Thank you so much for joining me on our recent webinar! Here’s a replay of the presentation in case you missed anything.
Below you will find information on using essential oils for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and beyond.
When we’re talking about this precious and delicate time in our lives, we want to be conservative using these very natural yet powerful healing oils.
The recommendations listed are based on my research using Robert Tisserand’s book on safety as well as several other independent and respected aromatherapists in the field, such as herbalists, a doula, and other health care practitioners. My point is, I’ve done my due diligence.
Having said that, the content I am sharing is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your specific situation. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any essential oils have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For a full disclaimer, click here.
I also need to say that I use Young Living oils. I did a lot of research, and more importantly I used several brands, including cheaper ones, and Young Living is my favorite. I love their quality standards, their potency, and their purity. I had a very powerful experience using these oils with a physical therapist and I use them because they work!
So, I’ll be talking about their oils and their blends. If you use other brands, I can’t guarantee things translate because there are several different species of Lavender for example. So, if you do use other brands, be sure that the plant’s full species name matches up with Young Living.
OK, let’s talk about application.
When we’re pregnant, feet are a great location since they are one of the safest and yet most effective places to put oils on our body. This is also a great place for applying oils on children because the feet have thick skin and are farthest away from mucous membranes, which can be sensitive.
In reflexology, we learn that all of the body systems are found on the feet so it’s a great catch all and you can even target trigger points to help with certain body issues (see chart above). Of course, you can apply oils to localized pain such as temples for a headache or lower back for sciatica discomfort.
You want to dilute your essential oil to a 1% dilution rate or less when pregnant and breastfeeding. A gentle way to begin is to add 1 drop of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. See how that works for you. You can work up to 1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil if needed. For young children, you can do 1 drop of essential oil per 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoon of carrier oil.
Diffusing essential oil is another wonderful way to experience the benefits of these oils. With high quality brands like Young Living, only 2 drops are needed for a diffusing session.
Do not ingest essential oils while pregnant or breastfeeding. Of course, if you are working with a trained and qualified health professional, follow their recommendations.
The outside of the ears (not inside) can also be a wonderful place to apply essential oils when dealing with the emotions that come up when pregnant and especially postpartum. Use the above chart to target various emotions.
For those who want to become pregnant, it’s always best to work closely with a holistic doctor who will run various tests from hormones to a full thyroid panel and even a stool test to see how your gut health is.
In terms of using oils to support natural fertility, a great place to start is with the oil blend called EndoFlex. This is a wonderful supportive and balancing oil. I’ve heard dozens of testimonies from people who have experienced significant support with occasional hormonal, thyroid and adrenal variances due to stress, cycle changes or stress, simply by using this product regularly.
I also would recommend observing your menstrual cycle, because it contains clues as to how we need to balance. Do you get headaches right before your period and at ovulation? Do you have hot flashes? Do you notice more hair loss on certain days of your cycle? These can be signs that your body may need some added proper encouragement. Clary Sage and Dragon Time can be great oils to help support this. Apply to outside, inside and on top of feet to stimulate reproductive Vita Flex points.
If you have really heavy periods, blood clots in period flow and bad cramps, these can be signs of low progesterone or estrogen dominance. Aging, stress, and other factors can take a toll on our natural cycles. I know many amazing stories resulting in successful support with the oil blend, Progessence Plus. This is a natural progesterone-type supplement that can help benefit many of us who are wanting to promote the best results when conceiving or sustaining pregnancies. A dear friend of mine went from having terrible PMS, bad cramps, and heavy period flow, to barely noticing she was getting her period with just one month on Progessence Plus! Another friend had severe acne and now is pimple free. She also no longer feels blue. It can be a real helper!
Lastly, I would also consider adding in citrus oils like Lemon, Grapefruit or Citrus Fresh. Our liver’s function is to process and eliminate irregularities, toxins and imbalances in our bodies. So promoting a healthy liver and lymph system in turn supports in healthy fertility. Lemon and grapefruit oils support our liver and lymph systems. Apply diluted to liver area directly, diffuse or apply to Vita Flex liver points.
Dandelion root, milk thistle, and red raspberry leaf tea are also great for liver health. Additionally, I love using Ylang Ylang as a great “catch all” support for overall hormonal health. Dilute according to guidelines above as it can cause skin sensitivity.
Based on the above mentioned sources, we want to avoid the following essential oils when pregnant:
Blue Cypress, Carrot Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage*, Dill, Fennel*, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Jasmine*, Lemongrass*, Lemon Myrtle*, Marjoram*, Melissa, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Ravintsara, Rosemary, Sage, and Wintergreen
Oil Blends which contain above mentioned oils:
Thieves, EndoFlex, En-R-Gee, Di-Gize, Melrose, Panaway, Joy, Dragon Time, ImmunPower…
(Not an extensive list.)
*These oils can be used when breastfeeding.
Lucky for us, there are several oils we can use safely when pregnant. They include the following:
Bergamot, Cedarwood, Citronella*, Clove*, Copaiba, Coriander, Cypress, Balsam Fir, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Melaleuca, Neroli, Orange, Rosewood, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Peppermint*, Petitgrain, Pine*, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Spruce*, Tangerine, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang
Safe Oil Blends:
Citrus Fresh, Motivation, Peace & Calming, Present Time, Sacred Mountain, Valor…
(Not an extensive list.)
*These are stronger oils so use with care and caution.
You get that exciting positive pregnancy test and are on cloud 9 for a few weeks. Then, it hits. All of those occasional normal pregnancy symptoms. Let’s talk about what oils we can use to help us along…
For nausea, the classic remedy is Peppermint oil. I used this oil in the early months to help with the nausea. Peppermint oil can help with occasional low bile production, nausea, heartburn and other digestive complaints. Because it is a strong oil, don’t use a lot or too often. One drop well-diluted or put in a diffuser is all that is needed. You don’t want to use Peppermint past ~25 weeks as it can reduce breast milk production in some women.
Often times nausea can be tied to a sluggish liver, as it can be overwhelmed processing pregnancy hormones. Lemon or Citrus Fresh oils diluted and put on the liver area or feet can be a great way to promote support with digestion.
I would also recommend 50 mg of vitamin B6 with each meal. This can really help ward off nausea, by supporting your digestion. You can also supplement with Magnesium and Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Some mamas have used a teaspoon of food-grade bentonite clay to help alleviate occasional nausea.
For fatigue, citrus oils like Lemon or Citrus Fresh as well as Peppermint can be invigorating. You could diffuse some citrus in the morning or mid-afternoon. You could create a spritz spray filling a 2 ounce bottle of distilled water, mixed with witch hazel and 10-15 drops citrus oils.
With pregnancy, often comes restless sleep. We’re tired during the day, but then, we can’t sleep at night! UGH! Luckily, there are some excellent oils for relaxation that we can use while pregnant. The best oils that promote restful sleep include Lavender, Stress Away, Peace and Calming, Cedarwood, Vetiver and Tangerine. Diffuse any combination of these before bed. Or you can apply to feet. You can even make a sleep spray and apply to sheets and pillow.
For headaches, I find that Grapefruit or Ylang Ylang oils work really well. For support and ease, add 1 drop per 1 tsp. carrier oil and rub into temples, back of neck and inhale. You could also use Peppermint oil, which in studies, is very effective!
For indigestion, Peppermint oil can help promote healthy digestion for sure but also look into digestive enzyme support like HCL and Pepsin.
For occasional constipation, boost your magnesium intake. Natural Calm works the best for constipation in my experience. Two pears a day also works well. Soaked chia seeds and rice also help.
For brown spots/pigmentation changes, Frankincense and Lemon oils applied topically work well. Avoid the sun if you use the citrus oils topically, as they can increase sun sensitivity. I would use castor oil as your carrier oil as this can also help with healthy skin pigmentation. Apple cider vinegar and onion juice is also supposed to help but I can’t even imagine how bad that would smell. 🙂
For acne, Tea Tree Oil) is king. Dilute in witch hazel or jojoba oil and apply topically.
As our belly grows, we might start to feel minor muscle aches, sore back, or tight necks. Some great oils for supporting us with our sore muscle pain include Peppermint, Copaiba and Frankincense. Apply well-diluted and directly to your muscles. Valor oil is also known as “the chiropractor in the bottle” and can work on supporting our skeletal alignment during pregnancy. I’ve used it to support “nursing back” and it works wonderfully!
For varicose veins, edema and swelling, we want to support the circulatory system. One thing, be sure you are consuming enough protein. I noticed a difference when I boosted my protein intake with Paloma. You also don’t want to eliminate salt; instead use a high mineral sea salt. Check out the Brewer diet for some great tips! In terms of essential oils, some great ones include Orange, Cypress, and Geranium. You can add to a spray bottle or create a serum with oil. Apply 2 times a day topically to your legs, ankles, etc.
High blood pressure/Preeclampsia: This can be a dangerous condition so of course work with your doctor and/or midwife. According to testimonials, Ylang Ylang oil is the oil to promote healthy blood pressure. Dilute and apply to neck and feet.
For stretch marks, Geranium and Lavender are wonderful. You could use in tamanu oil which is a supposed to be helpful for promoting elasticity in the skin.
For perineal massage, mix Geranium and Lavender oils (1 drop each) to 1 cup olive oil and apply topically.
If you get sick, you can eat 2 raw smashed garlic cloves with a dollop of raw honey up to 3 times a day. You could also gargle with Clove, Lemon or Tea Tree oil and/or apply to feet to boost your immune well-being. Fermented cod liver oil and probiotics also help.
OK, for labor… let’s get the party started shall we? First off, I recommend that you drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, to support optimal pregnancy health. My first and second births were night and day. Now, I know second births usually are faster but to go from a 27 hour painful birth to a 3 hour pain-free birth is pretty remarkable. I drank Red Raspberry Leaf tea every day from the second trimester on. (Not recommended any early as it can stimulate the uterus.)
Lavender oil can add comfort in early labor. Same with Stress Away. Lemon, Citrus Fresh oils can support us with nausea, fatigue or that yucky feeling. Frankincense helps to create focus and spiritual strength. Valor is a wonderful oil blend for courage and is mood elevating, which allows for alignment support for mama and baby. You can dilute well and apply topically to lower back.
Once labor is active, and there is no turning back, Clary Sage oil can be your best friend to support contractions if labor gets stalled. A little goes a long way. Just 1 drop mixed in carrier oil rubbed on belly and/or ankles. Jasmine oil acts in a similar way as another option.
You can use these oils to also support you with placenta delivery. Clary Sage essential oil saved the day for me in this regard!
Oh, that post-birth soreness… especially if we tear… but even if we don’t. Geranium and Lavender oils can be very supportive as mentioned earlier. I would dilute very well since this is going to such a delicate part of the body. One drop each in 1 cup of liquid. I also recommend Mother Love’s Sitz Spray, which by the way, includes Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils. You could also use Citrus Fresh.
If your milk is lagging, you might want to try a little Fennel oil, which provides support for healthy lactation. I’ve used this several times when Paloma is going through a growth spurt and my milk can’t keep up. I dilute 1-2 drops in fractionated coconut oil and apply to my breasts. It works within a few hours! Only use as needed and as using too frequently will eventually affect hormones. Basil oil is another essential oil that you can use. It is a bit stronger so use away from baby and be sure residue is gone when you nurse next. You can also drink special teas, take fenugreek, or eat some of my lactation cookies, for added support.
Fatigue. The key is sleep. Drink lots and lots of fluids as dehydration can cause major fatigue, especially if you are nursing. Drink broths, teas, lemonade, coconut water, and so forth. For added support, Citrus oils like Lemon and Citrus Fresh help us feel more alert and focused. Motivation oil blend is also excellent for occasional low energy.
For sore boobs, Lavender oil is a lifesaver to provide support for sore boobs. Roman Chamomile will also work. I like to use 1 drop mixed in raw coconut oil and apply liberally. You can even add a little probiotic powder and apply as a paste to your nipple. If you have a clogged duct, apply heat in the form of hot shower and do massage with the diluted Lavender or Chamomile oil, to support your body’s natural process to unclog. Be sure your baby nurses often and take sunflower lecithin to promote healthy clog-free lactation.
For cracked nipples, Geranium or Helichrysum oils can be very comforting and soothing.
For mastitis, talk to your doctor or midwife. You can also apply Tea Tree and Lemon oils to your lymph nodes under your armpits, near the breast to help support healthy glands. Of course, if you are having any issues with breastfeeding, talk to a lactation consultant. They are worth their weight in gold! Bottom line: there shouldn’t be pain with breastfeeding. Figure out what is wrong… (thrush, bad latch, tongue tie, etc.) and start healing.
For sagging belly skin and breasts,Geranium is the best oil to use. I’ve seen amazing testimonial photos with this oil! Lavender and Gentle Baby oils are also great to support healthy skin.
For baby blues or postpartum depression, talk to doctor or midwife about options. Joy essential oil can be a wonderful tool to help boost mood and ease those baby blues. Diffuse in morning with a drop of Lemon oil after baby goes down for nap. You can apply diluted to outside of your ears and over heart. Valor oil can help support occasional nervous irritability. Apply to outside of ear and pulse points. Orange is known as the happy oil, so use generously. Lavender and Stress Away oils can increase feelings of well-being.
For more endocrine support, you can try Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Dragon Time, and/or Progessence Plus oils. Lemon oil can help the liver process hormones more efficiently. As an added bonus, Ylang Ylang helps boost your sex drive 🙂
For occasional hair loss, Cedarwood, Lavender and Ylang Ylang are great oils. Dilute in castor oil and apply every evening. Or you can put into a spray bottle with distilled water and witch hazel and apply 3 times a day. By simply massaging these oils in, you will be supporting healthy hair growth.
For weight loss, be gentle with yourself as it can take time to drop the baby weight! Grapefruit, Lemon, Citrus Fresh and Helichrysum are wonderful oils because they provide liver support, which can help us with healthy digestion. Of course, good diet, breastfeeding and exercise also help. Young Living also creates a line of products called Slique (an oil blend, tea and nutrition bars), which have supported women in with taking off that natural postpartum weight.
Once we deliver baby and are breastfeeding, it is still a good idea to avoid the pregnancy oils listed above. We can add back in Clary Sage, Fennel (only occasionally), Jasmine, Lemongrass, Lemon Myrtle, Marjoram, etc. We want to avoid Peppermint oil, as this is a strong one which can reduce breast milk supply in some women.
Once the child reaches 6-9 months, is on solids and you’re breastfeeding less, you can add in the occasional use of stronger oils in low quantities and well diluted. For example, I’ve used Thieves oil, which contains Cinnamon Bark and Rosemary, but I use it away from child, when she’s gone down for the night. Use common sense. The good news is, we can use many oils safely. For example in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit, I use pretty much all the oils with the exception of Peppermint and Panaway.
Oils to avoid while breastfeeding
Singles: Blue Cypress, Carrot Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Dill, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sage, and Wintergreen
Blends: Clarity, Deep Relief*, Exodus II, Panaway, Raven, Relieve It*…
(Not an extensive list.)
*Peppermint can decrease breast milk supply in some women.
Oils that are SAFE while breastfeeding
Singles: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Citronella*, Clove*, Clary Sage, Copaiba, Coriander, Cypress, Balsam Fir, Frankincense, Fennel, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Rosewood, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Pine*, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Spruce*, Tangerine, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
Blends: Gentle Baby, Inner Child, Joy, Motivation, Peace & Calming, Valor, Tranquil Roll On, Sensation, 3 Wise Men.
(Not an extensive list.)
*Stronger oils so use cautiously.
Now, onto baby… For the most part, babies under 6 months old don’t need essential oils. They really need milk, kisses, hugs, diaper changes and sleep… throw in the occasional bath, and you’re good to go. But, there are a few situations where you might warrant the use of essential oils to support baby’s overall well-being. I would use these on a short-term basis, rotate oils if you can, and dilute, dilute, dilute. 1 drop of essential oil per 1-1.5 tablespoon of carrier oil is best.
For jaundice, as always, check with your medical provider. Geranium diluted on feet can aid in supporting healthy digestion and liver.
For sleep, most newborns don’t have issues with sleep. But if they do experience occasional restless sleep, a drop of Lavender or Roman Chamomile in 2 TB of oil and applied to feet (keep leftover oil for next application.) Or, you can use this same dilution ratio and put in water and witch hazel and spray on their sheets. To help get their days and nights on track, you’ll want to expose them to natural light first thing in the morning and keep the lights dim in the evening. Creating a nighttime ritual with a warm bath can also help lull them into a deep sleep. You’ll also want to limit their daytime naps to 3 hours. It takes a few days but they usually come around.
For occasional diaper rash, 1 drop each of Lavender and Tea Tree mixed in 3 TB of carrier oil. Use a small dollop after each diaper change. Some people like to add a bit of bentonite clay as well.
For cradle cap, 1 drop of Lavender, Orange, Roman Chamomile or Geranium essential oils mixed in 1 TB of carrier oil supports healthy skin. Use raw coconut oil or olive oil as your carrier oil for added benefit.
For occasional heartburn, ½ tablet of Nat Phos 6X after each feeding was a lifesaver for us! You can dissolve in a little breastmilk or formula. For nursing mamas, eliminating dairy and wheat from diet can make a huge difference. Also, consuming Fennel tea can help. A drop of Orange and Ginger essential oils mixed with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil can be used as a tummy massage oil helps soothe and comfort baby. Rub on belly clockwise.
Dilute Copiaba, Roman or German Chamomile, or Lavender essential oils and apply topically to support healthy gums.
Lemon oil is wonderful to ensure proper nasal function. If child is under 3 months, I would diffuse only. If older, you can apply topically well diluted to chest and feet. Frankincense is another great immune-support oil that is safe for young babies when properly diluted. Tea Tree is a great germ killer too and another safe option.
Lemon, Tea Tree and Frankincense oils are great for their immune support and provide benefit for lungs and esophagus. Marjoram and Pine offer similar support in children over 2.
Let fevers run their course unless they start creeping into the 102-degree range. Lemon, Citrus Fresh, Roman Chamomile, Bergamot and Frankincense oils can help to provide immune support that could result in a reduction of fever without taking it away completely. Apply well-diluted on feet, belly button or or even in a lukewarm bath. Be sure to put the essential oils in a liquid soap first, then add to water to be sure the blend properly.
Safe oils for young children
- Chamomile (Roman or German)
- Citrus Fresh
- Marjoram (2+)
- Pine (2+)
- Spruce (2+)
- Ylang Ylang (2+)
Oils to avoid with young children
- Cinnamon Bark
I’d also be cautious with strong oils like Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Melissa, etc. These are “hot” oils high in phenols and best avoided or heavily diluted.
Whew! That was a lot of info. Let’s recap…
If I had to chose 5 oils for each stage, here’s what they’d be:
Top 5 Oil picks for Pregnancy
- Tea Tree
Top 5 Oil picks for Labor & Delivery
- Clary Sage
- Stress Away
Top 5 Oil picks for Postpartum
- Stress Away
Top 5 Oil picks for Breastfeeding
- Citrus Fresh
- Gentle Baby
- Tea Tree
Top 5 Oil picks for Babies
- Tea Tree
- Roman Chamomile
- Peace & Calming
Where can you find these oils? Many are in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.
Many of the top oils are in the Young Living “Everyday Oils” kit, which is included in the Premium Starter Kit.
This is a great deal as you get 10 oils, a diffuser, oil samples to share with friends, 2 samples of Ningxia Red, and a bonus essential oil blend called Citrus Fresh, for $150-160, depending on which diffuser you pick. So, if you haven’t started with essential oils or want to get serious, this is the way to go. It’s the way I began and I’ve been super happy with it!
This kit is worth nearly $400. But when you sign up with Young Living as a wholesale member, you can get it for just $150.
That’s a really great deal, considering that the Everyday Oils kit alone sell for $160. And with the Premium Starter Kit you get the kit, plus a bonus oil, plus samples, plus a diffuser! Whew! Plus, you now get 24% discount on any product you order from Young Living! There are no fees, minimums or cancelation fees. If you don’t purchase anything within a year, you simply lose your discount.
Here’s an “unboxing” video of the Premium Starter Kit
Plus, when you join my team, you get my favorite essential oil reference guide and a free diffuser necklace if and when you sign up for Essential Rewards. You also join a dynamic and empowered team of Young Living power users 🙂
Click here for more info and to get started!
If you’re interested in pursuing the business side, we have a whole suite of tools and ongoing training to help you build the livelihood of your dreams.
I hope this information was helpful to you!
Again, check with your doctor or midwife for your particular care.