Even as an aromatherapist, I personally chose not to use most essential oils during my pregnancy and very carefully while I was breastfeeding. Reason being, I wasn’t willing to risk anything that could potentially harm my baby.
Essential oils are an extremely concentrated, volatile liquid. What does this mean? If you think in terms of drinking an herbal tea, one drop of peppermint is the equivalent of about 30 cups of herbal tea. One drop! It takes approximately 5 pounds of peppermint leaves to make one ounce of EO or one acre to produce about 10 pounds EO!
Not only that, some essential oils are considered emmenagogues. What that means is that they cause stimulation of blood to the uterus. This can cause bleeding, uterine contractions and even miscarriage. Some essential oils are known to increase blood pressure. The number one reason to be super careful when using essential oils is that they do cross the placenta, straight to your growing fetus.
So, does this mean avoiding all essential oils during pregnancy? No, not necessarily. Some general rules and guidelines, that I like to follow are:
don’t use essential oils in the first trimester
do not ingest essential oils in any manner
always be sure to use good quality, reputable essential oils
be sure the essential oils are safe for use during pregnancy (check with reputable sources like http://roberttisserand.com/2011/07/lavender-oil-and-pregnancy/
always dilute your essential oil using a 1 -1.5% ratio
Essential oils are such an amazing, powerful tool. Use them wisely and you and your family will live better, naturally.