12 October 2020 (updated)

The Best (and Worst) Essential Oils for Pregnancy

Essential oils can offer many health benefits to pregnant women, but not all of them are safe to use during pregnancy. Here are a few oils that can help with pregnancy, and a few others to avoid.

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

We've all heard some of the numerous health claims about the amazing properties of essential oils. Some even claim they can cure cancer. But when it comes to their use in pregnancy, it's wise to exercise caution. Not all oils are created equal, and the wrong ones might even lead to pregnancy complications. That's why the following list can help you navigate the world of pregnancy and essential oils.

Remember, when it comes to essential oils, quality matters. So make sure you use a reputable brand. Also, a little bit can go a long way! A drop of two might make you feel great, but too much of a good thing, especially when you're pregnant, might actually make you feel worse. Be sure you use essential oils in moderation, and it's easier to regulate when you're using them in the form of aromatherapy than when topically applied to your skin.

Which Essential Oils Are Safe During Pregnancy?

There are many essential oils that are safe and beneficial during pregnancy. Some health professionals recommend avoiding all essential oils for the first trimester, but others find relief from nausea or other similar situations by consuming essential oils at the beginning of their pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare professional or OB-GYN if you have any questions or need medical advice.

Here are a few of our favorite oils that are safe for second and third trimesters (and probably first trimester, too!):

Bergamot: Mix this spicy, citrusy oil with a carrier oil to boost your mood!

Roman Chamomile: This essential oil can help you relax and soothe muscles. You could even double it up and use it with a soothing cup of chamomile tea.

Lavender: Perhaps the most versatile oil, lavender oil has been known to improve sleep, reduce headaches, and ease muscle pain.

Neroli Oil: This citrusy oil is great for boosting your mood, and has also been known to ease labor pains at the end of pregnancy.

Sweet or Wild Orange Oil: These sweet citrus notes are sure to boost your mood during pregnancy!

Ylang Ylang Oil: This essential oil is another good one to help you relax and promote a calm, peaceful environment. So enjoy ylang ylang during your pregnancy!

Which Essential Oils are Bad for Pregnancy?

Cinnamon: While you're probably okay using cinnamon bark in a diluted form or through a diffuser or as part of an aromatherapy treatment during pregnancy, it can have blood-thinning properties. So pregnant women might want to limit the consumption of this oil.

Clary Sage: Clary sage promotes uterine contractions, so it's great when you're ready to deliver. Earlier in pregnancy, it's best to avoid this oil so you don't have early labor.

Hyssop: Hyssop has also been known to cause uterine contractions, so wait until after your baby comes to use this oil.

Rosemary: While some advocate for using Rosemary essential oil during pregnancy due to its ability to reduce pain and benefits for the immune system, it has also been known to stimulate the uterus. So use with caution.

Tansy: You should definitely avoid blue tansy oil during pregnancy due to its high concentrations of the toxic enzyme thujone. Steer clear of it for aromatherapy purposes as well.

Wintergreen: You might want to opt for peppermint oil instead since wintergreen has blood-thinning properties.

Can I Use Frankincense Oil During Pregnancy?

As long as frankincense is diluted with a carrier oil, it's a great choice during pregnancy. Frankincense has great properties to soothe aching muscles and improve sleep. Some swear by diluting a few drops of frankincense into their skincare products for an extra pregnancy glow. So you can definitely include this essential oil.

Which Essential Oils are Good for Stretch Marks?

While many essential oils are safe to use directly on your skin, especially when you're pregnant, diluting a few drops of your oil with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, Argan oil, or almond oil can improve your essential oil experience. A high-quality carrier oil might even do as much for improving the appearance of stretch marks as the essential oils themselves.

While some swear by oils and creams for stretch marks, remember that there's no magic potion, and essential oils can't perform miracles. Nonetheless, you might want to try the following oils for healthy-looking skin.

Lavender. Once again, lavender oil serves as a fantastic choice for skin-related concerns.

Orange oil: While people with sensitive skin might want to limit exposure to orange or other citrus-related oils, orange oil has been known to tone and strengthen the skin.

Tea Tree Oil: Also known as melaleuca, tea tree essential oil has fantastic antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with your skin conditions. It may help reduce stretch marks!

Which Essential Oils are Good for Morning Sickness?

Nausea sometimes seems par for the course when pregnancy is concerned. But moms-to-be might want to try these essential oils to relieve some of the discomforts of morning sickness.

Ginger: Ginger is one of the best oils for improving nausea-related symptoms. It helps to improve digestion and alleviate any feelings of queasiness.

Lemon: When used in aromatherapy, the citrus notes of lemon oil help to relieve nausea and lift your mood.

Peppermint: The clean smell of this versatile oil is a fantastic way to reduce nausea and help you feel better. You can use it topically, or through aromatherapy in a diffuser.

What are Your Favorite Essential Oils for Pregnancy?

We all have unique bodies and needs, and pregnancy can be a great disruptor of life as you know it. Fortunately, many of these essential oils, when used properly, can help you feel better throughout the duration of your pregnancy. The key is to incorporate them wisely and follow your doctor's recommendations. Even some of the essential oils that are on the "bad for pregnancy" list, when used in small doses, might actually be a good supplement to your pregnancy care.

What are your favorites? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments, or talk about it with your loved ones on your favorite FamilyApp!



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