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How to Use Essential Oils Safely When Pregnant

Pregnancy is a fulfilling chapter of a woman’s life. You carry life inside you for nine months, which is an amazing miracle. However, this does not mean that you get to enjoy every moment of it. Morning sickness, weird cravings, muscle ache, and fatigue are some of the symptoms that you will experience. If you’re looking for the perfect solution to ease your body and mind, essential oils are perfect.

Hands forming a heart shape in front of belly

There are a lot of misleading information regarding the use of essential oils when you’re pregnant. It is safe for you to use the right kind of essential oils using the proper methods. Just remember that if you want to enjoy the benefits of using oils, it is important for you to learn how to use them properly.

Are Essential Oils Safe to Use When Pregnant?

Essential oils are versatile and you can use them in various ways whether it’s for personal care or overall wellness. Aside from aromatherapy, essential oils are safe to use topically. You can even ingest certain oils with precaution. Since essential oils have concentrated compounds, some people assume that they can affect the development of the baby or harm your body. Here are some of the things you need to know when using essential oils while pregnant:

1. Do your research before you use essential oils. Essential oils are not dangerous for pregnant women. There have been controversies about the supposed risk of essential oil compounds to cross over the placenta. According to Tisserand and Balacs, authors of Essential Oil Safety, there can only be a risk if the essential oil has high toxicity and concentration. Essential oils are generally safe to use even when you are pregnant. Myths about oils causing premature birth, miscarriage, and affected milk supply are not necessarily true or wrong. Since your body is more delicate when pregnant, you need to practice extra precautions. Learn about these safety measures and what kinds of oils are recommended for you by doing your own research and consulting certified experts.

2. Make sure that you are using high-quality essential oils. The toxicity, purity, and overall safety of essential oils depend on the quality of the oil. Look for trusted brands that use the finest ingredients to create high-quality oil. This will help you avoid any risks of irritation or allergic reactions. Some oils might contain fillers such as solvents so make sure to look out for them.

Box of essential oils

3. Use only food-grade oils for cooking. Yes, it’s safe to ingest essential oils when you are pregnant. Olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil are the types of oil that are safe for you to ingest. Most food-grade oils used for ingestion are mixed with food and beverages to dilute their effects. Avoid using pure oils that have high concentration because they are very potent and may cause burning, irritation, nausea, and other effects.

4. You can use certain essential oils when pregnant. Not all essential oils are safe for you to use. You can use a lot of essential oils to help with your pregnancy but make sure that they are not potent and toxic oils that can harm you. You also have to follow the proper usage of essential oils to avoid any unwanted reaction and remember to always dilute the oils. Castor oil is not as dangerous for pregnancy. This is if you limit its use to topical application. It is important to only apply small amounts of diluted castor oil to affected areas to treat skin concerns such as acne.

5. Start small and slow. If it is your first time to use essential oils when pregnant, start with small amounts of oil and in intervals. Increase the amount as needed or advised by doctors. Avoid excessive use of essential oils whether for topical, aromatherapy or for ingestion.

Essential Oils to Avoid

There are many oils that are not recommended to use when pregnant. They may have strong scents or effects that can cause allergic reactions or irritation when used. You can look for other oils that can be used as alternatives. If pregnant or nursing, avoid using the following essential oils:

  • Basil oil
  • Birch essential oil
  • Camphor essential oil
  • Cinnamon bark oil
  • Clary sage essential oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Parsley seed oil
  • Tarragon essential oil
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Vetiver essential oil
  • Wintergreen essential oil
  • White fir essential oil
  • Wormwood essential oil

Pregnant women holding flowers

How to Use Essential Oils Safely

There are proper ways of using essential oils, depending on what oil you are using and where you will apply them. Make sure that you follow the proper methods of application and usage to avoid risks.

For Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways of using essential oils when pregnant. You can use essential oils to deal with the common symptoms of pregnancy. Oils help lessen nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and cravings. Here’s how you can use aromatherapy oils safely when pregnant:

  1. Choose mild oils that are soothing to your mind and body.
  2. Whether you will diffuse them or apply them topically, make sure to dilute with carrier oils or water.
    • Diffuse a small amount of the oil to test if it does not cause nausea or dizziness.
    • Apply to wrists or to the base of your neck in small amounts. It’s best to use mild oils for topical application.
    • Mix a few drops of aromatherapy oil with water and spray to linens.
    • Put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball and smell it directly.

For Topical Use

Topical oils should be gentle and light for skin and hair. Carefully select the oils that you will apply directly to skin or scalp. Stick to oils that are familiar to you. If you want to try new oils, do a patch test in a small area on the back of your hands. Here are some tips for preparing and using topical oils when pregnant:

  1. Dilute essential oils with lighter carrier oils.
  2. Mix with hair and skin care products to reduce the strong effects of the oils.
  3. Apply as recommended by doctors and in small amounts.
  4. Avoid applying directly to damaged skin.
  5. Remember not to use food-grade oils when applying directly to skin and scalp.

Massaging feet

For Ingestion

Avoid using pure and concentrated essential oils. Food-grade oils are the only type of oil safe to ingest. Mix them with food or beverages in small and regulated amounts to avoid any type of sensitive reaction. Stick to familiar food-grade oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. Remember to always mix essential oils with lighter oils or food so that it masks the strong scent and flavor. Follow these tips when using oils for ingestion:

  1. Avoid drinking directly in huge amounts. Food-grade oils have distinct scents and flavors that may be unpleasant when taken directly. The thickness of oils might make it hard to swallow as well.
  2. You can put 1-2 drops of oil in an organic capsule to help with better ingestion. It will help protect your body from irritation as well.
  3. There are various ways to take essential oils:
    • Put the oil directly under the tongue
    • Mix with food and beverages
    • Put in capsules
  4. Avoid taking essential oils numerous times in one day.

You can ingest essential oils to ease the following symptoms of pregnancy:

  • Heartburn
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion

Top 5 Essential Oils You Can Use

When you use essential oils properly, you can get various physical and emotional benefits. Essential oils do not only ease your body, it helps calm your mind to help you cope with the stress and anxiety caused by pregnancy. Mild essential oils such as the following are safe for aromatherapy and topical uses.

Lavender oil

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has soothing properties that are great for aromatherapy and topical use. It helps ease nausea and dizziness. The oil will aid in relaxing you for better and faster sleep. What’s more, you can use the oil in skin care. Use lavender to lift your spirits and to chase away the stress.

It is effective in soothing swollen feet or aching legs too. Here’s a recipe that will help relax your muscles to get rid of the pain:

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops lavender oil
  • 2 drops ginger oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Procedures:

  1. Melt the coconut oil and mix it with the essential oils.
  2. Transfer to a clean container.
  3. Massage your legs and feet using the mixture.
  4. Use circular motions to help stimulate better blood flow.
  5. Do this every night to reduce aching heels.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is popular for its calming fragrance that is great for pregnant women. Pregnancy is one of the best and most nerve-wracking moments in a woman’s life. It can be especially hard for new moms. Stress, anxiety, fear, and other symptoms of pregnancy can take a toll on you physically and emotionally. Chamomile oil will reduce feelings of stress and anxiety to help you enjoy pregnancy better. It aids in better sleep as well. Insomnia and fatigue are common signs that you might be under stress.

Pregnant women touching her belly

Try this easy recipe you can use for insomnia, nausea, and morning sickness:

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops chamomile oil
  • 2 drops marjoram oil
  • 2 drops lemon oil
  • 10 ml argan oil

Procedures:

  1. Prepare a clean bowl and add sweet almond oil.
  2. Mix the essential oils until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
  3. Transfer to a clean container.
  4. Massage the mixture to your feet or diffuse the blend 30 minutes before sleeping.

Argan Oil

Argan oil has great moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It is rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that are good for your skin and hair. Argan oil is gentle enough to soften your skin and condition your hair. It is good for massaging aching muscles and joints too. This body butter recipe will tighten your skin and improve its radiance. You can use it to keep your skin smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks. Here is how you can do the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup argan oil
  • ½ cup shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 10 drops of essential oils blend
    • Preferably lavender, chamomile, and argan oil

Argan oil

Procedures:

  1. Whisk shea butter in a clean bowl until it has a creamy consistency.
  2. To soften shea butter, you can warm the small bowl to melt the butter.
  3. Mix argan oil while mixing.
  4. Add cornstarch and the blend of essential oils. Mix the ingredients together until it is smooth.
  5. Transfer to a clean container.
  6. Get a small amount of the body butter and apply to desired area. Massage in circular motions to help absorption of moisture and nutrients.

Ylang-Ylang Oil

Ylang-ylang oil has a sweet smell with traces of sharp fruitiness. It is good for your nervous system and helps alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Anxiety is a common issue of pregnant women who also feel a lot of stress. It often leads to depression especially after giving birth. If you are experiencing post-partum depression, here is a good recipe that will help pick up your mood:

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops ylang-ylang oil
  • 2 drops bergamot or other citrus oils

Procedures:

  1. Mix the essential oils in a clean bowl.
  2. Apply to temples, base of the neck, or wrists to get a whiff of the relaxing scent.
  3. You can diffuse it for a relaxing time at home too.

Bergamot essential oil

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot essential oil has a fresh and citrusy scent that is great for boosting your energy. It helps prevent depression too. Smelling the fragrance of bergamot essential oil is good for relieving tension in muscles and helps relax the body. It is good for you if you often experience fatigue. Try your hand at creating this essential oil spray:

Ingredients:

  • 4 drops bergamot oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood oil
  • 2 drops sandalwood oil

Procedures:

  1. Mix the essential oils in a clean bowl.
  2. Diffuse 30 minutes before sleeping.
  3. You can add this blend to your bath too to help ease your body into a relaxed state.

You can use various blends of gentle essential oils for body care. Essential oils have therapeutic effects that will soothe your body and help with the symptoms of pregnancy. Just look for the best essential oils that suit your needs.

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