Thursday, May 2, 2013

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Welcome to part 7 in my series on essential oils. Today I'm talking about using EO's during pregnancy. 

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed aromatherapist, midwife, doctor, or anything like that. I am not giving you medical advice. I am just providing you with information.

Can I use essential oils during pregnancy?
Yes! There are some oils that can safely be used, and they are very helpful. There are also some that can be very harmful, and even cause miscarriage; so you need to be sure that the oil you want to use is safe.

Essential oils almost always need to be diluted prior to skin application anyway, but during pregnancy it is especially important to dilute well. Your skin is more sensitive, and the oils are VERY concentrated. They also easily pass through the placenta, which isn't a bad thing, as long as you are using them properly. 

A lot of people recommend avoiding essential oils during the first trimester, especially if you have a history of miscarriage. If you would still like to use them during the first trimester, take great care to use them safely. Dilute them very heavily, and diffuse them for short periods of time. 

Do not take essential oils internally while pregnant.

Essential oils generally considered safe during the second and third trimesters:

Bergamot - Diffuse to relieve stress and uplift your spirits. 

Chamomile - Avoid during the first trimester. Helps soothe pregnancy aches and pains. Relaxing. Improves digestion. Diffuse or mix with a carrier oil for a massage. 

Cypress - Generally considered safe after the 5th month of pregnancy. This oil is very useful in treating varicose veins, swollen ankles, and possible hemorrhoids. Dilute and apply to needed area.

Eucalyptus - Helps with respiratory congestion and coughs. Antiviral. 

Frankincense -  There is conflicting information as to the safety of frankincense during pregnancy. Definitely avoid it during your first trimester. If you choose to use it after that, here are some uses.
Very soothing. May be used as a sedative. Relieves anxiety. May help cystitis. Soothes sore throats.

Geranium - Don't use during first trimester. Mix with a carrier oil and use at the end of your pregnancy, and during labor as a perineal massage oil. It is also calming, stress relieving, and anti-bacterial.

Ginger - Ginger is wonderful for soothing a queasy tummy. But some sources believe that too much ginger can cause miscarriage; so consult your health care provider, or a licensed aromatherapist before use.

Grapefruit - May help cellulite. Refreshing and energizing. May relieve headaches. May help soothe nausea. Diffuse, or dilute for topical application. 

Lavender - Use as a massage oil or diffuse for relaxation and stress relief. Some people have had success stopping early labor by rubbing it on their belly. Use a little at night to help you sleep. Too much can be stimulating. May help relieve headaches. It's a nice oil for a foot massage. ;)

Lemon - Uplifting and energizing. May help lower blood pressure and relieve the sore muscles you get from being pregnant. It can also help your digestive system, which is always helpful when pregnant! Use to ease morning sickness. May help cellulite. Dilute and apply to needed areas, or diffuse.

Lime - Energizing. Uplifting. May help ease morning sickness. Antibacterial.

Mandarin - Uplifting. Relaxing. Antiseptic; use to clean cuts and scrapes. Good for respiratory problems. Helps prevent stretch marks. Dilute for a massage oil, or diffuse. 

Neroli - Dilute and massage into skin to help prevent or heal stretch marks. Diffuse or inhale to relieve anxiety. May help stress related insomnia. Antispasmodic- helps relieve muscle cramps.

Patchouli - Antidepressant. Anti-inflammatory. Antiseptic. Calms nerves.

Rosewood - Sedative. Antiseptic.

Sandalwood - Uplifting and relaxing. Relieves nervous tension and stress. May prevent headaches. May help insomnia. Use to treat cystitis. Dilute and use as a massage oil, or diffuse.

Sweet Orange - Calming and Uplifting. Antidepressant. May help morning sickness. Dilute to use as a massage oil, or diffuse. 

Tangerine- May help reduce stretch marks. Uplifting. Helps reduce fluid retention. Use as a massage oil to increase circulation. You can also diffuse it. 

Tea Tree - Use tea tree during pregnancy to clean cuts, wounds, etc. Add it to white vinegar for an anti-bacterial all purpose cleaner. 

Ylang Ylang - Use to improve and balance your mood, and increase libido. Use as a massage oil, or diffuse. 

Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy include:

Cedar wood
Clary Sage - Can be used during labor.
Cypress - This is okay after the fifth month
Jasmine - Can be used during labor.

This is not an exhaustive list.

My favorite carrier oils are sweet almond oil and coconut oil. This is a great diffuser. 

Stay tuned for a post on using essential oils on little ones!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Linked up at Wildcrafting Wednesday  Frugally Sustainable 504 Main


  1. Thank you for such a great informative post. Very interesting.

  2. Love it! Great list to keep on hand. Thanks for all this work!

  3. Very helpful list! I've just started trying some essential oils for different things. Looking forward to your post on EO's for little ones!

  4. I think I avoided darn there every essential oil when I was pregnant.

  5. This is a great read - I'm totally sharing w/a friend who was just complaining that she couldn't find info about what oils were safe while pregnant! Just in time - thanks!

  6. Awesome resource that you've compiled!

  7. Thank you for sharing, I've never use essential oils so now you have me thinking.

  8. This is a wonderful resource. I am linking up with you over at Simply Helping Him.

  9. Great resource for us pregnant mamas! Thanks for sharing with CMB :)

  10. I didn't reaslize lemongrass should be avoided during pregnancy. any idea why?
    Thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

  11. I have never used EOs for anything other than cleaning...I'm sort of nervous about doing something wrong...I need to do more research. thanks for the info! Thank you for stopping by to link up at A Little R & R Wednesdays. I hope you'll stop by to link up again!

  12. I was lucky to have linked up after you on the Modest Monday blog. Have a great week!


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