Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

EOs and pregnancy

I get a lot of emails from people asking about what essential oils are useful and can be used SAFELY during pregnancy. While I personally believe essential oils are a wonderful safe alternative for preventing and treating illness, there needs to be special care taken during pregnancy (as with everything else).

After a lot of research, I have found (with the help of my sister Rebecca at Camp Wander) 20 ways to use essential oils SAFELY during pregnancy. However, it must be pointed out that we don’t recommend ANY essential oils during pregnancy unless they are 100% PURE Therapeutic Grade Oils. We use and recommend and use Spark Naturals for that reason.


EOs and pregnancy





  • Apply 3‐5 drops of Peppermint, Ginger, or Fennel on abdomen or on the bottom of feet. Some may find relief simply by opening the bottle and inhaling for relief, or applying a small amount under the nose.



  • 2 drops of Peppermint to a shot glass of almond milk for instant relief of heartburn!
  • Another option, if you can tolerate it, is to add three drops of Peppermint essential oil in a glass of water and sip throughout the day.


Morning Sickness

  • Massage Lavender, Sandalwood or Ginger combined with fractionated coconut oil onto abdomen.
  • Put 3‐5 drops of Fennel, Ginger or Peppermint into a capsule
  • 1 to 2 drops each Ginger and Lemon, mixed into water with honey or stevia.
  • Peppermint: a drop under the tongue, rubbed on abdomen or rubbed on the bottoms of your feet.
  • Put 3 drops of Grapefruit or Peppermint essential oil into a diffuser by your bed. You may find that waking up to these scents helps reduce nausea


Sleeplessness & Insomnia

  • Apply Zen Blend or Lavender to the bottom of feet (if you can still reach them, if not ask your hubby). You can also diffuse it, or put a few drops in a spray bottle of water to mist your linens.
  • Another great combination is Patchouli and Dream Blend for more severe cases of sleeplessness.


Lower Back & Leg Pain

  • Relax in a warm bath with no more than two or three drops of Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oils may help to ease your muscle pain. However, Lavender oil should be used only occasionally in your first trimester, as it may stimulate contractions.
  • Rubbing a few drops of Amend Blend or Geranium on the painful location with a carrier oil is helpful as well.


Swelling & Water Retention

  • Put 3-5 drops of Grapefruit, Lemon and/or Lime into every glass of water and drink. (3-4 quarts a day.
  • You can also use 3-5 drops of Geranium, Ginger, Lemon and Lavender in a roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil and roll on ankles and feet a few times a day especially at the end of the day. Massage feet and ankles in a upward movement toward the heart.


Stretch Marks

  • Combine 4 drops each Helichrysum, Lavender, Frankincense, and liquid from 6 Vitamin E capsules in an ounce of organic coconut oil, store in a small jar. Massage over abdomen, breasts & thighs every morning and night after the first trimester.



  • Add 1 drop each of Cypress, Lavender and Marjoram and 5 drops Geranium to 1 Tbs organic coconut oil and apply to the area with hemorrhoids or you can do this and then soak in a sitz bath.

Yeast Infections

  • Put a few drops of Melaleuca, Lavender & about 2 Tbs of bath salts into a warm sitz bath and soak for about 10 minutes.




EOs and pregnancy



During Labor………

Speed Up/Induce Labor

  • Clary Sage is considered a uterine tonic so shouldn’t be used until you are due. Place a drop on ankle reflex points and diffuse along with Myrrh during labor.


Energy Boost



  • To promote overall calm, and peacefulness in the delivery room, apply Zen Blend topically, over heart and back of neck. Diffuse Lavender.


Back Labor

  • Use a few drops of Peppermint and/or Amend Blend and massage back and apply pressure. This will relieve some of the discomfort, especially with a posterior baby.


Labor Pains

  • You can use Lavender and/or Clary Sage and put in with 2 tablespoons of bath salts and soak in bath.
  • Mix 2 drops of Bliss Blend in 1 Tbs of carrier oil and massage hips, bottoms of feet and abdomen.


Perineal Tearing

  • Mix 5 drops of Clary Sage and 2 drops of Geranium with 2 Tbs of carrier oil. Massage hourly onto the perineal area.




EOs and pregnancy




Postpartum Contractions

  • 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Frankincense with carrier oil to calm and help with discomfort. Apply directly on lower abdomen.


Pain and Inflammation

  • Add 10 drops Lavender and 10 drops Frankincense to a bowl of alcohol-free Witch Hazel. Soak feminine pads in this solution then freeze for soothing healing during postpartum recovery.




Perineal Healing

  • Add 2 drops of Cypress and 2 drops of Lavender to warm sitz bath and soak for 10-15 min. Repeat up to 3x a day.


Postpartum Depression



EOs and pregnancy


Many people have asked for a LIST of essential oils to avoid while pregnant, but there are so many opinions out there about what can and can’t be used. Instead I will conclude with these CAUTIONS from some respected authors on the subject:


Kathy Keville & Mandy Green, authors of Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art:

Be cautious about using essential oils during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Even oils that are generally safe during this time may be too stimulating for women who are prone to miscarriage.

The following partial list of essential oils gives the prevailing wisdom in years past on how essential oils may be used during pregnancy (please be aware that some are very sensitive and may experience a reaction to the mildest of oils and a skin test should be used):

  • Those oils ok to use:  Bergamot, Coriander, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Sandalwood, Wild Orange, Ylang Ylang
  • Oils that for some would be better used with a carrier oil or diluted in other ways:  Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Myrrh, Oregano, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile.
  • Consult a physician before using these oils:  Basil, Cassia, Cinnamon bark, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Vetiver, Wintergreen, White Fir.
  • Additionally it is noted that Peppermint used during the latter part of pregnancy or after child birth can limit milk production in some mothers.


Dr. David Hill, author of Nature’s Living Energy:

You will find warnings everywhere about which oils you should and should not use during pregnancy. These previously were very valid concerns because of the impurities that were so prevalent in the oils available and the threat that they posed to a developing fetus. But [with the purity of oils that are now available] it is no longer an issue.

He has also given these points of advice:

  • Stay away from Clary Sage if you were threatening or had tendency to early labor.
  • Pay attention to your body on dosages as you may need more oil because of increased weight or less oil because your body was at a place of heightened sensitivity.
  • Peppermint used during the latter part of pregnancy or after childbirth can limit milk production in some mothers.
  • Ylang Ylang with Clary Sage may be used during childbirth and to stimulate uterine contractions. Ylang Ylang is very powerful and only very small amount are needed.


EOs and pregnancy 6


I hope this sheds some light on the use of essential oils and pregnancy. If you are unsure if an oil can be used, please refer it to your licensed medical practitioner for his or her advice and directions.

Once again, during pregnancy and any other time, I recommend using ONLY 100% PURE Therapeutic Grade Oils.


Take 10% off any Spark Naturals order when you use the coupon code: jillee



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  1. Rebecca B says

    I got great relief from sinus/nose stuffiness by using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser. This was 15 years ago, my “diffuser” was an old potpourri pot with a tealight under it, lol. I’d just add a few drops of oil to a clean pot of water, and refresh occasionally. It really helped.

  2. Cindy G. says

    Thank Jill for using this platform to educate people on the wonderful benefits and numerous uses of essential oils, I and my family have been incorporating them into our lives over the last year. I turned to EO’s during my 4th pregnancy to help with my sever morning sickness that usually puts me in the hospital or on bed rest for about a week with each pregnancy. With EO and other alternative measures I was able to stay off bed rest and out of the hospital!
    I do want to add to you cautions about clary sage, it is a wonderful and powerful oil but mommas who are planning on nursing need to stay away from it AFTER baby is born, it is also used to dry up milk.

  3. Jennifer says

    This is great information. I used some EO during my last pregnancy (we had a Christmas baby this year!) mostly for my varicose veins. I’ve had them since high school and they have gotten worse with each of my pregnancies. I did a mix of geranium and cypress in coconut oil. I applied a small amount of the oil on my varicose veins with light massage each morning and night starting mid-second trimester. It made a world of difference!

  4. Allison Edwards says

    Hi! I just had a question as I’m fairly new to EOs and I’ve also heard mixed views on the use if ingesting EOs including my local aromatherapist recommending not to. Is there a reason not to and what have you found to suggest its ok? I just don’t want to use it the wrong way with my family so any input would be great :) also my aromatherapist mentioned there was no such thing as therapeutic grade EO so there is no grade that can be given. What research have you found regarding this? Thanks for your help :)

    • Chelsie says

      Hi Alison,
      Some specific EO companies do their own 3rd party testing to guarantee purity & quality. I know doTerra does this & I think Spark does too. I’m pretty sure there are others as well like Young Living, but usually you will not find any of these brands at the health food store. The grocery store oils are not recommended to ingest, but the ones I mentioned above are fine to ingest for the most part. There are certain oils that are better to apply topically only-you wouldn’t want to just start downing high grade oils willy nilly. BUT done properly it is acceptable to ingest high quality oils. Your aromatherapist might be bound legally to tell clients that it is not appropriate to do so to protect herself, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Keep asking questions!! EO’s are amazing things to utilize in your life for soooo many things!!

    • Alecia says

      Allison, I would listen to your qualified aromatherapist that is trained in essential oils, not just the oils, but how they work with the body, not taught from the internet or a company wanting to sell its oils. It doesn’t have anything to do with the legality of it. Oil and water do NOT mix so you are basically drinking a very concentrated oil. Think of it this way, it takes 50-60 whole roses to make ONE drop of rose essential oil. Ask any aromatherapist and they’ll tell you not to ingest. I’m on the path to be an aromatherapist and the first things I learned where to not ingest and only a few oils are to be used neat. Inhalation and topical usage(diluted) is the best way to use essential oils. Pregnant women, children under 5 and elderly should always use oils diluted and hydrosols recommended for children 2 & under. This site has a great free online class, introduction to essential oils that has a lot of good info on safety among other great info. Her new class aromatherapy for natural living is wonderful and great for people that want to learn more without becoming an aromatherapist.

  5. Chelsie says

    This is a fantastic resource!! Thanks for compiling it!!
    Also a friend of mine whose been a midwife for over 20 years & also has extensive experience w/essential oils has a book that’s really great
    She uses doTerra and while some of the blends will be different between the 2 companies it’s still super helpful regardless of the brand you choose to use-so long as, like Jillee mentioned, the oils are certified pure and therapeutic/medical grade.

  6. CTY says

    What a great post! Our son & DIL are expecting their second late March. Over the holidays our DIL had a head cold. I gave her a roller bottle with coconut oil and the LLP blend. Within minutes she said she could smell dinner.
    I’ll be making her up a few of these in roller applicators with coconut oil. I will also give her the list of everything used in each one so she can talk to her doctor about them.
    As a side note: I also talked to our veterinarian about using them, She gave the all clear for lavender in coconut oil to keep our dog (70 lb German Shepherd) calm when recovering from a total hip replacement. It worked so well for her that we no longer needed to give her the prescribed sedative. I just applied it generously to my hands and massaged it all around her neck.

  7. Paige says

    Is there a blend for migraines that you would suggest that doesn’t include wintergreen or any of the other oils that shouldn’t be used during pregnancy? I’m 19 weeks pregnant and have horrible migraines pretty much everyday, and I hate taking Tylenol.

  8. says

    Thanks for this informative blog which makes me aware about how essential oils are beneficial to the pregnant ladies and necessary alternative for preventing and treating illness.

  9. Colleen says

    I am 13 weeks pregnant and have gotten bronchitis and sinusitis since becoming pregnant (I work with kids). I saw spark naturals had an EO called Sheild that is supposed to help prevent colds. Is this safe while pregnant? I am so tried of getting sick (I follow a healthy diet get my fluids, take my vitamins, exercise, etc) but my immune system seems to be so suppressed, maybe more so bc I am having twins. Would Sheild be a good choice? If not what EOs do you recommend ? Thank you!!