Many women wonder whether or not they can use essential oils during pregnancy. I am not a doctor or a midwife, but as a mom who uses essential oils, I’d like to share a few of the ways my daughters and I have used oils during our pregnancies and postpartum.
Also, the oils in this article reference Young Living Essential Oils only. Low quality oils are not safe for children and many brands contain chemical extenders, synthetic fragrances, or other toxic chemicals, and should never be used on children or while pregnant or nursing.The following quote is from Debra Raybern, a certified nutritional counselor, master herbalist, naturopath, aromatherapist, and author of Gentle Babies
Often the following [oils] are mentioned in aromatherapy guides as oils to avoid during pregnancy: Basil, Birch, Calamus, Cassia, Cinnamon bark, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Lavandin (a form of lavender often sold in stores), Rosemary, Clary Sage, and Tarragon.
There are a few times throughout this book where a single oil or blend of one of these oils is used. Historically, there have been instances where non-therapeutic grade essential oils (adulterated, synthetic, and of poor quality) have possibly caused a problem during pregnancy. The many moms who have contributed to this book, have used all the oils mentioned in the manner suggested without problems because they used YL brand. The difference is quality.
In her book, Gentle Babies, Debra also quotes Jane Buckle, Ph.D., R.N.:
“There are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses 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 problems either.”
Clary Sage is another oil I’ve seen warnings about. Women are often told to avoid using it during pregnancy because supposedly it may stimulate the uterus and induce labor. While I am not telling anyone to use Clary Sage during pregnancy (and I always encourage people to err on the side of caution and to contact their physicians for clarification!), I have an interesting story about that.
When my daughter, Tiffany, was pregnant with her first child, she started having contractions about two weeks before her due date. She called me in Illinois (she was in California) and said, “I’m in labor! The midwife is on her way.” I jumped on a plane and headed to California.
By the time I got there, her contractions had fizzled to a very irregular pattern. Poor thing – I think she felt pressure to perform. I don’t know how many hours of timing contractions she went through, but it was a lot.
Of course, I still had little ones at home at the time, so my plan was to be there 5-7 days. After a couple days of sporadic contractions, she started faithfully using Clary Sage, hoping things would get moving. Nothing. They also tried Evening Primrose Oil from the local health food store. Nothing. By the end of the week, I had to leave to get back to my younger children without my granddaughter having made her grand entrance into the world.
About a week or so later, we got a call from my son-in-law to tell us the midwife was on the way. It was real this time.
During labor, at one point, the contractions started to fizzle; so she used the Clary Sage. This time, since her body was ready, the contractions became regular. I would probably still not recommend Clary Sage during pregnancy unless I was already prepared to go into labor; but I do think it’s interesting that the oil did not “induce” labor, even as far along as my daughter was in her pregnancy.
This is consistent with something I always teach my new oil students: God designed essential oils to work with your body to help it do what it’s already designed by God to do. Essential oils are not drugs! Drugs often get a certain (necessary) result, but they also often go against what your body is designed to do (thus the side effects).
Which points back to the “intelligent”nature of essential oils – oils that were spoken into existence by God at Creation when he made the plants and trees for our well being.
God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed…” (Genesis 1:29)
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man… (Psalm 104:14)
It’s kind of like Peppermint. The invigorating power of Peppermint can keep my husband alert when he’s driving; but it’s not a stimulant – again, it’s not a drug. So, he can take it in a capsule at bedtime for the sake of his stomach, and it does not keep him awake. It seems to depend on what your body needs.
And Oregano possesses constituents with significant protective properties that help aid the body’s natural responses, but it does not harm healthy gut flora. Essential oils are amazing gifts!
Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:12)
Plants were created by God for our good.
I am so thankful to the Lord for giving us so many powerful and pleasant ways to support our health. Essential oils have truly been a blessing in our family, and I love that I can avoid so many chemicals that often compromise the immune system.
I am so glad that my children and grandchildren get such an aromatic and safe start in the world! And I love that we’re building up and not tearing down our family’s health by using essential oils!
Be sure to check out Tiffany’s Birth Stash!
Testimonial: We have had the exact same experience with the Clary Sage. I whole heartedly agree, Stacy, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The oils are complex in their chemical constituents and diverse properties, AND our bodies can use what they need (at the time they need it) from the oils. What an awesome God we serve! – Dianne Beatty