Essential oils are a fantastic natural alternative during and after pregnancy. Many oils are also are the key ingredients in aromatherapy treatments and natural beauty products, because of the strength of some essential oils, I am very cautious of over-using them and I always ensure that my family and Pre and Post Natal Clients use them safely. The best way is to educate yourself, consult with your Doctor before use and ensure you are using a quality essential oil.
I personally only use and recommend dōTERRA essential oils as they are thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. Plus dōTERRA have have a set international standard that reassures dōTERRA oils can be used with confidence during and after pregnancy. Learn more here.
Why use Essential Oils during Pregnancy ?
The benefits associated with using essential oils are bountiful while pregnant. Essential oils can assist in the relief of pregnancy-related issues including nausea, swollen ankles and aches and pains. Essential oils can also help you feel relaxed, calm and balanced. Alternatively, if you need a boost of energy, there are a variety of oils to help boost your vitality and help to make you feel more energised and uplifted. Essential oils can also help you concentrate and aid in decision-making – hello baby brain ! I always use oils in my diffuser on my desk for this reason.
When enjoyed in a diffuser or vapouriser essential oils are a safe and an excellent way to feel uplifted and energised during pregnancy. It is only when applied directly to your skin that some warnings apply.
As a general rule, essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil in a 3-5% solution. On practical level this is 3-5 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil (and much less if using on a baby or child). Undiluted use on the skin can cause irritation or an allergic reaction in some people as most oils are pretty potent. What I love about dōTERRA essential oils is that you can purchase ready to use blends with carrier oil in little 9ml roll ons. These are fantastic for travel and can be used any time as you don’t need to worry about safe measurements for blending. See image below of my favourite selections for my family and I.
Safe essential oils during pregnancy
Orange and Wild Orange: This essential oil is said to make you feel calm and uplifted.
Lavender: Safe for use after 1st trimester (or 12 weeks), lavender is a fabulous oil to feel serene, relaxed and balanced. It also eases pregnancy aches and pains, reduces fluid retention and sore breasts. Best of all I call it liquid sleep – I rub it on my feet and my kids feet every evening diluted with fractionated coconut oil and it helps avoid restlessness.
Cardamon, Ginger and Spearmint: are fantastic essential oils for relieving nausea. doTERRA oils are food safe so 1-2 drops of any of these oils can be added to your favourite recipes or a glass of water to help ease morning sickness.
Ylang ylang: This great all-rounder is a must-have during pregnancy. It helps soothe and release stress, a few drops in the bath are lovely or diffused during labour can have a soothing effect.
Neroli: For those experiencing anxiety or pregnancy nerves, neroli helps you feel relaxed and tranquil. It also boosts your skin cell regeneration so you look and feel great too.
Eucalyptus: This oil is fabulous if you’re feeling a little congested as it acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral to ease symptoms of respiratory congestion. I also love to make my own toxic free cleaning products using eucalyptus oil.
Tea tree oil: To be used only during pregnancy and not during labour, tea tree oil is an antifungal and antiviral oil that can ease the symptoms of thrush during pregnancy.
Cypress: Is safe for use in pregnancy after five months. It helps to relieve varicose veins, soothe swollen ankles and hemorrhoids. I love to diffuse Cypress with Lime essential oil for a refreshing and invigorating scent.
Mix together Cypress and Grapefruit essential oil with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for an wonderful massage oil for use during labour, or add a few drops of these both these oils to a warm wash cloth and gently inhale during contractions.
Sandalwood: can promote a smooth complexion, and can also be helpful in reducing the appearance of skin imperfections such as pigmentation during pregnancy. Sandalwood is a natural sedative and anti-depressant and also eases cystitis during pregnancy. One of my favourites is dōTERRA’s Hawaiian Sandalwood – it reminds me of a tropical holiday with a divine woody/honey scent.
Patchouli: If you struggle to control your racing thoughts, pick up some patchouli and feel clear-headed and in control again. Patchouli is renowned to alleviate apathy, indecision and confusion. It is a great oil to keep on you for those ‘foggy/baby brain’ days. Patchouli is regularly used in the perfume industry as well as in scented products such as laundry detergents and air fresheners – so I love this oil for many a toxic free alternatives.
Geranium: Great for boosting energy and promoting circulation, geranium is safe to use after the first three months of pregnancy. It also relieves aching legs and helps you to feel refreshed. Geranium is also fantastic for both dry and oily hair. Apply a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle, or make your own deep hair conditioner.
Frankincense : Is often called the ‘King of Oils” Frankincese is wonderful to repair and avoid stretchmarks. Also a touch of Frankincense behind the ears assists in preventing headaches. Frankincense is now my chosen “perfume” to wear. Whenever I wear it I always receive compliments as Frankincense is used as the foundation in many expensive perfumes. Using Frankincense in its purest form in small amounts makes a wonderful chemical free alternative to other manufactured scents.
Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy
Some of the below oils are toxic, or have an emmenagogue action, which means they promote menstruation. During pregnancy, the following oils should be avoided but again please check with your health practitioner before the use of any oils.
Aniseed, Angelica, Basil, Black pepper, Camphor, Cinnamon, Chamomile, Clary Sage (often used during labor by midwives safely), clove, fennel, fir, ginger, horseradish (should not be used by anyone), Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Mustard, Mugwart (should not be used by anyone), Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wintergreen.
Peppermint essential oil may decrease milk supply while nursing, and as such, I suggest avoiding it topically while nursing, however it is ok to diffuse.
Also if you have a history of miscarriage, epilepsy, heart problems, diabetes, liver, thyroid or kidney disease or blood clotting problems I suggest giving essential oils a miss during pregnancy.
Where can I find quality essential oils ?
Feeling a little tired or lethargic ? Why not take advantage of your pregnancy superwoman sense of smell and enjoy the health and well-being benefits associated with essential oil use.
Combining regular exercise during and after pregnancy together with some beautiful oils will make you feel fantastic !
Or find out more how you can purchase your own quality oils here.