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Safe Ways to Use Essential Oils When Pregnant: Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy 

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy 

Pregnancy is a rewarding, life-changing, and joyful experience. But you will face occasional challenges in this exciting journey. However, there are several things you can do to make pregnancy less stressful. For instance, knowing which essential oils to avoid during pregnancy will keep several complications at bay.

The advantages of using essential oils are not unknown. They can help you combat morning sickness and pregnancy stress. But not all essential oils are good for pregnant women. So, before you apply essential oils topically, you must know which essential oils aren’t safe.

This guide will tell you everything about the best essential oils, the list of essential oils that can be toxic, essential oil risks for pregnant women, and the best practices to get the maximum benefits.

Essential Oils Safety in Pregnancy 

Essential oils are aromatic oils sourced from plants. Ancient Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks are the first of humans who harnessed the capabilities of various essential oils by extracting them from plants. In 2023, people around the globe use essential oils for cosmetic purposes, for their medicinal properties, and to make spiritual meditation more enjoyable.

Pregnant women love the regenerative and healing effects of essential oils, but it is crucial to select essential oils carefully. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through drastic changes, and it becomes more sensitive to certain substances.

So, it’s essential to find a reputed brand that sells therapeutic-grade, high-quality, and pure essential oils. Essential oils are safe when they are devoid of byproducts/ fillers. Additionally, certain essential oils can be toxic for your body, and you must avoid ingesting them or applying them topically.

Why Do Pregnant Women Use Essential Oils 

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy 

People have depended on aromatherapy for centuries to improve mood, relieve pain, and feel relaxed. There’s evidence that prove the therapeutic benefits of various essential oils for pregnant women. When chosen wisely, some essential oils can:

  • Get rid of muscle aches
  • Provide relief from pregnancy ailments like upset stomach and nausea
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce swelling and irritation resulting from hemorrhoids
  • Increase skin brightness and elasticity
  • Help you feel less anxious during labor and delivery
  • Make stretch marks less visible

The Most Beneficial Essential Oils for Pregnancy

1. Rose oil

Rose oil is a superb option if you struggle to stay calm and have random mood swings. Add it to a diffuser and use it before going to bed to sleep soundly. And if you are someone who likes the fragrance of roses, it’s a must-try option.

2. Lavender oil

Lavender essential oil is a fantastic oil to use during pregnancy. It is the safest and most well-researched essential oil widely used by pregnant women. It will not just encourage relaxation but also make labor less painful.

3. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is another essential oil that aromatherapy experts use to treat nausea. If you feel nauseous before or after eating, it’s a perfect solution for you.

4. Lemon oil

Vomiting and nausea are common side-effects of pregnancy that make it difficult to consume food. A 2014 study involving pregnant women sufficiently proved that lemon oil decreases the frequency of vomiting and nausea.

5. Geranium oil

There are many aromatherapy remedies that reduce anxiety and geranium oil is a popular one. If you aren’t a fan of rose oil or lavender, geranium oil is an impressive floral oil with proven clinical benefits. Inhaling it during your labor will help you stay calm.

Some other pregnancy-friendly essential oils

Chamomile oil, argan oil, ginger oil, fennel oil, myrtle essential oil, cardamom oil, and bitter almond oil are some other essential oils beneficial during pregnancy.

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy 

Despite their health benefits, you’ll be surprised to know that the list of unsafe essential oils is larger than the safe to use essential oils. Yes, the use of some oils can cause uterine contractions and other complications during your pregnancy even if you take a limited dosage. Have a look at this list of unsafe essential oils during pregnancy:

  • Aniseed
  • Rue
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Camphor
  • Oak Mass
  • Birch
  • Sage
  • Wintergreen
  • Tansy
  • Parsley
  • Thuja
  • Pennyroyal
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood
  • Mugwort
  • Hyssop

So, you should refrain from using essential oils during pregnancy that contain the above-mentioned ingredients.

Quick Tip:

You won’t face any issues if you add only a few drops of essential oils to a carrier oil and apply it to your skin occasionally. However, using them internally or using them in their pure form isn’t a good idea.

Consult Your Doctor Before Using Essential Oils 

If you are pregnant for the first time, there is a lot you need to learn about delivering a healthy baby. Your doctor will assist you throughout your journey and suggest what’s the best for you and the little on in your womb. So, be it using essential oils or exercising – you must discuss everything with your gynecologist or obstetrician.

Guidelines for Expecting Moms to Use Essential Oils Safely 

When it comes to using essential oils during pregnancy, you must proceed with caution. The first thing that you must remember is that the first trimester is a critical period, and you should not use essential oils during this phase. Now let’s understand how to use essential oils safely during pregnancy:

1. Refrain from ingesting essential oils

Taking orally is not the ideal way of taking essential oils even when you are not expecting. Nobody should ingest these oils unless under the supervision of a physician. And when you are pregnant, several essential oils can directly impact your baby’s health.

2. Rely on aromatherapy

According to medical experts, aromatherapy is a better option for a pregnant woman. There’s no doubt that to inhale essential oils is a safer option than topical applications. Aromatherapy means pouring essential oils to a diffuser instead of rubbing them on your skin.

3. Be mindful of the dosage recommendations

Did you know that there are recommended dosages for essential oils, and you must not exceed those? This becomes more crucial when you use oils topically. So, read the product instruction carefully to avoid dangers.

4. Dilution is important

Lastly, you aren’t supposed to use your essential oils without diluting them – irrespective of whether you are expecting or not. As essential oils are highly concentrated, they can cause skin irritation. Hence, you must dilute them with a carrier oil for the sake of safety. Apricot, sweet almond, coconut, and jojoba are common carrier oils.

Parting Thoughts

We may conclude by saying that the use of essential oils like lavender oil and chamomile oil will make your pregnancy more enjoyable. They are a smart option for decreasing nausea and other pregnancy symptoms. However, basil, aniseed, and sage are some essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. So, research well to make an informed decision and consult a certified aromatherapist.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Are all essential oils unsafe during pregnancy?

While some essential oils are safe during pregnancy, others aren’t. Lavender oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil, bitter almond oil, and rose oil are some excellent essential oils safe for pregnancy.

Q. Which essential oils can cause contractions?

Oils that have the potential of causing contractions have to be a big no until your baby arrives. So, skip cinnamon, rosemary, aniseed, and clary sage essential oils once you’ve conceived. Tea tree oil is another oil that you must not ingest.


Comparing the Effects of Aromatherapy With Rose Oils and Warm Foot Bath on Anxiety in the First Stage of Labor in Nulliparous Women – PMC (nih.gov)

Essential Oils for Pregnancy: What’s Safe and What to Avoid (healthline.com)

Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils While Pregnant (webmd.com)

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