The use of essential oils during pregnancy is a controversial issue, mainly because there haven’t been a lot of studies done on the topic. Essential oils have been used for over 25 years by midwives, doulas, nurses, and mothers-to-be and, when used appropriately, have shown no harm to the mother or baby. In fact Jane Buckle, RN (Buckle, 2015) states;
“There are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses as a result of the normal use of essential oils, either by inhalation or by topical application.”
When used correctly, the use of pure essential oils is a beautiful and supportive therapy for both mother and baby. It can provide an enriching dimension to a woman’s experience during this time by reducing stress levels and easing pregnancy symptoms, including nausea/vomiting, swelling of ankles and muscle spasms, insomnia and more!
It is important to acknowledge that there are standard safe practices in regard to using essential oils while pregnant. We always recommend talking with a trusted medical professional or aromatherapist before usage. Below we are going to go through the do’s and don’ts of essential oil use during pregnancy.
While topical applications and diffusion are both safe routes to use essential oils while you are pregnant or nursing, many essential oils can be toxic to the baby if ingested.
LESS IS MORE
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond, coconut, hemp seed, etc.) before use. The recommended dilution is 1% or less for all skin applications (via massage or compress). In the bath, add no more than 4 drops of essential oil. Never apply undiluted, neat oils to your skin.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Avoid absolutes and other solvent extracted "essential oils". Not considered true essential oils, absolutes are created using a solvent, often hexane or butane, to retain the fragrance. Though there should be no solvent left in the final product, you cannot be sure, and traces of hexane have been found throughout many absolutes.
CHOOSE YOUR OILS CAREFULLY
Certain essential oils have been determined to be unsafe for use during pregnancy and lactation, via ALL ROUTES (i.e. diffusion, topical, ingestion). This is because their chemical makeup contains specific chemical constituents that can cross the placenta and become toxic to the fetus or can trigger contractions and miscarriage. Click herefor the list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. Other oils have been found to be completely safe and beneficial during pregnancy. Lavender, Neroli and Sandalwood for example has been found to reduce anxiety and have been found to effectively reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature.
What's your favorite essential oil? I would love to hear how essential oils have benefited you during your pregnancy! Let me know in the comments below.
Our product range contains very low concentrations of essential oils (less than 0.1%) that have been found to be safe during pregnancy and lactation such as Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon oil.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to leave a comment below. For more tips and advice on maternity skin care check out the Expert Advice section of the Natralogic website.
All the best
Lauren Lamont - Natralogic Founder
MSc Chemistry, Dip.Cos.Sci (SA)