While it may be tempting to reach for the comfort of your favourite essential oil to combat morning sickness or ease sore muscles, some essential oils aren’t always safe for mums-to-be and their babies. Let’s look at which ones to avoid and how to use essential oils safely during your pregnancy.
Don’t use any essential oils during your first trimester
DON’T USE ANY ESSENTIAL OILS DURING YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER
As there is very little research on the use of essential oils during pregnancy, most doctors err on the side of caution. It’s recommended you don’t use any essential oils during the first trimester, regardless of the type, just to be on the safe side. Although unlikely, there is a small risk they could cause uterine contractions or adversely affect the baby.
ESSENTIAL OILS TO AVOID WHEN PREGNANT
While many essential oils are considered safe to use when pregnant, others are not. It’s believed that some essential oils may cause contractions and should be avoided throughout pregnancy. These include: cinnamon, clove, rosemary, clary sage and jasmine.
Other essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding include:
• Basil (estragole CT)
• Parsley seed or leaf
ESSENTIAL OILS GENERALLY CONSIDERED SAFE DURING PREGNANCY
After your first trimester it’s generally considered safe to use certain essential oils and many can be helpful with pregnancy symptoms. Lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang can help calm, relax and encourage sleep, while peppermint and ginger may help with the nausea caused by morning sickness. Of course you should always talk to your midwife, doctor or a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils during pregnancy.
Essential oils that are generally considered safe during the second and third trimesters include:
• Black Pepper
• Marjoram (sweet)
• Orange (sweet)
• Tea tree
• Ylang ylang
Using essential oils safely during pregnancy
Start by choosing pure, high-quality therapeutic oils. Organic products that are free from pesticides or other harmful chemicals are less likely to cause adverse reactions than those containing synthetic materials. All of our essential oils are therapeutic grade and derived from natural plant seeds, bark, stems, roots and flowers.
Inhalation. One of the safest ways to use essential oils during pregnancy is inhalation. You can use a diffuser, or place a drop on a cotton ball or your pillow.
Topical. If you are using essential oils on your skin or in your bath water they should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil. We carry a lovely range of base oils, all free from chemicals, contaminants or harmful additives.
Internal. It’s generally recommended that essential oils should not be ingested while pregnant.
Again, it’s always best to talk to a qualified professional before using essential oils during your pregnancy. If you have any questions please get in touch with our staff aromatherapist for a consultation.