Pregnancy is such an incredibly special time for women who experience it, but as any pregnant woman will tell you; sometimes it’s not all nursery design and daydreaming.
Growing a human can come with a host of physical challenges, and a woman’s options for medications during pregnancy are very limited.
From the occasional nausea associated with that first trimester, to the aches and pains of a woman’s changing body in the final few months, essential oils can be a safe and effective alternative when it comes to helping the pregnant woman simply feel better.
The problem that poor expecting mothers face today, is the internet. The amount of fear based, uneducated, and unfounded information floating around on ‘mommy blogs’ today is astounding to me. These posts are liked and shared by the thousands because our society operates with a fear based mentality. We crave it.
I’m not here to tell you what you should, and shouldn’t do throughout your pregnancy and with your babies when it comes to essential oils – or anything else, for that matter.
I would like though, to empower you to make up your own mind, do your own research, and make decisions based on your own comfort level.
Now, I can’t stress this enough. It’s true that doTERRA essential oils are completely natural and pure. But just because something is from nature, doesn’t mean it can’t have powerful effects on the body’s systems, even affecting things like your hormones.
This is amazing news for us, because it gives us a natural alternative that works. But it’s important to know what’s safe and what’s not safe, especially when taking them while pregnant or nursing, and using them on your precious newborn.
Let’s start with the positives.
Many essential oils are considered completely safe during pregnancy by a wide variety of sources, especially after the first trimester.
And particularly when it comes to aromatic use, as well as diluted use of certain essential oils topically.
Beautiful Ways to use Essential Oils Uses During Pregnancy and Birth
- Morning Nausea: Both Ginger and Peppermint can be helpful, as well as the ‘Digestive Blend’ which contains both. Ginger has been used for thousands of years as an effective digestive aid and actually helps to block nausea receptors in the brain. Topically, you can dilute and apply a couple of drops on the ears and down the jaw line. Aromatically, you can diffuse the oil, or try inhaling directly from your hands, an essential oil nasal inhaler, a simple tissue, or just the bottle itself.
- Breasts: Lavender and Geranium can be very soothing for sore breasts when diluted and massaged on location.
- Perineum Support: Dilute a few drops of Geranium, Frankincense, Lavender, and/or Helichrysum and massage perineum prior to, and during birth.
- Encouraging and Onset of Labor: Clary Sage especially can assist with effective contractions, and can be blended with lavender. Myrrh can also be used to help start labour up again when stalled. Apply a few drops around ankles or diluted on abdomen.
Diffusing during Labor: Calming Blend (‘Serenity’), Grounding Blend (‘Balance’), Wild Orange, or Joyful Blend (‘Elevation’).
- Pain support during Labor: The Massage Blend (‘Aromatouch’) can be helpful for increasing circulation and soothing. The Soothing Blend (‘Deep Blue’) can also be topically applied on the lower back, and Black Pepper can be especially helpful for soothing pain from back labor as well.
- Postpartum Cramping: The Women’s Monthly Blend (‘Clary calm’) is amazing rubbed on the abdomen. White fir and Lavender is another combination you might like to try.
Lactation (Milk Production): Fennel and/or basil can be helpful for increasing production. While on the other hand, peppermint can actually decrease production for some. If you are intentionally trying to reduce production; dilute and apply peppermint with a cold compress.
- Breast Pain/Blockages: Dilute Lavender, Frankincense, and/or Clary Sage, and massage breasts. Add a few drops to bathwater.
*Note: I would not advise adding essential oils to a birthing pool during the birth process if you are using a pool. Essential Oils tend to float on top of the water, which could put your baby at risk for burns on their brand new skin, or accidental ingestion.
Respiratory Support During Labor: Respiratory Blend (‘Easy Air’, or ‘Breathe’), inhaled or diluted on chest.
*Fennel should not be used for more than 10 days at a time, as it can excessively increase flow through the urinary tract.
Oils you may want to avoid during pregnancy
It’s extremely difficult to nail down a list of oils to avoid during pregnancy. Every expert seems to have a different opinion. In fact, in general there is little to no research to prove which products are actually harmful for a pregnant woman, which makes navigating these waters tricky, not to mention stressful for first-time moms.
Most pregnancy guidance is founded on the ‘better safe than sorry’ mentality, and thankfully so. It can be helpful to talk with a midwife about which essential oils you should use, or not use, simply for your own peace of mind.
One of the biggest concerns with most natural remedies is that many of them are considered uterine stimulants in high doses.
I don’t claim to be an essential oil expert or medical professional in any way. However, I’ve compiled a list of oils for you that seem to be cautioned against, in some respect, across the board for use during pregnancy. You will find many lists that are longer, just as you will find many of those oils on other lists under ‘safe for use in pregnancy’.
Single Oils that are probably better to avoid on their own
Basil, Birch, Clary Sage, Cassia, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Thyme, Cinnamon Bark, and Wintergreen.
Single Oils to Use Cautiously (after first trimester, more dilution, less often)
Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clove bud, Cumin (Black), Cypress, Fennel, Marjoram, Oregano, Rose, Spearmint, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Myrrh Juniper Berry, Jasmine, and Vetiver.
As I’ve been saying all along, how you decide to use essential oils during pregnancy all comes down to comfort level.
If you choose to avoid all of the oils on this list throughout your entire pregnancy, you can take comfort in knowing that there are so many other options available in other essential oils that can often provide similar results.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful. I often tell my husband that I’d like to have another baby, even though we both feel our family is complete, simply so I can experience pregnancy and birth one last time using these incredible gifts from the earth.