Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy

A pregnant woman using oil on her tummy and smelling essential oil for morning sickness and maternity health.

Being pregnant comes with many aches, pains, insomnia, and nausea. Many of these things can be hard to deal with or make it hard to get the rest that we so crave when we’re pregnant. You can do various things to help get through it, and using the right essential oils for pregnancy is one of them.

Using essential oils while pregnant is a topic that is widely discussed. Many people have different opinions on the matter – however, thousands upon thousands of women worldwide use essential oils during pregnancy and have for centuries. Many can really help, are safe to use, and help the most during symptoms associated with specific trimesters.

Essential Oils for Pregnancy

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

First, let’s discuss some essential oils that some people choose to stay away from during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Those include:

  • Peppermint
  • Clary Sage
  • Sage
  • Idaho Tansy
  • Hyssop
  • Fennel
  • Wintergreen
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Bitter almond
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Juniper
  • Laurel
  • Angelica
  • Aniseed
  • Nutmeg
  • Wormwood
  • Rosemary
  • Citronella
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Blends that contain those essential oils

This list is not all-inclusive, so you should take caution when using any essential oil. If you have never used essential oils before or wonder if they’re for you, you can always consult a medical professional concerning your individualized pregnancy or situation.

Other Things to Consider

Do not ingest essential oils during pregnancy.

There is not enough research on its safety to take this risk, so it is best not to ingest any essential oils during your pregnancy. Make sure that you are instead diffusing, inhaling, or using them topically in a diluted form.

Strength and composition can vary.

If you are going to invest in essential oils, be sure they are of high quality. This is not an area where you want to skimp. The Food and Drug Administration may not even regulate these products. Because they don’t need to go through this process, there can be a ton of variation in the composition and strengths of the essential oils you’re using.

Can interact with other drugs.

Make sure to communicate with your doctor about the essential oils you’re using during pregnancy. They can interact with other drugs, so you need to ensure that everything you’re putting into your body is mixing well.

Shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin.

Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil before you apply them to the skin as they could cause reactions or be too powerful. For each drop of essential oil, you should add at least one teaspoon of a base oil. If you add it to a bath, you can mix three drops instead into the base oil since it will be further diluted.

Don’t use one essential oil constantly.

Make sure to change it up. You shouldn’t be using one oil every day for several weeks.

Only use a vaporizer for a short amount of time.

If you use a vaporizer, make sure to only have it on for 10 to 15 minutes each hour instead of leaving it on constantly.

In some instances, it’s best not to use any essential oils.

Always consult with your doctor before using any of the oils below. If you have epilepsy, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, a history of miscarriage, diabetes, blood clotting issues, or liver, kidney, or thyroid disease, you shouldn’t use essential oils.

If you take antihistamines or antibiotics, essential oils can mess with how these medications work.

Best Essential Oils for the First Trimester

There are conflicting schools of thought on using essential oils in the first trimester. Therefore, during this critical first trimester, it’s always a good idea to work with a professional to help advise you. You should talk to your doctor or aromatherapist first before starting any aromatherapy.

That said, many women have found these especially helpful during the first trimester:

1. Lavender

Lavender is one of the mildest and gentlest essential oils. It is a huge favorite for women who are pregnant. Its pleasant aroma is exceptionally soothing, making it a favorite for sleep, and rest. It even helps with emotions during this ever-changing time in a pregnant momma’s body and life.

2. Frankincense

Though frankincense is an entirely different essential oil, it has very similar benefits and uses as lavender for pregnant moms. For emotions, rest, and mental clarity (pregnancy brain), the aroma of frankincense is known to be highly beneficial due to its naturally occurring properties. As far as skin goes, frankincense is an old favorite, used for thousands of years by women. Many moms love adding drops of frankincense and lavender mixed with some coconut oil and Vitamin E oil for a homemade belly balm.

3. Lemon

Many newly pregnant moms love the refreshing and citrusy aroma of lemon. Since it is mild and fresh in smell, this is an oil that many moms don’t have a problem inhaling for mental acuity and energy, and it may even help alleviate nausea. Diffusing this essential oil for its cleansing properties in the home is also a widespread practice.

4. Ginger

Nausea is one of the hardest things to deal with in that first trimester. You can inhale, diffuse, or mix it with coconut oil to help relieve some of this super unpleasant consequence of the first trimester.

Best Essential Oils for Second Trimester

1. Lavender and Lemon

Lavender and lemon essential oils are still excellent choices in the second trimester due to the reasons above.

2. Eucalyptus

It can be so rough to get sick when you’re pregnant. When my entire family and I got colds, it took them days to recover, but it took me weeks since I was pregnant. If you have a stuffy nose during the second trimester, eucalyptus oil can help relieve cold symptoms. It also has a calming effect.

3. Sweet Orange

Sweet orange essential oil can help you calm down when you feel anxious about something. It can also be energizing and help with mild indigestion and nausea when blended with ginger essential oil.

4. Grapefruit

This one is great for helping with having more radiant skin during your pregnancy. Not only that, but it also may help in reducing fatigue, fighting infections, and heightening your senses.

Best Essential Oils for Third Trimester

1. Frankincense

Frankincense is a good choice throughout pregnancy due to the reasons above.

2. Geranium

You may find in those final weeks that you have a hard time getting enough sleep. While baby kicks are magical, they also kick a ton at night and tend to keep you awake. Geranium oil can help with relaxation and help you get some rest.

3. Rose

Rose oil may be something that you’ll want to add to your hospital bag. Using it during labor can help decrease the anxiety you’re feeling, and we all know how important it is to remain calm when you’re in labor.

But How Do I Use Them?

1. Ease Nausea:

Peppermint, lavender, ginger, chamomile, and lemon essential oils. You can inhale directly from the bottle or place a couple of drops on a cotton ball.

2. Emotional Harmony:

Lavender, Stress Away, and frankincense essential oils. You can diffuse a combination of three drops of each oil in a diffuser.

3. Relieve Muscle Aches:

Chamomile, lavender, ginger, ylang-ylang, and frankincense. Use two tablespoons of a base oil plus 12 drops of one of these essential oils.

4. Energy Boost:

Peppermint, lemon, and frankincense essential oils. You can inhale directly from the bottles.

5. Pretty “Pregnancy Glow” Skin:

Lavender and frankincense essential oils. You can apply directly to desired areas or mix 1-2 drops of each in jojoba oil and apply to the face and skin. You can also add 10-15 drops of each oil mixed in plain, unscented Epsom salts and pour it into a bath in the evenings for a relaxing and calming experience.

6. Stretching Skin:

Lavender and frankincense essential oils. You can create a moisturizing belly balm with coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, eight drops of lavender, and eight drops of frankincense, and apply it on your belly, hips, and breasts every morning and night.

7. Hemorrhoids:

Geranium, cypress, tea tree, and lavender essential oils. Blend two drops of each with two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and apply with a cotton ball.

8. Restful Sleep:

Lavender, frankincense, mandarin, and ylang-ylang essential oils. Put two tablespoons of distilled water and 12 drops of one of these essential oils and add them to a spray bottle. Spray some on your pillow, and it can help you sleep.

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It should be a beautiful experience, too! Choosing to use something natural and highly beneficial during this ever-changing stage of motherhood may be just the thing to get you through. Plants were designed to assist our bodies in every stage of life – even when life is growing inside you!

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