Essential Oils 101 – Pregnancy & Oils

Today we’re covering one of my favorite topics! Oils and pregnancy. Why is it my favorite? Because oils are awesome for this 9 month stretch full of crying, heartburn, cleaning, barfing….. and probably more crying.

I feel like as all of these rad medical advances go on throughout time, the list of crap you can’t do while you’re knocked up gets longer. Which sucks. Essential oils aren’t one of them luckily.  But like oils and children, this topic has a tendency to get you a whole lot of “make sure you don’t use” kind of comments. We’re going to cover oils you can’t use, whether essential oils can cause harm to your baby and some cool ways you can use oils while.

Before I give you the list of oils to be careful with during your pregnancy, I want to say if these oils are in a favorite blend you use, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It is most likely in such a low dose, it wouldn’t pose any harm to you or your sweet babe. Especially if you dilute.

The meh list.

Here is the list of oils that are risky to use during pregnancy. I compiled this list from NAHA and my aromatherapy books (regular name in bold, Latin name in parenthesis):

Aniseed(Pimpinella anisum); Balsamite (Tanacetum balsamite); Basil ct. estragole (Ocimum basilicum); Birch (Betula lenta); Buchu (Agathosma betulina); Camphor aka ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora); Indian Dill Seed (Anethum Graveolens); Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis); Ho Leaf (C. camphora) Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris); Oakmoss (Evernia pruastri); Parsley seed or leaf (Petroselinum sativum); Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium); Perilla (Perilla frutescens); Pfitzer Juniper (Juniperus xpfitzeriana); Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Sage (Salvia officinalis); Spanish Lavender (Lavandula Stoechas); Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare); Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus); Thuja (Thuja occidentalis); Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens); Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

You’ll notice that most of these are not common, some of them aren’t even commercially available.

The only miscarriage that I know of due to essential oil usage is when a pregnant woman tried to use essential oils to abort her baby and ended up accidentally killing herself also.  That unfortunate situation should show you it takes A LOT to be any harm to your baby, so much so that it would most likely pose harm to yourself also. There have also not been any known birth defects caused by essential oils to my knowledge.Happy New Year!

Lastly, there are two that I didn’t see on any list but feel inclined to mention. There’s hearsay among midwives that peppermint can turn your baby. There’s no medical evidence I know of that’s supports this, but enough people have brought it up that it’s worth mentioning. Clary sage is also an emmenagogue which means it can gets some contractions going, so be careful with that one. If it’s in a blend that’s fine but I would avoid using it straight. I used it in last week of my third trimester on my ankles and it got a few going but nothing after that. Again, that just my own personal experience. So do with that information what you will.


Stick to the facts.

Don’t follow just anyone’s opinions. If someone isn’t dropping bombs of fact supported knowledge on you, then just smile and nod boo… SMILE AND NOD. Don’t discount their advice, just ingest it and compare it to the other evidence you’ve received and make an educated decision. Like you do when choosing breast or bottle, regular or cloth diapers, the list goes on. If you want an excellent resource to look up medical research and oils check out PubMed. You type in some words (i.e. pregnancy and essentials oils) and they give you a ginormous list of medical studies that were done using essential oils and the outcome.

Awesome ways to use oils when you’re fertile mertile.

Digestive System: Because that’s about the least reliable thing in your body when you’re pregnant. Apply Digize in a clockwise motion around your belly button to help with occasional heartburn or constipation associated with pregnancy. Also diffuse peppermint for occasional bouts of nausea.

Sleep: Lavender, Cedarwood and Peace and Calming are my jam for a restful night’s sleep. Apply them o your feet and diffuse them and night.

Labor: Try diffusing floral and citrus oils. Take a crockpot and fill it with 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of almond oil and 10 drops each of Lavender and Gentle Baby. Put some clean dishcloths in and set that sucker on keep warm and you’ve got yourself a continuous supply of comforting hot towels.

It’s that simple.

A drop of lemon in your water will be fine, I personally try to not go HAM when I ingest oils while pregnant. I usually stick to it in foods or a drop here and there in my drinks. Apply them topically however you normally do, just reduce the dose by a few drops and check out my topical post for preggo dilution ratios if you want to. Diffuse as you normally do. The fact that you’re reading this and looking up essential oil safety in the first place shows that you will be just fine friend!



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