Which Aromatherapy Oils Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is such a special time. However it has a level of stress that comes with it as a new mom-to-be, because you will protect this growing baby in every way you can. Pregnancy also has symptoms that do not get as much airtime as the regular symptoms like nausea, back pain and swollen ankles; what they don’t mention is sinus congestion, dental problems, leg cramps and skin changes to mention a few. I mean, seriously? Sinus congestion? Really? Really.

Knowing that you can’t have most medication during pregnancy, we turn to natural remedies to try to relieve these symptoms. Aromatherapy can be extremely effective but you must work with a qualified aromatherapist who knows her oils because they are potent. Essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be diluted before use. Mixing them with a carrier oil like Grapeseed oil for massage or using them in a humidifier or even putting a few drops into a cup of hot water to inhale them. During pregnancy you should be diluting them 10 drops to a table spoon of oil or 8 drops to a running bath.

In this guide, we will talk about which oils are not safe, which are and when they will benefit you.

Oils to Avoid

It is considered unethical to test on pregnant women, so it is assumed that any oil that will stimulate circulation too much or cause cramping should be avoided. Used at the right dilution, most oils will not cause a problem, so if you do come into contact with oils that you have not had control over, do not panic but do consult your doctor or midwife.

  • Basil
  • Cedarwood
  • Cinnamon
  • Clary sage (OK during labour)
  • Clove
  • Cypress (OK after 5 months)
  • Fennel
  • Hyssop
  • Jasmine (OK during labour)
  • Juniper
  • Lemongrass
  • Myrrh
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sweet marjoram
  • Thyme

Oils That Are Safe – And Their Benefits

  • Bergamot
Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helps relieve cystitis (UTI) during pregnancy.
  • Chamomile
Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes muscular pain, headaches, toothaches and indigestion. Very calming, the tea is recommended to help you fight insomnia too.
  •  Cypress  
    (OK after 5 months)
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and diuretic. Helps with varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.
  • Eucalyptus
Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helps with those sinuses! You can breathe this in from a cup of hot water, steam with it and we offer a pressure pointed massage in our pregnancy massage subscriptions.
  • Frankincense
Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming.
  • Geranium  
    (OK after 3 months)
Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting. Helps aching legs and is good for poor circulation.
  • Grapefruit
Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with water retention.
  • Lavender
Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains of pregnancy, encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid retention. Helps you to sleep too. This oil is also great for baby once they arrive.
  • Lemon
Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in massage for varicose veins.
  • Mandarin
Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant. Can help with water retention in leg and ankle massages.
  • Neroli
Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing. Useful in pregnancy to promote healthy skin cell regeneration and for easing nervous tension.
  • Patchouli
Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision and apathy.
  • Petitgrain
Antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, refreshing. Helpful in dealing with pre or postpartum depression.
  • Rosewood
Antiseptic, sedative.
  • Sandalwood
Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helps with cystitis (UTI) during pregnancy.
  • Tangerine
Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks, though we recommend a daily oil that you can rub on your breasts, belly and buttocks to prevent stretch marks.
  • Tea Tree
Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during pregnancy. The magic oil! You can do so much with Tea Tree, it can even be used on the skin if you are breaking out.
  • Ylang Ylang
Antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood pressure. Relieves tension and relaxes an overworked mom.

When using any oils at anytime you must pay attention to your history, your allergies and then make a decision on the right oil for you, so it is best to consult a practitioner.