Essential Oil Use During Pregnancy: Pamper Yourself, But Be Cautious

There is controversy surrounding the use of essential oils during pregnancy. Looking into what is safe and beneficial during pregnancy and what is not brings up many different opinions from many different sources. Being able to decipher through what is right versus wrong can be hard to do in this case, but a few things to keep in mind can help keep a woman safe throughout her pregnancy while using essential oils.

Oils to Avoid

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy lists out various essential oils that should be avoided at all times and also oils to be avoided specifically during pregnancy. Oregano, Thyme, Savoury, Clove, Cinnamon, Cumin, Aniseed, Fennel, Anise Star, Sweet Birch, Wintergreen, Sage and Hyssop should all be avoided during pregnancy. A pregnant woman is hypersensitive to her environment and all of these oils can cause side effects.

Other oils which NAHA states should never be used (in any situation– not just pregnancy) are Sassafras, Wormwood, Cassia, Pennyroyal, Mustard, and Elecampane. Do not worry about these too much– you should not be able to get your hands on them and neither should your therapists!

Although some of these essential oils can be used during pregnancy, they must be used with utmost caution. Dilution can be a way of making some of these oils safer to be using. Pregnant women in their first trimester should be especially wary of using essential oils that could present any sort of problem.

Some of these oils that are to be avoided, such as Cinnamon, can cause contractions. We do not want that!

aromatherapy oils

Photo By Tasha

Recommended Oils

Some common essential oils that are widely known to be okay to use during pregnancy (among the many) are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Juniper, Sandalwood and Mandarin. They can help ease a pregnancy along by simply helping a pregnant woman relax.

Although these are some of the recommended oils it is always a good idea to dilute things, even if just a little bit, to prevent the strength of their sometimes powerful nature.

A suggestion might be to use the common essential oils and really talk to your therapist before a session if you are new. They can be a face of emotional support for you throughout your pregnancy and they really do not want to cause any harm to you or your baby. They will know what to use and how to communicate with you to figure out what you want and need, and how to accommodate you best.


A lot of the essential oils that therapists would choose for a pregnant woman will help her de-stress, solve some minor pain issues and get more sleep. Time to relax and have some moments of comfort can be huge. All of us need a few “me” days, and anyone who is pregnant definitely deserves some pampering. Who doesn’t enjoy a good pampering, right?

Always approach the use of essential oils with caution, but overall they can be very helpful to a woman during her pregnancy. The ability to relax and relieve some tension might become more difficult and the help of essential oils can be greatly appreciated. If you haven’t thought about using essential oils before, you might want to think about it, even though some of this can sound a little scary. Keep in mind which oils to avoid and talk to a professional if you are uncomfortable with anything!


Taylor Thomas is a junior at Rollins College and a member of the lacrosse team. She is majoring in English and loves to read and write. She enjoys playing with her pets and hanging out with her sister and her boyfriend. Taylor highly recommends 21 Drops for all your essential oil therapy needs.