Which essential oils are good during pregnancy?

Although there are a lot of things a woman needs to avoid while expecting, unlike raw fish, essential oils can be good during pregnancy.

It’s important however to know how to use essential oils safely and which ones to avoid while pregnant.

Still, there are plenty of benefits to using essential oils and it would be a shame not to make the best of these gifts from nature.

Benefits of using essential oils while expecting

The health and well-being benefits of essential oils are well documented. There’s also research supporting the benefits of some essential oils to reduce common pregnancy ailments both physical and emotional.

Key benefits of essential oils during pregnancy include:

  • Reduce symptoms of nausea and stomach ache
  • Soothe muscle tension
  • Reduce irritation and swelling due to haemorrhoids
  • Help sleep quality
  • Improve skin elasticity and suppleness
  • Help prevent stretch marks
  • Help relax and ease tensions

Using essential oils safely during pregnancy

Some people fear that essential oils can turn into toxic compounds when absorbed by a woman’s bloodstream while pregnant. Nevertheless, research has shown that when the dosage is respected this isn’t something to worry about.

In general, it is best to wait until the second trimester before using oils. The first trimester is the most critical one for the fetus. Exposure to toxins and pollutants should be avoided at all costs for the mother and child. 

To be sure, get the green light from your doctor before using essential oils, and always choose oils of the highest quality.

Pregnancy & essential oils: best practice

  • Don’t consume essential oils.
  • Prefer aromatherapy over topical applications.
  • Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil for topical application. Jojoba, almond, and apricot oils are especially good during pregnancy.
  • Follow dosage recommendations.

Essential oils safe to use while pregnant

My three favourites are:

Lavender oil

Lavender is famous for its relaxing and soothing benefits. It has been shown to be an excellent aromatherapy treatment during pregnancy, and it can even encourage relaxation during labour and delivery.

Some research has gone as far as to conclude that lavender oil can effectively reduce labour pain. Consider having an aromatherapy diffuser with lavender oil in the room when you deliver or ask your partner to gently massage diluted lavender oil onto your wrists when labour starts.

Rose oil

Rose oil is another beautiful option for helping with anxiety and encouraging calm and sleep while pregnant.

With this oil too, studies have found that rose oil can help with anxiety during delivery.

Lemon oil

Especially helpful if you are experiencing nausea and vomiting, lemon oil is a great essential oil to use during pregnancy. If used consistently as aromatherapy, lemon oil can reduce the frequency of nausea and vomiting.

Other oils considered safe during pregnancy

  • Geranium oil
  • Roman chamomile oil
  • German chamomile oil
  • Bitter almond
  • Argan
  • Patchouli
  • Pomegranate
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Cypress
  • Myrtle essential
  • Frankincense
  • Peppermint 

Essential oils to avoid when expecting 

There are a number of oils that you should avoid during pregnancy. Truth is, however, that this list is mostly made of oils that haven’t been sufficiently tested for safety while pregnant. 

To err on the side of caution, it is best to avoid the following essential oil while expecting, especially because their toxicity is unknown.

  • Aniseed
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Wormwood (Artemisia Annua)
  • Rue
  • Mugwort
  • Oakmoss
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tansy
  • Thuja
  • Wintergreen
  • Tarragon
  • Birch
  • Hyssop
  • Camphor

If you are dealing with specific pregnancy-related ailments, ask an aromatherapist for advice on the best essential oils and dosage for you.

Hope you find some beautiful oils to uplift your senses and help you feel good during pregnancy. For more, check out my article about meditation during pregnancy

Until next time, Tania xx

*This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not intend to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.