Using essential oils when pregnant can be a great way to relax however there are some oils you might want to avoid using. Asking a qualified aromatherapist, Doula or Midwife about which oils are safe to use is a great place to start. There are a few other alternative therapies you might want to consider in pregnancy too.
You might want to save using essential oils for the later stages in pregnancy rather than the first trimester and there are ones that are probably best left until labour is imminent. I would also suggest smelling the oils that are pregnancy safe before using them as our sense of smell in pregnancy is pretty epic. Scents you usually love, might actually be hard to stomach.
Essential oils aren’t for ingestion but actually for diluting or smelling. If there are some particular fragrances you really love try using the natural herb or plant which can be very potent but might have more benefits for you. This can be particularly helpful in labour.
If you’re not currently expecting then you may want to try some of these oils for yourself, they’re some of my personal favourites.
Tips for safe use of essential oils:
- Make sure it’s a pure oil and from a reputable source – read the ingredients first
- Always ask a qualified professional for advice on essential oils or aromatherapy before using
- Use very small amounts, one or two drops at a time, especially in water
- When applying to the skin, mix with a skin safe oil first. I personally love using coconut oil as it melts into the skin so nicely
- Consider avoiding use if you have been bleeding through pregnancy, have high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes or heart conditions.
Lavender Oil – this can be used directly on the skin by most cases and is one of the few that can. It’s great for headaches by simply rubbing a drop into your temples. Lavender is also relaxing and great to smell in the bath or before bed for a good night sleep. You could try rubbing a little on the bottom of your feet before bed too if you’re struggling to rest. Lavender can also be used during labour or after birth as it can help relieve tension
Peppermint Oil – Can be a great way to ease morning sickness
Ginger – Another oil to help ease symptoms of sickness
Eucalyptus – Being pregnant there isn’t much you can take for colds and coughs but I find a few drops in steaming water, in the bathroom is a great way to relieve a stuffy nose and have been using this myself as I’ve really suffered with nasal congestion this pregnancy.
Citrus Oils – Things like Lime, Lemon or Mandarin can be really uplifting and help give you a little extra energy. I love smelling these fragrances in the morning or adding a drop or two when having a shower.
Neroli – Can help make you feel calm and balance anxiety
Chamomile – a great one to relax and soothe aching muscles. You can use this with a base oil, like coconut oil, or dilute in a bath if that helps you relax too.
Clary Sage – You will want to avoid this one unless you are at full term. Apparently, having this massaged into the back can be really quite lovely. It is said that Clary Sage can really help bring on contractions and some women may like to have this used on them when they go overdue to try and bring labour on.
Frankincense – A good one to keep you grounded and focused. Frankincense might be ideal for taking into a hospital birth and applying a few drops to a handkerchief to breathe in and out of during contractions to help keep you focused.
Jasmine – another oil that can work similarly to Clary Sage – I personally love this fragrance too so it will be on hand in my labour kit.
Warming Oils for Post Natal massage such as Cinnamon, Orange and Black Pepper
Adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil onto a maternity pad and then popping them in the freezer can really aid with pain. Tea Tree is naturally antibacterial and a natural cleanser.