less than 100% pure, therapeutic grade, organic essential oils, pregnant or not.
- To be on the safe side, essential oils should not be used in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- When diffusing essential oils, only use a few drops at a time and do not diffuse for more than one hour at a time.
- Always dilute essential oils appropriately in a carrier oil before topical application.
- Do not ingest essential oils during pregnancy.
Which Essential Oils Are Safe in Pregnancy?
Here are some of the essential oils that can be used during pregnancy:
» Citrus Oils (such as Orange Essential Oil, Neroli Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil): Got the pregnancy blues? A few drops of citrus essential oils can help uplift your spirits, put you in a jovial mood and banish the blues.
» Lavender Essential Oil (where to get it): Calms, relaxes and balances nervous tension and anxiety in pregnant mothers.
» Tea Tree Oil (where to get it): Highly antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial, tea tree oil can be used to treat thrush in pregnancy. It should not be used during labor, or during the first trimester.
» Ginger Essential Oil (where to get it): Alleviates nausea in pregnancy.
» Eucalyptus Essential Oil (where to get it): Great for relieving respiratory congestion and headaches.
» Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (where to get it): Relieves tension, calms the mind, reduces blood pressure, is an aphrodisiac and is a magical-smelling essential oil that reduces blood pressure, is an aphrodisiac and is a magical-smelling essential oil that can help you throughout your pregnancy.
» Sandalwood Essential Oil (where to get it): A spiritual scent that is sedative in nature, relieves depression and promotes peaceful sleep.
» Frankincense Essential Oil (where to get it): Another spiritual and grounding oil that has anti-depressant properties, boosts immune system and promotes youthful skin.
» Cypress Essential Oil (where to get it): Helps reduce varicose veins and with ankle swelling during pregnancy. Use after the first trimester.
Other safe essential oils during pregnancy include:
- Cedarwood Essential Oil
- Coriander Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Geranium Essential Oil
- Copaiba Essential Oil
- Black Pepper Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
- Pachouli Essential Oil
- Rosewood Essential Oil
- Thyme Essential Oil
- Vetiver Essential Oil
- Dill Weed Essential Oil
- Blue Tansy Essential Oil
- Fir Needle Essential Oil
- Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- Spruce Essential Oil
- Petitgrain Essential Oil
- Rosalina Essential Oil
Which Essential Oils Should Be Avoided in Pregnancy?
The following essential oils should be limited or totally avoided during pregnancy, as they are thought to be emmenagogues, to induce premature contractions or have possible abortive effects:
- Bitter Almond Essential Oil
- Basil Essential Oil
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil
- Fennel Essential Oil
- Jasmine Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Mustard Essential Oil
- Nutmeg Essential Oil
- Oregano Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Sage Essential Oil
- Stinging Nettle Essential Oil
What to Do if There’s No Information Concerning your Essential Oil?
Do you have an essential oil whose safety you are unsure about during pregnancy? To stay on the safe side, avoid it completely. If you really want to use it, then please consult your health care practitioner for further information.