Are Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy?
The journey to motherhood is a magical one. But let's face it; morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia, stretch marks, and swollen feet aren't exactly glamorous!
Many pregnant women wonder if essential oils are safe for pregnancy. After all, one would assume these plant extracts will soothe troublesome pregnancy symptoms. Plus, essential oils could help treat non-pregnancy related symptoms – colds, allergies, grazes, etc. – when the majority of prescription and over-the-counter medication is off-limits.
The good news is you can use essential oils when pregnant for their therapeutic benefits! We're here to clear up any confusion and answer your questions about essential oils for pregnancy.
Safe Essential Oil Use in the First, Second and Third Trimesters
The first trimester is a rollercoaster. During this time, using essential oils may help when you feel rotten due to early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness. For example, clinical research shows inhaling lemon essential oil reduces the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (1). It can also boost your mood and energy. We recommend diffusing this aroma in your home by adding 2-3 drops to an ultrasonic diffuser with 100ml of water.
In the second and third trimesters, essential oils are great for insomnia, aching muscles, low mood, swollen feet, congestion, and stretch marks.
TIP: Smelling lavender during pregnancy may reduce anxiety and promote quality sleep – try Woolzies Lavender Oil Roll-On on your pressure points.
However, it's a sensitive time for fetal development; so follow these tips for optimal safety:
● Never ingest essential oils when pregnant
● Focus on diffusing essential oils while pregnant
● For topical use, make sure to dilute the essential oils well with a carrier oil like almond, apricot, or jojoba oil — 4 drops per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil is optimal
Our Favorite Essential Oils for Pregnancy
Therapeutic essential oils we love for pregnancy include:
● Roman Chamomile
● Sweet Orange
● Ylang ylang
To support relaxation and sleep, lavender, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, frankincense, jasmine, and ylang ylang are superstar essential oils. Make a bedtime pillow spray by combining 5 drops Woolzies lavender oil, 5 drops Woolzies Roman chamomile oil, 1 cup water, and 2 teaspoons witch hazel in a spray bottle.
Interestingly, aromatherapy may also be a great natural option to reduce pain perception and encourage calm during childbirth! A 2016 study found lower back massage using diluted lavender oil reduced levels of pain and anxiety during labor and even decreased labor time (2). Rose, geranium, frankincense, chamomile, sweet orange, and jasmine also have proven benefits for women in labor.
Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy
Not all essential oils are safe during pregnancy – they may be toxic to the fetus or even cause premature contractions. We suggest staying away from clary sage, cinnamon, wintergreen, basil, sage, myrrh, oregano, and rosemary essential oils.
Keep in mind that your sense of smell and skin change during pregnancy. Essential oils are potent, so follow your gut instinct and remember a little goes a long way. If you have any doubts, we suggest working with a qualified aromatherapist.
Let us know; have you used essential oils to help you through your pregnancy or labor?
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