Is It Safe To Use Essential Oils During Pregnancy?

Image: Shutterstock

Are you a keen aromatherapy aficionado who often uses essential oils? But, are you worried about the safety of using essential oils for pregnancy? Well, if this sounds like you, reading our post could be a good idea.

Essential oils have the history of being used for thousands of years either for cosmetic purposes or for its spirituality and uplifting properties. The advent of Aromatherapy has popularized the use of essential oils today. Here, we look some safe and potentially harmful essential oils you should know about, whether you are or aren’t keen on aromatherapy.

What Is Essential Oil?

The essential oil is the oil extracted from plants, leaves, herbs and other materials through a process of cold pressing or steam distillation. The essential oil is highly concentrated. It is typically diffused, applied topically, inhaled, massaged and added to food as well. The lovely aroma of the oil works wonders for soothing and relaxing the body and mind.

Factors That Influence The Safety Of Essential Oils For Pregnancy

Before we look at which essential oils are safe, and which ones aren’t, here are some factors that influence the safety of essential oils during pregnancy.

  • The quality of essential oil plays a crucial role. Adulterated oil increases the likelihood of having an adverse effect. It is important that the oil is authentic, pure and genuine.
  • Essential oils are rich in phenols and aldehydes, which might sometimes cause a skin reaction. Oils with these two constituents need to be diluted prior to application.

[ Read: Aromatherapy Oils During Pregnancy ]

  • Essential oils many be applied in many ways like dermal application (directly on the skin), inhalation, diffusion or taken internally. Each of these ways has its safety measures, and it is important to be aware of these safety measures before you start using the oil.
  • Prolonged exposure to essential oil (more than an hour) can lead to side effects like nausea, vertigo, lethargy, and headaches.
  • Excessive usage of essential oils in pregnancy might cause irritation. What other reactions it might have depends on the sensitivity level of the person using it.
  • Do not apply the oil on damaged, inflamed or diseased skin as it might cause reactions. A large amount of oil might be absorbed, eventually sensitizing the skin and causing reactions.

Safe And Unsafe Essential Oils For Pregnancy

So, now that you know what factors influence the safety of using essential oils while you are pregnant, let’s look at the essential oils you can and cannot use:

Safe Essential Oils For Pregnancy

  • Citrus oils
  • German chamomile
  • Black Pepper
  • Cypress
  • Tea tree oil
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Spearmint
  • Frankincense
  • Bergamot
  • Common Lavender

Essential Oils To Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Nutmeg
  • Jasmine and Clary Sage
  • Juniper Berry
  • Sage and Rose
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Angelica, Laurel, Aniseed, Citronella, Cinnamon, Thyme, Cumin
  • Wintergreen
  • Ginger

[ Read: Oil Of Oregano During Pregnancy ]

Precautions While Using Essential Oils For Pregnancy

Only 50% of the topical applied essential oil is absorbed. The price of the oil is a good way to judge its quality. The use of essential oil for pregnancy is still being discussed. Along with that point, there are some other precautions you should follow before you use any essential oil during pregnancy:

  • It is important to use high-quality essential oils from a reputable seller.
  • They can be diluted with the normal massage oil or even put in a vaporizer to inhale.
  • Once the oil reaches the body, it does the work of drugs. The molecules in essential oils are small, and there is a thin possibility that they reach the placenta.
  • Many pregnant women find the use of essential oils relieving, but it is important to talk to the health care professional before you start using it.
  • Use only one drop at a time, to avoid adverse effect
  • Try changing the oil every few days or a couple of weeks
  • Dilute the oil with the regular base oil, in at least 1/10thratio before adding it to the bath or even before you use it on skin
  • Studies have shown that using these oils may improve the way of life.
  • Lavender and tea tree oil have found to have some hormone-like effect. This effect is similar to estrogen and is also known to block or decrease the effect of androgens [1].

[ Read: Evening Primrose Oil During Pregnancy ]

When To Avoid Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Here are some cases, when you should avoid using essential oils during pregnancy, which include:

  • If you have a history of miscarriage
  • If you suffer from vaginal bleeding
  • Epilepsy
  • In case of heart problems
  • If you are diabetic
  • A blood clotting problem
  • If you have thyroid problems
  • In case of kidney or liver disease

Uses Of Pregnancy Essential Oils

Pregnancy may well be the best feeling in the world, but even the sustained excitement of almost being a mom, cannot help relieve that nasty morning sickness or constipation. Not all women suffer from the effects, and it is highly individualistic. While some pregnant women never experience nausea, a few of them experience it with varied intensity and often for several months. Drugs aren’t a good option for pregnant women due to possible danger to the fetus.

Certain scents from the aroma oil/essential oil are said to help women deal with morning sickness. Typically aromatherapy works as it stimulates smell receptors. This sends messages through the nervous system, hence relaxing the mind. It is also said to work on the part of the brain that control emotions [2].

Before using any of the oils we mention in the article, obviously the ones listed under ‘Safe to Use during Pregnancy,’ ensure you consult the doctor to understand his views on the same. It is important to keep the doctor or midwife aware of anything you are using during your pregnancy.

If you have any other information regarding using essential oils during pregnancy, please write to us. It would help us improvise on this post. Please leave your comments in the section below.

Recommended Articles:

6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Using Rosemary Oil During Pregnancy
Is It Safe To Use Clove Oil When You Are Pregnant
Is It Safe To Use Almond Oil During Pregnancy?

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.