Essential oils during pregnancy: how and which ones to use?

For thousands of years, people seeking natural remedies have used essential oils as a natural treatment for their ailments. Although they are natural and can relieve nausea, anxiety, and headaches, they are not always recommended for pregnant women . What essential oils are allowed during pregnancy? and those prohibited?

What is an essential oil ?

First, essential oils are a category of evaporated aromatic oils derived from plants . In their host plant, oils are responsible for the plant's characteristic odor, attract beneficial organisms, repel harmful pests. In addition, they help the plant to reproduce, regenerate and heal.

Next, the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians are considered the first humans to harness the many abilities of essential oils. These ancient peoples developed the techniques used by distillation and pressing. They used essential oils because of their healing and medicinal properties, for cosmetic purposes. In addition, They used them to facilitate spiritual meditation and relaxation.

Can essential oils be used during pregnancy?

It is not recommended to use essential oils during the first 3 months of pregnancy . Indeed, they can potentially cause uterine contractions or harm the development of the baby. More research needs to be done on the subject, but prevention is always better than cure.

Pregnant women should also avoid aromatherapy products and treatments during the first trimester . Indeed, essential oils are the main ingredients used in aromatherapy.

pregnancy care

Essential oils prohibited throughout pregnancy

Yarrow, Acorus calamus, Garlic, Ajowan, Dill, Green anise, Angelica, Mugwort, Siam wood, Ceylon cinnamon (leaf and bark), Chinese cinnamon, Caraway, Atlas cedar, Himalayan cedar, Turmeric, Cypress, Eucalyptus with cryptone, Eucalyptus globulus, Menthol eucalyptus, Juniper, Clove (nail and leaf except childbirth), Hyssop officinalis, Katrafay, Lantana, Stoechade lavender, Field mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Pennyroyal, Nard, Nutmeg, Oregano compact and vulgaris, Palmarosa (except childbirth), Parsley, Rosemary with camphor, Rosemary with verbenone, Savory, Sage officinalis, Marigold, Arborvitae, Thyme with linalool, Thyme with thymol, Thyme saturated, Indian valerian, Verge d'or, Zedoaire...

Essential oils authorized from the 4th month of pregnancy

The use of certain essential oils, for external use only , is possible from the 4th month of pregnancy with the prior agreement of a health professional.

Here is a non-exhaustive list from the second trimester:

Linalool basil, Bergamot (with or without furocoumarins), Ho wood, German chamomile, Roman chamomile, Cardamom, Virginia cedar, Cistus ladaniferous, Lemon, Lime, Black spruce, Lemon eucalyptus, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus smithii, Fragonia, Bourbon Geranium, Egyptian Geranium, Ginger, Iary, Fragrant Inula, Kunzea, Noble Laurel, Fine Lavender, Pistachio Lentisk, Mandarin, Marjoram with Shells, Marjoram with Thujanol, Niaouli, Orange, Blood Orange, Petitgrain Bigarade, Laricio Pine, Maritime Pine, Scots Pine, Hemlock, Ravintsara, Rhododendron, Rosalina, Tea tree.

Some advice if you decide to use essential oils from the 4th month of pregnancy:

  • Always read and follow the instructions for use before use (such as the dosage)
  • Never take essential oils orally throughout pregnancy (unless medical advice to the contrary)
  • The application on the skin remains to be preferred (avoiding all the same the application of essential oils on the belly)
  • Inhalation via a diffuser or a handkerchief of certain essential oils is possible

Also, if you want to apply an essential oil to your skin, be sure to mix them in a carrier oil. Also, test a small area of ​​your skin for sensitivity before general use.

Essential oils while breastfeeding

Like pregnancy, breastfeeding puts a lot of strain on the body. While breastfeeding, the goal is to maintain a strong, healthy body that will support a healthy newborn.

While the body changes dramatically during pregnancy, these changes don't stop when the baby is born. Your body will continue to change as you adjust to postpartum life. You should discuss the use of essential oils with your doctor before using them during pregnancy.

Again, your doctor is the best source of advice when it comes to your body, your baby, and any special concerns you may have.

Risks during pregnancy or breastfeeding

Some people may have an allergic reaction or skin irritation after using essential oils. You are more likely to have a bad reaction if you have atopic dermatitis.

Finally, if you get a red, itchy rash or hives after using it, contact your doctor. These symptoms are often signs of an allergic reaction.

Additionally, many essential oils are specifically unsafe during pregnancy, either because they can cause complications .

How to find quality essential oils?

Here are some tips for finding a quality essential oil:

  • Check the label. A good quality oil will include the plant's Latin name, ingredient information, and purity.
  • Research the company . Buy products from reputable aromatherapy companies that have an established reputation and a few years of experience in the industry.
  • Avoid scented oils . Look for essential oils in pure form that contain 100% essential oil, with no additives or fillers.

Anti-stretch mark treatments without essential oils

Téane Laboratories have chosen not to use essential oils in its formulas so that you can use them safely from the first month of pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

First of all, for the prevention of stretch marks, we recommend that you use the 1st Care Stretch Marks Cream from the first stages of pregnancy. From the second trimester, it will be necessary to associate the Cream 1st Soin Stretch Marks with the Generous Soothing Oil to improve the elasticity of the skin.

To repair the skin and reduce stretch marks, we recommend SOS Stretch Marks Balm . It contains natural and patented active ingredients for pregnancy stretch marks. Then, to firm up the skin after childbirth, add Firming Fresh Milk to your skincare routine.

Bibliography and further reading

  • Aromazone, thematic file, essential oils and pregnancy, available here .
  • Murkoff E. Heidi ve Mazel Sharon. (2009) What to Expect When You're Expecting. (What to expect when expecting a baby) ( 4th edition) New York: Workman Publishing.
  • Roger W Harms. (2004 ) Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy ( 1st edition) New York: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Photo credit: pixabay .

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