If you want to combine essential oils and pregnancy, you need to take extra care to use only oils 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:
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 include 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.
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:
According to Allison, essential oils safe to use during labor include:
She also offers specific recommendations for the different stages of labor. Of course, consult a professional healthcare provider if you have any complications or medical conditions.
Although this list may not be complete, the following oils are ones that aromatherapy experts generally recommend you avoid if you are pregnant.
Using only the best quality essential oils during pregnancy is more important than ever.