Essential Oils in Pregnancy

Advice on using essential oils in pregnancy. Contraindications, prevention and treatment of stretch marks and side effects.

The essential oils are rich in plant compounds of active ingredients are extracted from whole plants or their parts. In particular, essential oils are extracted from leaves, branches, bark, stems, flowers, resins, citrus peels, seeds, roots …

An essential oil can contain several thousand active substances and, being so concentrated, it can never be used pure because it could irritate or even burn the skin.

An essential oil can be obtained from the plant parts by various extraction techniques. The extraction techniques for the production of essential oils are:

  • cold pressing
  • steam distillation
  • enfleurage or solvent extraction

Based on the extraction technique, a distinction can be made between essential oil and essence. The essences are all produced by cold pressing while the essential oils are produced by distillation or enfleurage.

Essential oils in pregnancy

The use of any essential oil in pregnancy may be contraindicated during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

During pregnancy and lactation, due to the hormonal changes that upset the woman’s body, substances that were habitually used previously, can cause adverse reactions.

To use essential oils in pregnancy, you should first test them with very low dosages and make sure they do not have particular contraindications.

For example, peppermint essential oil is contraindicated during breastfeeding because it can decrease milk production.

List of essential oils to avoid in pregnancy

  • Anise,
  • angelica,
  • basil,
  • black pepper,
  • camphor,
  • cinnamon,
  • chamomile,
  • Clary sage,
  • cloves,
  • fennel,
  • fir,
  • ginger,
  • horseradish,
  • jasmine,
  • juniper,
  • marjoram,
  • mustard,
  • mugwort,
  • myrrh,
  • nutmeg,
  • Origan,
  • peppermint,
  • Rosemary,
  • sage,
  • thyme,
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens).

Essential oil in pregnancy, against stretch marks

The essential oils to use in pregnancy to prevent and counter the formation of stretch marks will be described in this paragraph.

For better absorption of essential oils and to minimize the risk of possible irritation, it is necessary to dilute a few drops in a vegetable oil that acts as a “carrier”. The most suitable carrier oils to combat stretch marks are:

  • Borage oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Calendula oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Avocado oil

Among these I recommend borage oil which will bring various benefits to your skin. To counteract  pregnancy stretch marks, the most suitable essential oil is that of the rose, safe to use during pregnancy, as well as the essence of lemon.

  • Rosehip oil, properties

Diluted in one of the carrier oils mentioned above, it is indicated for massaging the skin before childbirth in order to prevent typical pregnancy stretch marks.

The lemon essence is able to lighten up to eliminate skin imperfections. Its lightening properties are combined with the ability to promote the formation of new epidermal cells. For this reason, lemon essential oil is indicated for skin with sun spots, old age spots, wrinkles or stretch marks.

Lemon essence can be purchased in shops specializing in natural products or by mail order online. 

For the exact dilutions, please refer to the in-depth page dedicated to carrier oil or carrier oil.

Essential Oils

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