Essential oils are powerful tools to use in supporting our health, and when are we more concerned about our health than during pregnancy? With the increase in popularity of natural solutions, essential oils are being offered in more and more retail locations.
Unfortunately, access doesn’t mean education. There are a lot of things that aren’t safe during pregnancy, what about essential oils?
As with most things, the answer isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like it to be. But with a few considerations, some essential oils absolutely are safe to use during pregnancy.
Not all essential oils are created equal. In fact, some of them aren’t essential oils at all. Essential oils can be adulterated in many ways. Synthetic fragrances can be added, or a high quality oil can be “cut” with a low quality oil, and in some cases the entire bottle is synthetic with no actual essential oil present.
The first step in deciding whether or not to use essential oils to support your pregnancy is to source quality oils. Find a company you can trust with third party testing. Research their growing standards, harvesting procedures, oil production methods, and business practice. Find a product you can stand behind. There are a lot of great oil companies out there.
Essential oils can be used straight out of the bottle (neat) or diluted in a carrier oil. There are polarizing camps on the use of essential oils neat. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, consider using essential oils diluted while pregnant.
Essential oils can be used topically or aromatically in a diffuser. When you are pregnant you may want to dilute your essential oils to a lower concentration, maybe even down to 1%, or use fewer drops in the diffuser.
Above all, listen to your body and your intuition. If something feels uncomfortable, don’t do it.
Are Essential Oils Safe During Pregnancy?
Once we take the proper safety considerations and choose quality and pure essential oils, and then dilute them to safe levels, there are essential oils that are safe, and even beneficial, to use during pregnancy.
Lavender and peppermint essential oils make a great team for easing tension. Citrus oils like lemon, orange, and bergamot are great for lifting your mood. Frankincense and lavender are also great to promote a calm mental state, and ginger can be used to tame occasional nausea.
Essential Oils to Avoid
Just as there are beneficial oils to use during pregnancy, others should be avoided. Clary sage, for example, will not put you into labor if you aren’t ready for it, but can cause contractions.
As a general rule, avoid the essential oils like basil, cassia, cinnamon bark, clary sage, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, vetiver, wintergreen, and white fir. Additionally, you may want to avoid peppermint in the late stages of pregnancy because mint is known to decrease milk production.
Essential oils are powerful, potent gifts that we can use to support our health. With care, pregnancy is no exception!