Essential oils and expecting parents

Pregnancy and thinking about getting pregnant is a great reason to look for ways to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. There can be a lot of anxiety and worry involved in becoming a first-time parent. Essential oils are a great tool to add into pre-pregnancy planning, helping your body  prepare for the journey ahead in a natural way while staying strong and healthy.

Pre-pregnancy support:

Relaxing  - Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Decreasing anxiety – Cedarwood atlas ( Cedrus atlantica)

Pain – Peppermint (Mentha X piperita)

Centering – Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Staying uplifted – Orange  (Citrus sinensis)

Immune – Lemon (Citrus limon)

Focus-  Rosemary  (Rosmarinus officinalis 1,8 cineole)

Once becoming pregnant, we recommend you  air on the side of caution with essential oils .  There are some essential oils that are too strong  to use when expecting, some shouldn’t be used at all, and some with restrictions.

Guidelines for pregnancy

First trimester and complicated pregnancies – we recommend avoiding essential oils during this delicate developing time .

Second and third trimester – we recommend a low dilution of 1% or less of pregnancy safe essential oils. Use essential oils to decrease common symptoms such as morning sickness , fatigue , and tension .

  • Listen to your body-Essential oils affect people differently, pay close attention to how the oils make you feel.
  • Use pure, unadulterated organic essential oils.
  • Do not ingest essential oils.
  • Dilute when applying topically.
  • Consult with a certified aromatherapist who specializes in pregnancy, and health care team before using essential oils in pregnancy. Please check out the safety tab located under each oil before using alone or blending .


Here is a list of some of the essential oils that should be AVOIDED  during pregnancy and lactation .

  • Anise ( Pimpinella anisum)
  • Carrot seed (Daucus carota ssp.sativus)
  • Cinnamon bark ( cinnamomum zeylanicum )
  • Cypress blue ( Callitris intratropica)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Myrrh( Commiphora myrrha)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria fragrantissima)

Here is a list of some of the essential oils that should be USED WITH CAUTION during pregnancy

  • Lemon basil ( Ocimum x citriodorum )
  • Lemongrass( Cymbopogon flexuosus)
  • Lemon tea tree ( Leptospermum petersonii)
  • Lemon thyme( Thymus citriodorus )
  •  May chang(Litsea cubeba)
  • Melissa ( Melissa officinalis)


Here is a list of some of the most commonly used essential oils and pregnancy . All the oils listed below are gentle oils and child safe. We recommend using the lowest possible dilution (under 1 %) and not using every day. Since pregnancy can heighten the senses, adding oils at a low dilution into an inhaler or diffuser is a great way to test an oil before applying it to the skin. You want to be able to quickly remove  the smell if it becomes overwhelming. (Tisserand 1)

  • Lemon ( citrus limon) – morning sickness , uplifting , freshening the air.
  • Lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) – Relaxing , stretch marks, swelling , stress relieving.
  • Frankincense ( Boswellia carterii) – centering , skin , comforting. Soothing achy muscles, stretch marks.
  • Orange (citrus sinensis ) energizing ,uplifting, nausea ( inhaled directly from the bottle ).


Ways to use essential oils when pregnant:

  1. Dilute in laundry soap or on wool dryer balls
  2. Personal inhaler – add a 1-2 drops to a cotton wick , cotton ball or tissue and breathe deeply .
  3. Hand soap- adding safe essential oils to castile soap.
  4. Diffuse – Indirectly diffuse to purify the air, or before you enter your bedroom for a restful night’s sleep.
  5. Massage oil – 1% dilution of safe essential oils into a carrier, use on localized symptomatic areas.


 Essential oils to add to your birth plan:

Here are some examples- remember that every person responds to essential oils differently, so we recommend trying a few out before the big day to see which works best for you.

  • Diffusing in hospital room -this one is the most popular, benefits everyone involved, and can easily be adjusted to accommodate your baby’s delicate system once they arrive.
  • Inhaling a few drops on a tissue of gentle oils .
  • Dilute in a carrier oil and have partner massage the lower back.



While breastfeeding , it is important to play by the same rules you used during the second and third trimester:  Its recommended to dilute at a 1% dilution, since even pregnancy-safe Essential oils  have the ability to cross into the milk supply. It is recommended to use essential oils in localized areas away from skin that touches your little one. Though we were unable to find any scientific evidence, 30% of a poll of 166 mothers who consistently used peppermint oil reported that their milk supply notably decreased. Though this affect is negative during the breastfeeding stages, this oil could be used effectively when weaning. (Tisserand 2)

  • The lower back is a great location away from baby’s skin to use oils while providing the extra care your back needs after delivery.
  • A personal inhaler is great way to boost your mood and amplify positivity.
  • Diffusing in the air during alone time to restore and rejuvenate the body and mind .


        *please see a licensed medical professional before using essential oils while pregnant to ensure that they are right for you. *



  1. Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety - E-Book: a Guide for Health Care Professionals. Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
  2. Tisserand, Robert. “Peppermint and Breastfeeding - Results of Poll.” Tisserand Institute, 20 July 2020,