Essential oils are a fantastic way to provide healing and soothing benefits to pregnant and nursing moms. However, there are certain guidelines that should be followed to get the most out of your oil use, and to keep mother and baby safe.
When essential oils are the right way, they can help the expecting mom by relieving a variety of symptoms, from nausea and insomnia to swollen ankles and stress.
To make sure you’re using the oils properly, be sure to follow these guidelines:
1. Avoid any essential oil use during the first trimester.
2. Avoid ingestion while pregnant or nursing. Stick with inhalation and topical application.
3. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. 6 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil is good for pregnancy, and 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier is safe during labor and as a nursing mom.
4. Use the least amount of oil that you find effective.
5. Use your diffuser no more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time, since pregnant mothers are sensitive to smell, and too much scent could cause nausea or headaches.
6. Avoid peppermint while nursing as that can affect some women’s milk supply.
7. Stick with 100% therapeutic grade essential oils, and skip any oils like jasmine that are absolutes, which are extracted using solvents and are not true essential oils.
8. After the baby is born, be sure to wash your hands after handling essential oils before you touch your baby, or you could accidentally get oils near the baby’s eyes, which could sting.
9. When applying citrus oils topically, avoid being in direct sun for very long within 12 to 24 hours of application, or else apply the oils to skin areas that will be hidden under clothing.
Essential Oils For Pregnancy And Nursing
The following oils should be safe for use during pregnancy and when nursing. While it may not be a complete list (since not all oils have been studied clinically on pregnant women), it’s best to stick to this list of oils known to be safe and effective for pregnancy and nursing.
- Balsam Fir
- Black Pepper
- Blue Tansy
- Chamomile (both German and Roman)
- Dill Weed
- Fir Needle
- Frankincense (both Boswellia carteri and Boswellia frereana varieties)
- Juniper berry
- Marjoram, Sweet
- Orange, Sweet
- Pine, Scots
- Rose, Otto
- Spruce, Norway
- Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia variety)
- Ylang Ylang
In addition to the list above, women who are nursing can use clary sage, but it should be avoided while pregnant.
Remedies For Pregnant And Nursing Women
Anxiety/Stress: cedarwood, ylang ylang, frankincense, lavender, copaiba, blue tansy
Back Pain/Sciatic Nerve Pain: black pepper, sweet marjoram, copaiba, chamomile
Congestion/Cold: fir needle, cypress, frankincense, juniper, bergamot, lemon
Fatigue: black pepper, spearmint, lemon
Insomnia: vetiver, ylang ylang, sandalwood, lavender, cedarwood, chamomile
Leg Swelling/Cramps: cypress, lavender
Muscle Aches: sandalwood, scots pine, petitgrain, helichrysum, lemon, copaiba
Nausea: ginger, spearmint
Post-Cesarean Wound Healing: helichrysum, lavender, frankincense
Stretch Marks and Scars: sandalwood, helichrysum, lavender, frankincense
By using the right essential oils for pregnancy and nursing, you can effectively alleviate many pregnancy and postpartum conditions to make your gestation and delivery a smoother and more enjoyable experience.