Essential Oils for Pregnancy: What’s Safe & How to Use Them

Posted by Jonathan on Apr 22nd 2021

Essential Oils for Pregnancy: What’s Safe & How to Use Them

Pregnancy is an exciting time for women, but it can also be uncomfortable, to say the least. Many women face emotional and physical challenges. No matter what your journey is like, it’s important to have some natural wellness tools on hand to help you through.

Here are some safe ways to incorporate essential oils into your wellness routines that we hope will help bring some relief.

Are there any essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy?

Although essential oils are generally safe when used carefully, there is still a lack of research as to how essential oils can affect the fetus, especially in the first trimester. A few essential oils have the potential to induce contractions, and so should be avoided all together.

There is a long list of oils that have the potential to cause contractions, irritation, side effects, or simply haven’t been researched enough. Note that a lot of oils on this list are stronger-smelling oils -- they have high levels of phenols and other strong compounds which can be irritating to the skin.

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Camphor
  • Clary sage
  • Hyssop
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Wormwood
  • Cedarwood
  • Fennel
  • Aniseed
  • Marjoram
  • Tarragon
  • Birch
  • Hyssop
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Wintergreen
  • Thyme

The oils on this list are not entirely unsafe, so if you have used a little by accident, there’s probably no need to panic. But if you want to be extra careful, opt for the ones we’ve listed in the “safe” section for the time being, especially in the first trimester.

Check with your health care provider if you are uncertain about using a particular aromatherapy oil during pregnancy.

What oils are safe to use during pregnancy?

Essential oils have a low-risk profile and so long as they are not ingested they typically don’t cause much in the way of side effects.

Use common sense and stick with those oils which have been verified safe such as citrus-based oils, gentle floral scents. Woody scents like patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, and tea tree are also safe to use.

Other essential oil safety tips for pregnancy:

  • Use 100% pure, certified organic essential oils when possible
  • Do not ingest essential oils
  • Do not use essential oils during the first trimester
  • Do not use topically unless diluted
  • Use only as directed
  • Do a test patch if using a new oil on your skin

In addition, pregnant women may find that they are more sensitive to topical substances and smells. So always do a test with a small amount before using more.

How to Use Essential Oils to Ease Pregnancy Symptoms

Everyone feels different during pregnancy, and so depending on your symptoms you may want to choose a set of oils that you love and that are on the “safe” list.

Here are some safe ways to use essential oils for pregnancy symptoms. You can use any of the safe essential oils listed below in diffusers, baths, mists, or massage oils.

Essential Oils for Skin

If you're suffering from irritation or varicose veins, think about using cypress and sandalwood oil in a hot bath or massage oil. Stretch marks can benefit from lavender, frankincense, rose, and chamomile.

Essential Oils for Aches and Swelling

To ease aching muscles, add 12 drops of essential oil to 2 tbs of natural base oil like jojoba or almond and massage in the affected area.

Water retention responds well to geranium and sweet orange oil. Other effective oils include lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, and grapefruit.

Essential Oils for Nausea

Ginger, lavender, chamomile, and peppermint are all safe and effective if inhaled for nausea. Inhale directly from the bottle or massage a few drops onto your temples if you’re feeling queasy.

How to Improve Sleep and Reduce Anxiety

Choose your favorite oil from the list below, or make a blend. Add around 10 drops to a few oz of distilled water and spray pillows before sleep, or add to a hot bath.

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Rosewood
  • Frankincense
  • Mandarin

Essential Oils to Boost Your Mood

Hormone-influenced mood swings are common during pregnancy, so it’s a nice idea to have a few mood-boosting oils in your cupboard.

Safe oils that can act as a little pick-me-up include:

  • Geranium
  • Lemon
  • Patchouli
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang

Try Our 100% Pure Organic Aromatherapy Oils

Our pure essential oils can help you with your wellness goals. If you are looking for more information about our products, we are happy to help!