Essential oils come from different parts of plants, including the seeds, bark, stems, and flowers. Essential oils are very concentrated, and are used for a wide variety of things, including making homemade soaps, treating acne, and making your home smell nice naturally instead of using aerosol sprays.
Essential oils are used extensively in aromatherapy, which is a type of therapy that uses scents for physical and emotional well-being. Each oil serves a specific purpose, such as promoting relaxation and a sense of calm, helping with aches and pains, or helping with inflammation. Some oils can be used for treating acne and scarring, or helping those with sleep disorders like insomnia.
While essential oils do harness the incredible power of plants for us to feel better in mind, body and spirit, there are some precautions we sometimes have to take, especially if a woman is pregnant. Essential oils are highly concentrated, which means they can cause irritation, so a small patch test should be done to check when a woman goes to use a new oil.
Some oils work wonders for helping with ailments like headaches and muscle aches throughout pregnancy, and some can help with morning sickness. When it comes to labor, there are some oils that can help speed up the process and make it run smoother, as well as offer mom feelings of tranquility during the process, when she might be anxious. When we use essential oils right, there are some amazing benefits. However, when we use them incorrectly or at the wrong time during a pregnancy, they can cause harm to our baby.
14 Helpful: Lavender For Calming Mom's Nerves
Lavender oil is known as the holy grail of relaxing oils, and can really help to make you feel a sense of calm and tranquility. Aside from smelling absolutely heavenly, lavender can be used to help heal any wounds or burns you might have, as well as help with acne and scarring. For women who are dealing with eczema while pregnant, this oil can be used to help soothe it and make your skin feel better and not as inflamed. Women who are dealing with problems sleeping can also place a few drops of lavender oil into an aromatherapy diffuser and have it run throughout the night.
Your room will be full of the scent of lavender, which helps to produce a feeling of relaxation, making it easier to drift off to sleep. Lavender oil can also be used in a bath with some Epsom salts for tired muscles, or used with a carrier oil and rubbed on your body to help with pain and stretch marks. Steer clear of this oil for the first twenty weeks, though. However, it's fine to use during labor, but not in conjunction with an epidural.
13 Harmful: Basil Can Cause Abnormal Cell Development
For a woman who is not pregnant, basil essential oil has a ton of great health benefits, which include helping make hair healthy and shinier, as well as help with giving skin a youthful glow. It's also know for helping with ridding the body of a common cold or flu virus, and aiding in digestion. It's also been found that it can help with depression. However, it's NOT safe for a pregnant woman to use basil essential oil because it can lead to abnormal cell development, which an harm your baby and put a healthy pregnancy at risk.
However, mom can use basil essential oil after her pregnancy to help with any postpartum depression symptoms, and also to help promote breast milk production. Basil essential oil can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser to help boost mom's mood, or add a couple of drops to some carrier oil and use on mom's breasts to help with milk production.
12 Helpful: Sweet-Smelling Rose For Softening Ligaments
Rose is a sweet essential oil that is also known to help produce a feeling of calm and relaxation, which can be wonderful during the labor and birthing process when tension can run high. Rose essential oil is known to help soften the ligaments in your body for your pelvis to be able to open up enough for your baby to be birthed. You can create a mixture in a small dark brown glass bottle to take with you to the hospital or for use during your home birth.
You just need to add a few drops of oil to a carrier oil, like olive oil or castor oil. Rose essential oils helps boost your mood and is a natural antidepressant. It can help with promoting joy during the labor process which can be stressful, and it also helps to soothe muscle soreness and spasms. Rose essential oil has also been linked to increased feelings of self confidence—something you'll want to feel during labor and birthing.
11 Harmful: Cinnamon Can Give Mom Early Contractions
Cinnamon essential oil should be avoided at all times of a pregnancy because it can cause a woman to bleed, which may lead to preterm labor, a miscarriage, or other fetal and birthing issues. Cinnamon is also an incredibly concentrated essential oil, and too much can cause a severe rash and inflammation. Cinnamon oil can also cause contractions, which, if this oil is not used at the right time when mom should be having contractions (meaning it's too early for her to have them and baby is not ready to be delivered), could cause severe complications like miscarriage and stillbirth.
Mom should also steer clear of cinnamon oil during breastfeeding. Cinnamon oil is normally used to help increase circulation and ease depression. If mom is looking to do either of these things, she should try rose essential oil instead. Mom can add a few drops of rose oil to her baths to help with soreness and depression, or can add some oil to an aromatherapy diffuser as she sleeps (or she can even keep it on throughout the day) for a mood-boosting effect that is safe for her.
10 Helpful: Frankincense For Scar And Wound Healing
Frankincense is hailed as an incredibly healing essential oil, and is a really wonderful one to have on hand during the labor process. A great blend that you can make takes one ounce of almond oil and five drops of frankincense essential oils, and then rub it onto the perineum during labor. Frankincense is known to be a stress-reliever, and can also be used to help with PMS and cramps.
It's wonderful for helping with scars and wounds, as well as healing stretch marks. The greatest use though, which is why it's wonderful for use during labor, is helping to improve circulation in an area and ease pain. That means it can help with soothing any tearing, stretching, muscle soreness, and other forms of pain. Frankincense will really come in handy after your birth as well, as pouring a few drops into a hot bath can help relieve pain and inflammation. It will also help you feel more at peace.
9 Harmful: Nutmeg Can React With Labor Medications
Nutmeg should be avoided during pregnancy as a whole, but definitely during labor as it can cause hallucinations and can also react with labor medications such as epidurals and other pain-relieving medications given to mom. It is also known to cause miscarriages when used in large doses. To be sure that she does not run the risk of negatively impacting her pregnancy, mom should try and stay away from this oil. Nutmeg is normally used to help with circulation, swelling, muscle pain, and help with feelings of exhaustion and anxiety.
If a pregnant woman is looking for relief from swelling and muscle pain, she could try taking a warm bath with some lavender or myrrh. If she needs help feeling calmer, she can put a few drops of rose oil into an aromatherapy diffuser. Nutmeg is often used to help with insomnia, hormonal imbalance, and tummy issues. Rose and lavender oil can help mom with insomnia, ylang ylang can help her with hormonal imbalance, and peppermint is a nice fix for mom when she has tummy issues.
8 Helpful: Clary Sage For Labor And Birthing Pain
Clary sage has a whole slew of great benefits for both pregnant and non-pregnant women, including being able to help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, help with migraines, and also help with PMS. During labor, this essential oil comes in handy to help aid in promoting the labor process. It can help induce it, and can help ease the entire process.
This essential oil tends to come in handy for women who are having a tough time with the labor process and want to try and speed it up. A good blend for using clary sage during labor would be to mix a few drops with some carrier oil of your choice (like sweet almond or avocado), and then mix it up. Mom can massage some of this mixture onto her belly to help with labor and birthing pain. However, be sure not to use this during another time of pregnancy since it is linked to inducing labor.
7 Harmful: Parsley Can Cause Contractions To Happen Too Early
Mom wants to steer clear of parsley, as using this essential oil can cause her to have contractions too early. This herb is also known to be an emmenagogue, which means that it can cause a woman to bleed. Parsley is often used to help a woman stimulate her period, which means that when mom is pregnant with her baby, having too high of a dose of parsely or parsely essential oil can cause her to bleed and have contractions too soon, leading to preterm labor or a miscarriage.
Parsely is generally used to help with digestive issues, and is also a diuretic, which helps a person detox their body and get rid of excess fluids and toxins in the body. It can help relieve PMS symptoms, and helps with menstrual cramps naturally. It's also known to be good for lowering blood pressure, and keeping you feeling alert. If a woman wants relief from digestive issues, she can use peppermint essential oil, and ylang ylang will help with PMS symptoms. Myrrh can help up her energy levels during labor, and help her from feeling too tired during the process.
6 Helpful: Peppermint To Breech Baby Naturally
Peppermint is such a wonderful, sweet-smelling aroma that can help create a sense of alertness and mental clarity for mom. It can also help her if she is dealing with headaches during labor, as well as congestion, and sore muscles. Peppermint oil can be placed in an aromatherapy diffuser with water to fill the room with the scent (this is especially good if mom is having a home birth). She can also drink peppermint tea is she is feeling nauseous during the process. In fact, drinking peppermint tea even earlier in the pregnancy can help mom with morning sickness and gas. Peppermint essential oil has been tied to helping women turn a breech baby naturally.
When the oil is applied to the belly, the cooling effect of the oil tends to make the baby want to turn its head the opposite way, putting it in the proper position for delivery. Mix a couple of peppermint essential oil with some carrier oil and rub on, but be careful as peppermint oil is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way!
5 Harmful: Juniper Berry Can Damage Mom's Kidneys And Liver
Juniper berry essential oil isn't a good choice for pregnant women as it can be very hard on mom's kidneys and liver. It can also cause contractions to happen too early or not at the right time, and can cause issues like miscarriage if used too early in the pregnancy. Junpier berry can cause allergic reactions, and can also make it harder for mom's egg to be implanted. It can also cause mom to have a miscarriage, as it has abortive effects.
It can start a woman's period, and juniper should never be ingested by a pregnant woman. It's not even safe for women to use when they are breast feeding. Juniper berry essential oil is generally used for increased circulation, and helping with skin conditions. It's also great for boosting the immune system, fighting feelings of exhaustion, and helping with inflammation. If mom needs relief from exhaustion, she can use ylang ylang, and if she needs help with inflammation, she can use a mix of a couple drops of each frankincense and myrrh with some coconut oil and massage it onto the area that is swollen or sore.
4 Helpful: Myrrh For Stronger Contractions
Myrrh is perfect for women who is going through stalled labor, and will help strengthen contractions. The scent is sweet and earthy, and someone who is with mom in the room during her labor and birth can put a few drops onto a cotton ball and let her smell it. She can also rub 1-3 drops of the oil diluted in some carrier oil (like sweet almond), and rub it on her belly. Not only will the massage feel good, but it will help get her contractions going again and allow for her cervix to open more for delivery. Myrrh is wonderful for helping mom stay alert and energetic during labor, allowing for he to have more mental clarity. Labor and birthing can be an exhausting process, and keeping this oil by mom's side will help these go smoother when she's in need of some help during labor. Not only will it help contractions, but mom's circulation and energy levels as well.
3 Harmful: Rosemary Can Make Mom's Blood Pressure Too High
Rosemary essential oil should be avoided during labor as it can cause a woman's blood pressure to spike during labor and delivery, which could have really detrimental effects on the health of her baby. It has also been linked to causing contractions, which can be a problem if a woman begins having them too early, leading to preterm birth. It is believed that rosemary causes many negative effects on a woman's pregnancy due to its camphor content. Rosemary essential oil should always only be used topically, and never ingested as it is toxic.
However, when a pregnant woman uses rosemary essential oil, it can cause effects like miscarriage because skin is semi-permeable, allowing for contents in rosemary oil to affect a growing fetus. Eating small amounts of rosemary when pregnant will not cause the same negative effects, and should be okay. Rosemary oil is typically used to help with stress relief, circulation, and headaches. If mom is looking for stress relief, she should try a safe oil like lavender, and peppermint can help with her headaches.
2 Helpful: Ylang Ylang To Promote Relaxation And Balance
Ylang ylang is great for a woman who is looking to keep her blood pressure lowered during delivery, and helps with calming mom's nerves. Labor can be stressful! Sniffing some ylang ylang that has been poured onto a cotton ball can help soothe mom's stressful feelings during labor and the birthing process. It can also be mixed with some carrier oil and lavender oil to create a rollerball perfume that you can put on your wrists and sniff during high-tension times during labor and delivery.
Adding a few drops of ylang ylang into an aromatherapy diffuser during labor can also help create a more relaxing and tranquil space. Ylang ylang is also known to help balance a woman's hormones when she feels like they might be a little off, and also promotes healthy skin and hair. When mom wants a relaxing day at home during her pregnancy, she can mix a few drops of ylang ylang oil into some coconut oil and massage her scalp, or have a loved on do it for her. Not only is the mixture great for mom's hair, but also helps promote relaxation.
1 Harmful: Wintergreen Can Cause Toxicity
Mom should not use wintergreen essential oil during her pregnancy as it can be toxic in large amounts, which could potentially hurt her fetus and cause serious issues like a miscarriage or stillbirth. Wintergreen essential oil is typically used to help with muscle and joint aches, respiratory health, and for flavoring in toothpastes and gum. It has also been said that wintergreen is great for helping women heal emotional wounds, and learn to "let go" of old habits and negative thought patterns. It's also wonderful as a stress reliever.
If a pregnant woman is looking for relief from muscle and joint pain, she can take a warm bath with Epsom salts and add a couple of drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil. If mom needs some help feeling more emotionally balanced, ylang ylang is a great option, as is lavender or rose. Any of those oils can be added to an aromatherapy diffuser for her to enjoy.
Sources: DoTERRA Essential Oils, Dr. Axe, LiveStrong, Young Living, Lori Bregman, Common Scents Mom, American Pregnancy, Rooted Blessings, Aromatherapy.com, Natural Living Mamma, Healthline, Kern Wellness, Organic Facts, The Centsable Shoppin, The Paleo Mama, Mercola, Superfood Profiles, Drugs.com, Natural Living Ideas, Sustainable Baby Steps