Breastfeeding

Safe Essential Oils to Use While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

I'm Rebecca Burditt!

A Holistic Maternal & Child Health Practitioner using real food nutrition and organic living to raise my farm grown kids on our California Central Coast farm. I help empower mamas (& the professionals who support them) to thrive like a mother.

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Essential oils are pretty fabulous, aren’t they?

After all, as long as you’re using them safely, essential oils can make such a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.

As a pregnant or lactating mother it’s common to have so many questions about what’s safe to put in and on your body and what should be avoided.

Of course, questioning essential oil safety is definitely one of the things that top this list.

What’s important to understand is that essential oils do cross the placental barrier and also have the potential to cross over into your milk supply.

So, what does that mean?

Essential oils need to be highly respected during pregnancy and lactation. The method of use, the amount of and how often an essential oil is used, etc. are all factors to consider.

Note: is it not recommended to use essential oils during the first trimester of pregnancy or at any dilution higher than 1% while pregnant or breastfeeding.

One of the other huge factors to consider is — the actual essential oil you are using.

Many essential oils should be completely avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding which you can read more about here.

Others are generally considered safe during this time…again, as long as you’re using them respectively.

The following lists break down the essential oils that are generally considered safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding and according to the specific benefit they’re associated with (i.e.; energy, immune support, aches, etc.).

Enjoy!

Safe Essential Oils to Use While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

ENERGY & UPLIFTING

BergamotFir Needle
Lemon (cold pressed)Orange (sweet)
Peppermint* (pregnancy ONLY)Rosemary* (pregnancy ONLY)
SpearmintSpruce
* Peppermint & rosemary should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply

SKIN CONCERNS

BergamotBlue Tansy
Cedarwood AtlanticaCedarwood Virginian
Chamomile GermanCopaiba Balsam
CorianderFrankincense Carteri
Frankincense FrereanaGeranium Bourbon
Geranium EgyptianGrapefruit
Helichrysum ItalicumLavender (not Spanish)
NeroliPatchouli
PetitgrainRose
SandalwoodTea Tree
Vetiver

FOCUS & ATTENTION

BergamontCoriander
GrapefruitLemon (cold pressed)
OrangePeppermint* (pregnancy ONLY)
Rosemary* (pregnancy ONLY)Spearmint
SpruceVetiver
* Peppermint & rosemary should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply

IMMUNE SUPPORT

BergamontClary Sage** (breastfeeding ONLY)
Dill WeedFrankincense Carteri
Frankincense FrereanaGrapefruit
Helichrysum ItalicumLavender (not Spanish)
Lemon (cold pressed)Orange (blood)
PatchouliPetitgrain
Rosemary* (pregnancy ONLY)Tangerine
Tea TreeVetiver
* Rosemary should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply
** Clary sage should be avoided during pregnancy because it can stimulate uterine contractions

SLEEP & RELAXATION

Blue TansyChamomile German
Chamomile RomanClary Sage** (breastfeeding ONLY)
CorianderJasmine Absolute
Lavender (not Spanish)Orange (sweet)
Rose AbsoluteSandalwood
Vetiver
** Clary sage should be avoided during pregnancy because it can stimulate uterine contractions

RESPIRATORY SUPPORT

Blue TansyCedarwood Atlantica
Cedarwood HimalayanCedarwood Virginian
Copaiba BalsamCypress
Fir NeedleHelichrysum Spendidum
Peppermint* (pregnancy ONLY)Pine
Rosemary* (pregnancy ONLY)
* Peppermint & rosemary should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply

DIGESTIVE RELIEF

Black PepperChamomile Roman
Clary Sage** (breastfeeding ONLY)Copaiba Balsam
CorianderDill Weed
GrapefruitOrange (sweet)
Peppermint* (pregnancy ONLY)Spearmint
Tangerine
* Peppermint should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply
** Clary sage should be avoided during pregnancy because it can stimulate uterine contractions

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

BergamotBlue Tansy
Cedarwood HimalayanCedarwood Virginian
Chamomile RomanClary Sage** (breastfeeding ONLY)
CorianderFrankincense Carteri
Geranium BourbonGeranium Egyptian
GrapefruitHelichrysum Italicum
Jasmine AbsoluteLavender (not Spanish)
MandarinNeroli
Orange (blood)Orange (sweet)
PatchouliPetitgrain
RosalinaRose Absolute
SandalwoodSpruce
Vetiver
** Clary sage should be avoided during pregnancy because it can stimulate uterine contractions

ACHES & DISCOMFORT

Black PepperBlue Tansy
Cedarwood AtlasChamomile German
Chamomile RomanCopaiba Balsam
CorianderCypress
Frankincense CarteriGeranium Bourbon
Geranium EgyptianLavender (not Spanish)
Peppermint* (pregnancy ONLY)Pine
Rosalina
* Peppermint should be avoided while breastfeeding because it may reduce milk supply
NOTE: The above lists may not be exhaustive. Please always check any essential oil you’re about to use for any possible contraindications & proper application guidelines.

References:

  1. Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2nd ed., Elsevier, 2014.

Learn more here

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A Holistic Maternal & Child Health Practitioner, using real food nutrition and organic living to raise my farm grown kids on our California Central Coast farm. I help empower mamas (& the professionals who support them) to thrive like a mother.™ 
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I'm Rebecca Burditt.

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