Pregnancy and essential oils

Pregnancy and essential oils

During pregnancy, doctors frequently ask questions like: “What are you eating?”, “Do you consume alcohol?”, and “Are you a smoker?” This is because growing babies receive all of their life-forming nutrients from the mother.

Whether or not the mother is eating well, exercising, or consuming caffeine during pregnancy can have drastic effects on the growing little one. Many of these variables have the potential to cross the placenta.  So what does the placenta do? The primary function of the placenta in all species is to promote selective transport of nutrients and waste products between mother and fetus. Such transport is facilitated by the close approximation of maternal and fetal vascular systems within the placenta

Things to Keep In Mind

Essential oils by their very nature, being organic substances will cross the placental barrier and have the potential to affect the fetus. With this in mind, when choosing to use essential oils during the first trimester of your pregnancy,  very limited use is recommended. This is because so much change is taking place within your bodies. In general, it may actually be best to try to avoid using them altogether during the first trimester.

However, to assist with nausea you may consider adding a drop of Peppermint or Spearmint to a tissue and gently inhaling to relieve some of these symptoms.

Other Variables to Consider

First let’s discuss the means of use, as we all know there are several different methods to use essential oils. Through topical application, only a small amount of oil will actually reach your bloodstream and the absorption rate is slow. Through diffusion, you will receive a small but continued dose of essential oils via inhalation.

If essential oils are used during pregnancy, we must also reflect on how they are used. You may have heard of the saying “less is more.” This is especially true when using essential oils during pregnancy. The more you choose to use essential oils, the more you will absorb, which may cross the placenta. It is best to limit essential oil usage to relieve symptoms such as fatigue, nausea or occasional head tension. By limiting your use, you may still receive the wonderful benefits of essential oils without overexposing yourself or your growing baby.

The last and most important factor to consider is the essential oils that you are using in your blends. We must remember that “Certain essential oils are contraindicated due to the nature of their chemical components, which may be too strong.

So therefore, it is very important that you only use essential oils that are safe during pregnancy.