Pregnancy, Nursing & Essential Oils
Many mamas-to-be get extremely cautious about their wellness when they discover that they are pregnant. And the usage of Essential Oils become a controversial topic when it comes to pregnancy because some mamas are very sceptical over the use of Essential Oils to support their wellness during pregnancy.
Hence today we will be covering this topic on how Essential Oils can help to support your wellness throughout your pregnancy and what oils to avoid during pregnancy.
Young Living Essential Oils are generally recognized as safe to be used during pregnancy but if you have a medical condition, it is highly recommended that you seek help from a medical professional prior to using Essential Oils.
Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy
Below information is extracted from an article written by Jolin Housewright. You may read the full article over here.
About the author: My name is Jolin Housewright and I have 4 children. Although I began on my journey of health shortly after my first child was born in 2003, I did not become “oily” and find Young Living oils until just before my third pregnancy. So I have had two oily pregnancies and exclusively nursed two oily babies! Let me clarify that the information in this document should not replace your own common sense or intuition, nor should it replace doing your own research to determine what is right for you! This information is based on mine and others experience, and also based on information from the Essential Oil Desk Reference, and Dr. Debra Raybern’s book Gentle Babies. Also, when researching for yourself, keep in mind that many “cautions” you find on the internet are based on observations of essential oils that are low quality/frangrance grade, contain synthetics or toxins, or are grown and distilled using chemicals and pesticides which remain as residuals in the oils. When I refer to use of any essential oils, it is ONLY Young Living oils, which are guaranteed for purity and potency, and tested extensively to verify such. And as always, this information is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease.
With each oil, we have listed a few suggestions for use, but this list is certainly not exhaustive; lavender alone has hundreds of reported uses!
Keep in mind oils are very concentrated, so a little goes a long way, especially during pregnancy when your body is very efficient at metabolizing things. We do not recommend ingesting any but the citrus oils, and those in small quantities.
- Lavender (blood pressure, skin conditions, swelling, fever, headaches, itching, early labour, calming, anxiety, insomnia, stretch mark prevention, burns)
- Frankincense (depression, anxiety, headaches, resp. infection)
- Valor (back pain, fear, anxiety, alignment, stress, GBS, self-esteem, insomnia, stretch mark prev.)
- Joy (depression, fear, anxiety, trauma, bonding, grief)
- Gentle Baby (calming, insomnia, skin, stretch mark prevention)
- Peppermint (breech baby, gas/bloating, energy, fever, headaches, heartburn, haemorrhoids, nausea, respiratory)
- Lemon (cough, swelling, energy, heartburn, nausea, itching)
- Lime (energizing, uplifting, nausea)
- Orange (uplifting, depressing, energizing, nausea)
- Grapefruit (energy, headaches, nausea)
- Peace & Calming (cough, early labour, insomnia, anxiety)
- Myrrh (breech baby)
- Forgiveness (negative emotions, emotional barriers)
- Grounding (balancing and stabilizing)
- Highest Potential (grounding, calming, inspiring)
- Sacred Mountain (strength, grounding)
- Tangerine (circulation, swelling, itching, stretch marks)
- Eucalyptus or RC (congestion, respiratory infection)
- Roman Chamomile (headaches, coughing, respiratory, aches)
- Rose/Rose Ointment (itching)
- Bergamot (stress, uplifting)
- Helichrysum (internal bleeding, circulation, haemorrhoids)
- Ylang ylang (depression, anxiety)
- Geranium (external bleeding, swelling, haemorrhoids, itching)
- Aroma Life (blood pressure)
- Sandalwood (nausea, uplifting, relaxing, insomnia, skin)
- Marjoram (muscle pain)
- Palo Santo (muscle pain, bug repellant)
- Trauma Life (internal bleeding, emotional support, healing)
- Tender Tush (stretch mark prevention)
- Panaway (back pain, muscle pain)
- Melaleuca (fungus, cuts/scrapes, antiseptic, viruses)
Ningxia Red is absolutely a phenomenal nutritional supplement for use in pregnancy. A good dose would be 2-8 oz a day.
Below are just a few things it is good for:
- Blood pressure
- Nutritional support
- Blood sugar regulation
- GD fever
- Endocrine support
Oils to Use with CAUTION / AVOID during Pregnancy
The below list is often found in aromatherapy guidebooks; please note only those with a star (*) are listed in the EODR to “use with care in pregnancy”:
- Clary Sage*
- Cinnamon Bark
- Myrrh (EODR actually recommends during pregnancy!)
- Idaho tansy*
Some Common Blends containing the above singles:
- DiGize (EODR actually recommends during pregnancy!)
- Exodus II
- Aroma Siez
- Into the Future
- Lady Sclerol
- Dragon Time
In general, it is wise to exercise caution when it comes to essential oil usage. It is also wise to use oils that are common and have stood the test of time and repeated use (see “safe” list) and to avoid using large quantities of the cautionary essential oils. This is simply a common-sense precaution. Although there has been no reported problem from overuse of Young Living oils, such use in pregnancy without due cause or under a practitioner’s guidance is simply an unnecessary risk. That said, the above list of “cautionary” oils (or blends which contain cautionary oils), we recommend avoiding them during the first trimester.
Oils to absolutely avoid throughout pregnancy:
- Clary Sage
Aside from these oils, there are a few things to consider when determining whether to use a “cautionary” oil.
Firstly, most of the precautionary oils are listed as such in most reference books because they impact blood flow or hormones in some way. Therefore the fear is that their use (or overuse) may have the potential to cause a miscarriage. There has been little research done in the field of safety of supplements in pregnancy (this is true even for the wide variety of innocuous natural health substances and supplements that many of us use as integral parts of our prenatal health). So any reports of a problem potentially caused by an essential oil (including the low-grade, impure, and possibly toxic oils sold in health-food store shelves) get that oil labelled as a potential caution for pregnancy. Normal use of therapeutic grade essential oils has never been shown to cause problems.
In her book, Clinical Aromatherapy: essential oils in Practice, Jane Buckle, PhD, R.N., states “There are no records of abnormal fetuses or [miscarriages] due to the normal use of essential oils, either by inhalation or topical application. There are no records of a few drops of essential oils taken by mouth causing any problem either.”
In fact, Dr Peter Minke, who spoke at the School of Nature’s Remedies, said he saw no reason to limit the use of any Young Living essential oil during pregnancy!
While several of the oils on the above list are not highly common, Join addresses her personal use of a couple of the more common oils. Her choice to use them was also backed up by Dr Raybern’s book; she noted that many of her patients and people who have submitted their usages and protocols to her have used these oils in reasonable quantities with no reported negative effects of any kind.
Jolin’s personal choice, and her recommendation to others is to avoid usage of any of the “cautionary” oils during the first trimester; extra caution is recommended during this time.
She also chose to avoid internal use during the first trimester, except for small amounts of citrus oils. She probably got them on my hands at some point from applying to her children, and on more than one occasion she accidentally used Thieves, Endoflex, Purification, and DiGize during her first trimester, in reasonable quantities, with no ill effect.
But in general, she avoided. She did, however, still use thieves cleaning products and toothpaste, and did not limit diffused oils.
In the event of illnesses, she would first use various other antibacterial/antiviral oils, and colloidal silver, instead of those on the cautionary list. See the safe list for replacements.
Second & Third Trimester
After the first trimester, she continues to recommend avoiding ingesting oils, except citrus oils in small quantities (unless a particular situation warrants it). She personally chose to reintroduce some of the cautionary oils. Her choice to do this was personal, and each person needs to make this decision for themselves.
She chose to use some of the blends that contained cautionary oils. The blends are made to be synergistic, and they work together with our bodies for a common purpose, rather than their individual qualities. There are a few that can be very helpful in pregnancy if necessary, and she chose to use the following:
She would have used Exodus II, Immupower, Melrose, or M-Grain if she had had a compelling reason. She feels that these blends have their specific uses, and they are highly effective. However, it is still recommended going to the “safe oils” list first, but if necessary she would use these.
For example, she would choose to use peppermint first for digestive issues but would use DiGize if peppermint was not sufficient. And after her first trimester, Endoflex was a staple for her. She did not take Endoflex internally but used it diluted 50/50 over her thyroid and adrenals daily. Her choice to use these oils is based on the belief that these oils work with the body to create a state of balance, and therefore in small quantities will only serve to strengthen the body. But you will need to make this decision for yourself, and consider your own body and its weaknesses. Please consider researching your oil choices in the Essential Oils Desk Reference or other comprehensive guides before making a choice.
The Bottom Line Young Living Essential Oils are the highest quality available. They have remarkable therapeutic qualities for every known physical and emotional ailment. But as with other remedies and supplements, a little extra caution is wise in pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby. While there is not a lot of research on oils in pregnancy, we do have a great deal of historical information and a plethora of positive personal testimonies about the safe, reasonable use of essential oils in pregnancy. While there are a limited few oils which should be avoided or used with caution, it is my belief that essential oils are an important and indispensable tool for a happy and healthy pregnancy. Follow common sense guidelines, and your personal intuition through prayer, and enjoy the safe use of God’s pharmaceuticals in your pregnancy.
Mary Young’s Pregnancy Protocol
Valor over abdomen morning and night, followed by another oil of choice
Brain Power every morning In the evening: White Angelica, Peace & Calming, or Gentle Baby
In the morning, any of the following: Gathering, 3 Wise Men, Into the Future, Magnify Your Purpose, Inner Child, and Joy, 3-4 drops of chosen oil First Trimester: Daily used the following: Power meal, Whey Fit, BeFit, Megazyme, Sulphurzyme, Master Children’s, Ultra Young, Pregnenolone (now called PD80/20), SuperCal, MultiGreens, Comfortone, ICP
Daily: increased Powermeal and Megazyme, and added Super B, Super C, Mineral Essence, and Exodus capsules. Stopped Pregnenalone and added Pregnenalone cream over abdomen.
7th month: Decreased BeFit from 6 capsule to 5, increased Megazyme to 13 caps a day, increased Master Childrens to 9 a day, increased Mineral Essence to 5 droppers daily.
8th month: Increased Megazyme to 14 daily, stopped Sulphurzyme, increased SuperCal to 8 daily, increased Master Children’s to 10 daily, Super C to 4 daily, added 3 Thyromin daily, increased Super B to 2 daily. All oils were applied neat (no dilution).
After pregnancy, she added JuvaTone. (Note that a few of the supplements recommended have been discontinued or replaced.)
Nursing and Essential Oils
Many information books, sites, blogs and guides lump pregnancy and nursing together when it comes to essential oil use. But this is actually incorrect. The majority of essential oils that are contraindicated in pregnancy are such because of their hormonal or blood influences, or because they could have uterine stimulating effects.
None of these particular things causes a problem during nursing; quite the opposite, hormonal regulation, circulation, and uterine contractions post delivery are all normal and necessary parts of postpartum! Milk supply and quality are the only concerns during breastfeeding.
Two essential oils are known to have potential negative effects on milk supply: Peppermint and Clary sage.
Peppermint is the more noticeable of these, but even then, many women do not see any effect on their milk supply when using it, especially in small quantities or for short durations. Jolin personally has continued her intermittent use of Peppermint (and blends with Peppermint) while nursing for over 2 years now, with no noticeable decrease in supply.
She has also periodically used Clary Sage (in the blend Sclaressence) for hormone balancing, again with no noticeable effects. In fact some sources say they have seen a milk supply INCREASE with Clary Sage!
It is recommended that you use these as needed, and simply be aware of the potential for a supply decrease and discontinue their use immediately if you encounter any problems.
To INCREASE milk supply, Fennel essential oil topical over the breast (not on nipples) or bottom of feet, and internal (in your water or under tongue) is reported to help substantially. If you don’t have Fennel, DiGize contains it as well. Possibly Geranium may help as well. Another consideration in nursing is detox effect, where reportedly any toxins exiting the body are flushed into the breast milk. While many sources will warn you never to detox during nursing, she has found this limitation to be unreasonable and unnecessary.
Our bodies are constantly cycling in and out of detox, both as a daily routine and as a seasonal cycle. This is part of our body’s regular maintenance, and nursing is designed to work for the baby’s best interest in spite of our regular detoxing.
Also, a great many of the foods we ingest on a daily basis (well, at least most of the healthy ones) assist our body in detoxing. We do not choose to eliminate cilantro or lemon from our diet because of potential detox! And finally, she has been working with 2 alternative practitioners while nursing her last two babies, and while neither has put her on any type of extreme or harsh cleanse/detox, both have me on a variety of supplements and oils which could result in mild toxin flushing, with no hesitation and no ill effect.
The only other consideration she has found important when nursing is limiting her ingested oils. The reason for this is that ingested substances pass into the milk and flavour it. The oils are strong distillations with strong flavour and she doesn’t want to risk constantly making bad favours so as to cause the baby to refuse to eat.
That said, Jolin does ingest oils when she is ill as her health is critical for her to continue to care for her family. She also frequently ingest some of the milder food flavoured oils (lemon, ocotea, grapefruit, etc.).
Just try to exercise caution in this area to avoid causing a problem. However, if you have a health issue that necessitates internal use, Jolin personally would not hesitate to do so daily. If you find that it causes a problem you can discontinue its use.