Essential Oils and Pregnancy:
Suggestions and Precautions

If you want to combine essential oils and pregnancy, you need to take extra precautions to use only oils that are safe for both you and the baby.

I'm going to give you some information from Allison England's book Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby. Allison is a nurse and aromatherapist who operates an aromatherapy clinic for mothers and babies in the UK.

Rather than looking at essential oils to avoid, let's look at how Allison says you can use aromatherapy in pregnancy. For any use, she recommends a one percent (1%) dilution:

  • To 3.5 ounces (100 ml or 7 tablespoons) of carrier oil, add 25 drops essential oil.
  • To 1/3 ounce (10 ml or 2 teaspoons) carrier oil, add 2 drops essential oil.

Bergamot: Mix with water in a spray bottle and use as an air freshener.

Cypress: Use after the fifth month for problems associated with sluggish circulation, such as fluid retention, cramps, and varicose veins.

Eucalyptus globulus: Use to help clear mucous and congestion.

Roman chamomile: Use for relaxation with massage, skin care, baths, or diffusion.

Lavender: Use for relaxation or to help relieve headaches with massage, skin care, baths, or diffusion. Some sources have suggested that lavender isn't safe to use during pregnancy. However, Robert Tisserand, considered one of the top authorities on essential oils in the world, wrote a detailed blog post exploring myths and misinformation about lavender and pregnancy and looking at available research and scientific information. He concludes that all indications point to lavender as completely safe to use when you're pregnant.

Other essential oils you can use during pregnancy: lemon, mandarin, neroli, petitgrain, sandalwood, tea tree, and ylang-ylang. See Allison's book for specific recipes for specific discomforts of pregnancy.

She suggests inhaling lemon for morning sickness but notes it doesn't work for everyone. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art suggests inhaling spearmint.

Preventing Stretch Marks

To help prevent stretch marks, massage this blend daily onto your hips, stomach,  thighs, and breasts throughout pregnancy and afterward until you return to your usual weight:

  • 4 tablespoons (80 ml) almond oil
  • 1 tablespoon (20 ml) avocado oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of either neroli or mandarin or tangerine essential oil

Essential Oils For Labor

According to Allison, essential oils safe to use during labor include:

  • Rose: Make a massage oil using rose and lavender for gentle massage during labor.
  • Neroli helps with breathing: Place 1 or 2 drops on a tissue to inhale, make a room spray, or use in a diffuser.
  • Lavender is calming. In addition to using in a massage oil with rose, you can diffuse lavender in the room.
  • Geranium helps balance emotions. Use in a room spray or diffuser.
  • Ylang ylang helps relieve fear and depression. Use in a room spray or diffuser.

She also offers specific recommendations for the different stages of labor. For more information, see these books about essential oils and pregnancy. Of course, consult a professional healthcare provider if you have any complications or medical conditions.

Essential Oils To Avoid During Pregnancy

Although this list may not be complete, the following oils are ones that aromatherapy experts generally recommend you avoid if you are pregnant.

  • Wintergreen
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Savory
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Parsley
  • Myrrh
  • Melissa
  • Marjoram
  • Juniper
  • Jasmine
  • Hyssop
  • Fennel
  • Clove
  • Clary Sage
  • Cinnamon
  • Cedarwood
  • Camphor
  • Basil
  • Aniseed
  • Angelica

Making sure you use only the best quality essential oils is more important than ever (my recommendation).



Photo Credit: 10-IMG_3437 via Photopin CC

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