Essential Oils To Avoid During Pregnancy

essential oils to avoid during pregnancyWe all want the very best for our babies, even before they are born! And in a world where everyone (and their mother) wants to give advice about pregnancy, it can be confusing to know what is safe to eat or use. Advice can vary from not eating deli meat or feta cheese to avoiding petting your cat. It’s hard to know what to think. But many women find it extremely effective and safe to use essential oils for pregnancy.

Although essential oils are derived from nature, they come from plants in a very concentrated form that makes them extremely potent. Extracted from stems, leaves, flower petals, and twigs through a steam distillation process or with solvents, essential oils can take hundreds of pounds of plant parts in order to create just one pound of the liquid substance. This means that the potency of the oils is extremely high and it only takes the tiniest bit to be effective.

Because of the sensitivity that comes with pregnancy, you’ll want to be sure that you are very careful with what you put into and use on your body. Even if you have been using essential oils for many years, you can’t assume that it is safe for you to use them now that you are pregnant.

Of course the best scenario for deciding what to do is to check with your doctor when you have concerns about what essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. But there are some general rules that can be considered when making use of essential oils for pregnancy.

Essential Oils that are Safe for Pregnancy

Just as if taking over the counter medicine during pregnancy, you want to be rather careful about what essential oils you use during pregnancy and how much you use. A generally good rule is to wait until you are in your second trimester just to be safe, although it is very unlikely that using just small amounts of essential oils topically during pregnancy will cause any sort of problems or danger to the baby.

Using essential oils can be extremely therapeutic for relieving pregnancy discomfort and inhaling peppermint or spearmint essential oil may be helpful for waylaying nausea (as long as it isn’t too strong for you to handle).

Check out these essential oils that are typically safe to use during pregnancy:

Chamomile (German or Roman) can be effective for relaxation which is especially helpful during pregnancy. Chamomile assists with sleep and allows for the body and brain to relieve from stress.

Eucalyptus offers relief from breathing issues, which can be helpful if you have a cold or sinus problems during pregnancy. Also, eucalyptus offers a cooling and refreshing effect which fights lethargy and fatigue, whether physical or mental. Eucalyptus can increase the blood flow to the brain to help with mental alertness, which is helpful for pregnant women who find their minds in a bit of a fog. Plus, eucalyptus can ease muscle pain which makes it effective for pregnant women when added to a hot bath for soaking and relaxation.

Frankincense is considered to be a royal essential oil that has been considered extremely valuable for thousands of years. Traditionally burned as incense, Frankincense essential oil is extremely healthful for bringing comfort and overcoming stress. Diffusing it into the air can help ease anxiety and works as a sedative to restore mental peace and minimize anger.

Geranium essential oil is safe for use during pregnancy and can be helpful for promoting healthy skin by encouraging the removal of dead cells and encouraging the growth of new cells. Add it to a carrier oil and massage into the legs and belly to maintain healthy skin and minimize stretchmarks. Geranium is a diuretic which means it removes toxins form the body, but it is important to be sure that you stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water. This oil also has a pleasant fragrance that can help to deodorize and mask bad fragrances, which is exceptionally useful for pregnant women who have extremely sensitive olfactory senses. It can have influences on hormone secretions so do check with your doctor or aromatherapist prior to use.

Ylang Ylang can be helpful in pregnancy as it is nervine, meaning that it boosts the health of the nervous system. This is especially useful for reducing stress that can be caused by pregnancy as well as curing insomnia, fatigue, and other conditions that can be related to stress. Ylang Ylang is also effective for maintaining the moisture and balancing the oil in the skin which can be thrown off by pregnancy hormones.

How to Use Essential Oils for Pregnancy

The best rule of thumb for using essential oils during pregnancy is to start small. Begin with just one drop and be sure to dilute well to see how your body handles it. To avoid buildup of toxicity, I believe that it can be helpful to alternate between oils every day or two. For instance, diffuse chamomile for relaxation before bed one day, and then alternate with lavender the next. If you have a cold and need to clear sinuses, try inhaling eucalyptus essential oil one time and then switch to lavender for the next day, just to give your body a chance to rest from the strength and potency of the oils.

The Best Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Quite a few essential oils are on the list of those to avoid during pregnancy, mostly because of the danger of toxicity that can come from using large amounts. Some oils, such as Pennyroyal, have been known to have the power to cause miscarriage when taken in large doses. Although typically small amounts would not be likely to cause any issues, this is the list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. (This isn’t an exhaustive list but does include many common oils).

Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)

Basil ct. estragole (Ocimum basilicum)

Birch (Betula lenta)

Bitter Almond (Amygdalus communis var. amara)

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)

Cinnamon  (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Hyssop (Hyssopus Officinalis)

Mugwort (Artemisa vulgaris)

Mustard—Black or White (Brassica Nigra or Hirta)

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Parsley seed or leaf (Petroselinum sativum)

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulgegium)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Wormworrd (Artemisia absinthium)


Knowing which essential oils to avoid during pregnancy and which essential oils to use is extremely important information. Taking advantage of the natural and powerful remedies that are available is an excellent way for women to be able to feel better and minimize the difficulties and frustrations of pregnancy!

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