Are essential oils safe for use during pregnancy? Yes, if you follow two guidelines.
Keep reading to discover how to enjoy essential oils safely while you’re pregnant.
First, I’ll discuss the simple rules that protect you and your unborn child.
Next, I’ll review the best essential oils for pregnancy.
After all, these oils are helpful for reducing nausea, getting better sleep, feeling more energetic, and relieving stress. (Doesn’t that sound like a pregnant woman’s wish list?)
Finally, I’ll give you some recipes, too.
- How to Make Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- How to Dilute Essential Oils During Pregnancy
- Recipe for Shrinking Hemorrhoids
- Recipe to Soothe Swollen Feet (and a Sore Back)
- Recipe for Preventing Stretch Marks
- Recipe for Morning Sickness
- Recipe for Treating Pregnancy Acne
- Pre-made Essential Oil Blends for Pregnancy
How to Make Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There are two rules to follow if you want to use essential oils while you’re pregnant. Here they are:
- Always dilute the oils for your skin and use less in the diffuser.
- Avoid the oils that may cause adverse effects.
Now, you might be wondering which essential oils you should avoid during pregnancy (1).
The list looks like this chart:
|Essential oil type to avoid||Specific examples of oils to not use while pregnant|
|Phenol||Thyme, oregano, clove, savory, and cinnamon|
|Aldehyde||Cumin and cinnamon|
|Camphor||Ho leaf, Feverfew, and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas), camphor|
|Ether||Fennel, star anise, and aniseed|
As you can see, most of those are not the typical essential oils most people would have on hand. Besides cinnamon, most don’t appear in any essential oil starter kits.
Many experts would add the following oils to the no-no list: rue, oakmoss, parsley seed, and wormwood (2). Again, these are not common oils.
Now, to be clear, some aromatherapists would also recommend avoiding rosemary, basil, juniper, and even peppermint out of concern that they would cause contractions (3).
But I chose to include peppermint in the reviews today because it’s very helpful for treating nausea.
The trick is to not let fear guide you. To avoid problems with essential oils during pregnancy, dilute them.
How to Dilute Essential Oils During Pregnancy
To play it safe, don’t apply more than a 1% concentration of an essential oil to your skin.
That’s 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
Trust me, you’re not weakening the oil’s effects – you’re protecting your skin.
You’re likely to find that your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy. Proper dilution means you can get the benefits of the oil without negative side effects.
As for diffusing essential oils during pregnancy, use less oil. In other words, put fewer drops in the diffuser and/or use the diffuser for shorter periods of time.
Okay, you’ve had the safety tips. Now let’s look at the top essential oils for pregnancy.
CYPRESS 100% Pure, Undiluted Essential Oil Therapeutic Grade by Fabulous Frannie
Cypress is one of the unsung heroes you don’t hear much about. But this essential oil can help shrink hemorrhoids, ease the pain of varicose veins, and lessen water retention. By the time you’re toward the end of your pregnancy, you may be longing for solutions like this.
Fabulous Frannie doesn’t make their own essential oils, but they do provide test results to the public. You can verify that each oil is pure. Moreover, they tend to have reasonable prices.
Recipe for Shrinking Hemorrhoids
The next time you take a bath, put two drops each of geranium, sweet orange, and cypress in the water. Stir well, sit back, and relax.
For topical application, combine one drop each of geranium, sweet orange, and cypress with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil. Mix it well, then apply it gently to the affected area.
Plant Therapy Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil
Frankincense is one of the best essential oils you can use for skin care. It speeds up healing and fights signs of aging.
Also important, the fragrance of frankincense can help you relax.
Plant Therapy steam-distills this oil from the gum resin of the Boswellia serrata tree.
Recipe to Soothe Swollen Feet (and a Sore Back)
- 3 teaspoons of your favorite carrier oil (like sweet almond, for example)
- 1 drop each of frankincense, cypress, and Roman chamomile.
Now all you need is someone to massage you.
By the way, this recipe is also effective for relieving sore muscles.
Artizen Ginger Essential Oil
You may already be aware that ginger relieves nausea. In a moment, I’ll give you a recipe to help with morning sickness.
Artizen’s ginger essential oil is one of the least expensive, plus it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Edens Garden Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium has an almost magic fragrance. But it’s not just an excellent stress reliever when diffused. If you apply it to the skin, it can help clear up acne, heal wounds, and prevent wrinkles.
Edens Garden is a woman-owned company that’s been in business since 2009. They sell directly to the public. And if you have a question about one of their essential oils, they have certified aromatherapists on staff.
Aura Cacia Discover Essential Oil Lavender
Aura Cacia sources Lavandula angustifolia from Ukraine. It’s the classic essential oil for relaxation.
Furthermore, although the company doesn’t make their oils, they run extensive quality tests themselves and use third-party laboratories like QAI.
Recipe for Preventing Stretch Marks
To make this cream, you’ll need raw shea butter or your favorite carrier oil.
Blend one drop each of frankincense, Roman chamomile, Rose otto, and lavender into 2 teaspoons of the butter or oil.
Massage it into your hips and abdomen twice a day for at least five minutes each time.
NOW Essential Oils, Neroli Oil
Pure neroli oil is extremely expensive.
That’s why I recommend this blend from NOW Essential Oils. It puts neroli in a 7.5% ratio with jojoba oil. The jojoba has no fragrance of its own, so it doesn’t affect the scent.
It’s still smart to dilute this oil if you apply it to your skin. Otherwise, feel free to diffuse it unaltered.
NOW uses organic ingredients whenever possible. They run extensive testing in-house and contract with third-party laboratories as well. They manufacture the oils in facilities located in the USA and Canada.
Plant Therapy Peppermint Essential Oil
Plant Therapy steam-distills peppermint oil from the Mentha piperita plant. Try sniffing it directly from the bottle if you’re feeling nauseated.
Another option is to dilute the oil and apply it to your wrists.
This manufacturer has certified aromatherapists on staff to answer any questions you have about their oils.
Recipe for Morning Sickness
Here’s my favorite diffuser blend for overcoming morning sickness.
- 1 drop ginger
- 1 drop sweet orange
- 1 drop lavender
Some moms-to-be like to add one drop of black pepper oil, too.
If you’re not a fan of orange, try grapefruit or lemon or bergamot instead.
Those of you that don’t have a diffuser don’t worry. Sniff ginger, peppermint, lavender, or chamomile straight from the bottle or put a drop on a cotton ball.
You’ll be delighted when you find the ones that work best for you.
Aura Cacia Essential Oil, Roman Chamomile
Did you know there are two types of chamomile, Roman and German? In my experience, Roman chamomile has an almost sweet fragrance that works well for stress relief.
Aura Cacia has diluted Roman chamomile with jojoba oil to make it ready for topical application. But a pregnant woman would be wise to cut it with a carrier oil all the same.
Edens Garden Chamomile- Roman
If you prefer pure Roman chamomile essential oil, this one is pricier but undiluted. It’s steam-distilled from the flowers of the Anthemis nobilis plant harvested in the USA.
Recipe for Treating Pregnancy Acne
One of the best essential oils for pregnancy acne is Roman chamomile. Dilute it with jojoba or grape seed oil, then use it as a spot treatment before you go to bed or first thing in the morning.
If you don’t like the way Roman chamomile smells, try geranium or lavender instead. Both of those are antiseptic to fight the bacteria that cause pimples.
ArtNaturals 100% Pure Sweet Orange Essential Oil
ArtNaturals will let you view the purity analysis reports of their Sweet Orange essential oil. Additionally, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The manufacturer sources the Citrus x sinensis plants in Brazil and cold-presses the peels to make the oil.
3-Pack Variety of NOW Essential Oils: Blissful Thinking- Ginger, Orange, Sandalwood
Here’s a bargain: NOW includes three 1-ounce bottles in this pack. The reason why this can save you money is because sandalwood is not cheap. Just be aware that it’s in a 14% concentration with jojoba oil here.
Plant Therapy Bulgarian Rose Otto Organic Diluted Essential Oil
Rose otto is a precious essential oil that’s very costly to produce. It takes 4000 pounds of Rosa x damascena flowers to make 1 pound of the oil.
But Plant Therapy makes this rose oil accessible by diluting it to a 10% concentration with organic sunflower seed oil.
(Of course, 10% still means you’ll want to dilute it to put it on your skin while you’re pregnant.)
Edens Garden Sandalwood East Indian Essential Oil
East Indian Sandalwood is steam-distilled from mature Santalum album trees that are between 20 to 60 years old. Therefore, pure and undiluted sandalwood is quite pricey.
But this is a favorite fragrance for perfume makers. It can help with respiratory problems, clear up acne, and improve digestion. After a massage with sandalwood oil, you’re likely to feel extremely calm and grounded.
Just be sure to dilute sandalwood properly before using it topically during pregnancy. A 1% concentration is one drop of oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Trust me, it will still smell heavenly.
Now Essential Oils, Ylang Ylang Extra Oil
Ylang-ylang has a soothing floral scent that’s popular for perfumes. It’s also an aphrodisiac.
In case you’re wondering what the “extra” means, this is an oil that can be repeatedly distilled. The extra version is the most potent.
Did I already mention that you’ll need to dilute it if you use it on your skin?
If you put it in your diffuser, you won’t need more than a drop or two. Try combining it with sandalwood and rose for an incredible aroma.
Pre-made Essential Oil Blends for Pregnancy
If you’re not keen on making your own blends and recipes, just enjoy the ones below.
doTERRA – Citrus Bliss Essential Oil Invigorating Blend
The Citrus Bliss blend includes lemon, wild orange, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, clementine, and tangerine with a tiny bit of vanilla absolute oil. People have compared it to a delicious creamsicle.
When you diffuse this oil, you’re likely to find yourself perking up. It’s designed to reduce stress and help you feel more energetic.
Plant Therapy KidSafe Tummy All Better Synergy Pre-Diluted Essential Oil Roll-On
Yes, this is a roll-on made for young children ages 2 to 10. It contains petitgrain, dill, Roman chamomile, ginger, and spearmint in a fractionated coconut oil base.
The title says it all – it takes the edge off nausea. Try a little on your wrists and see what it does for morning sickness.
Now Foods Peaceful Sleep Essential Oil Blend
The Peaceful Sleep blend features lavender, Ylang Ylang, chamomile, sandalwood, orange, and tangerine. It may seem odd to include citrus oils, but they improve mood.
It may be just what you need if you’ve been going to bed stressed out. It’s also helpful for getting the kids to wind down.
Edens Garden Good Night Essential Oil Synergy Blend
Edens Garden makes a good night blend that has been tested by pregnant women. It contains lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, bergamot, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, key lime, and vanilla.
The feedback went something like the following. First, some love the fragrance and others not so much. But the consensus is that this oil helps users relax and go to sleep in record time.
I’m happy you took the time to view this article. I hope you ended up with a more informed view of essential oils for pregnancy.
Which oils, recipes, and blends will you try? I’d love to know about your experience. Please leave me a comment below.
- https://helloglow.co/safe-essential-oils-for-pregnancy/ by Stephanie Gerber, published 12 January, 2019, accessed 16 May 2019
- https://naha.org/index.php/explore-aromatherapy/safety/#pregnancy accessed 16 May 2019
- https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/aromatherapy published 14 October, 2018, accessed 16 May 2019