List of Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Are essential oils safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding? This is a common question among mom-to-be or new moms.

Some oils are safe to make use of while pregnant as long as they are diluted properly. And you should completely stay away from the ones that can be harmful to you or your baby. We list bad and good ones in this post.

But before we go further, lets examine what essential oils are and why pregnant women or lactating moms use them.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are similar to plant oils except they are highly concentrated. They are extracted from plants, leaves and stems  through distillation process.

Essential oils have been around for over 5000 years and are used for healing, food and mood.

They also carry the scents of the plants in which they are extracted from.

Are Essential Oils Safe to use during pregnancy?

Pregnant women and moms use essential oils as a natural remedy for morning sickness, dry nipples, and for treatment of diaper rash in babies, swollen feet and ankles. And also relieve stress .

So they are safe to use in second and third trimesters and as long as you use the right ones.

Pregnant women are advised to stay away from essential oils in their first trimester.

For example Clary sage is used for inducing labour, so stay away from it if you are not trying to induce yourself.

If you have an history of miscarriage or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, you will need to stay away from these oils as well.

During pregnancy and after birth we want to do everything possible to keep ourselves and babies safe and healthy.

Safe Oils to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Here is a list of oils that you can use. Remember to use sparingly and dilute with carrier oils as necessary.

These oils should not be indigested but rather applied to skin or inhaled.

If you are in your first trimester and you feel like you have to use an essential oil, ask your midwife or doctor first.

Here are a list of oils that are safe for use:

  • Peppermint (Alleviate stomach upset and Nausea)
  • Geranium ( For treating nausea, gas and bloating)
  • Tree tea oil​ (For pregnancy acne)
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Cypress
  • Spearmint
  • Frankincense
  • Blackpepper
  • German Chamomile
  • Citrus oils
  • Lavender (For stress, depression and anxiety)
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Mandarins​

List of essential oils to Avoid While  Pregnant or Nursing

According to Naha.org these are the oils to stay away from:

  • Aniseed
  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Camphor
  • Citronella​
  • Hyssop
  • Lavandula Stoechas​
  • Mugwort
  • Nutmeg​
  • Parsley seed or leaf
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rosemary​
  • Rue​
  • Oakmoss​
  • *Clary sage
  • Tansy
  • Tarragon
  • Thuja
  • Wintergreen
  • ​Wormwood

Note: Clary sage can be used during labour and child birth only.

How to Choose Essential OILs when Pregnant

Your safety and your baby's safety should be you No1 priority at this stage.

Different brands of oil have different composition and constituents and quality. A brand like doterra or young living is safe to use.  Use according to the Aromatherapy saftey guidelines for pregnant women.

Be on the look out for quality, chemical composition, testing procedures

How to use Essential OILs when Pregnant

  • Never ingest essential oil orally as this could be toxic to you or your baby
  • If possible avoid essential oil in the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy)
  • The best method of application is through inhalation or diffusion.​

Where to Buy

Essential oils ca be bought online or on the high street. Just make sure you check the quality.

Remember to consult your doctor or midwife if you want to use essential oil during your pregnancy or while nursing your newborn baby. 

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