Essential Oils During Pregnancy – Best Practice

Research suggests there are measurable health benefits in using essential oils during pregnancy, although the Food and Drug Administration don’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. That’s why is it important to select a reputable essential oil provider that delivers pure, high-quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils with an emphasis on scientific testing and responsible sourcing.

It’s important to talk with a qualified professional aromatherapist, before you begin using essential oils. The best essential oils are 100% plant derived without fillers or byproducts. Always perform a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Do you need to worry about using essential oils during pregnancy?

We’re breaking down the important details that you need to know here, so you can make an informed decision if you decide to incorporate essential oils into your pregnancy routine.

We’ll highlight best practices as well as outline which oils are safe — and when to avoid using them and which ones to avoid. There are many nontoxic essential oils that are approved for use during pregnancy, and can help combat many of the more unpleasant, but common, symptoms of pregnancy.

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that are used for various purposes, such as fragrance, health benefits, for skincare, and many other things. Although they are completely natural, some women are hesitant to use them during pregnancy, because essential oils are very concentrated, and therefore have a strong effect. Most aromatherapists say that when you are pregnant, it is safe to use some essential oils as long as you are mindful of how much, how long and for what purpose you are using them.

Essential oils are safe for pregnant women, but you do need to take care in the first trimester. There are conversations about how oils could reach the baby through the placenta. However, these are not researched facts, and there are no cases of such incidents that have been recorded.

It is advisable to consult an aromatherapist who treats pregnant women, as it is good to be aware of which oils to use, as some oils should be avoided.

Benefits of Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Essential oils if used appropriately in the right proportion, can be used to help you through various stages of pregnancy symptoms. Essential oils have quite a few uses and can bring enormous relief during the various phases of pregnancy. However, it’s important to be informed and sure of how and which oil to use.

Here are the 5 rules for using essential oils in pregnancy:

  1. Choose the correct essential oil/s – try not to use one particular essential oil for a long period of time, such as every day for several weeks.
  2. Dilute, dilute, dilute – we recommend .5 – 1% dilution for pregnancy and breastfeeding, which equates to 2 -4 drops added to 15ml of a carrier oil, before applying it to your skin, or add it to your bath. Start with 1 -2 drops at a time, as they are highly concentrated and work up.  Add 10 – 20 drops of the Appetite blend to relieve morning sickness and the symptoms of nausea into a 100ml bottle with 10 – 20 drops of solubiliser. We recommend Jojoba oil, which works well as a base oil. You can add essential to a diffuser, but don’t leave it on for longer than 15 minutes in each 1 hour. If you leave the diffuser on, the smell can become overpowering and you may feel nauseous.
  3. Practice sun safety, as not all essential oils are safe in the sun. Some are phototoxic, which means they can cause a  rash or blistering and increase your risk of burning when exposed to the UV rays of the sun (also called photosensitive essential oils). If you experience a phototoxic reaction, you increase the risk of sensitivity to essential oils. The following essential oils from our range should be avoided in the sunlight or UV exposure: Bitter Orange (cold pressed), Cumin, Grapefruit (cold pressed), Lemon (cold pressed), Lime (cold pressed). It has been suggested that if you have used the above oils on the skin, it’s important to avoid sun exposure from 12 up to 72 hours.  Read more here.
  4. Perform a patch test to allow you to see how your skin reacts to an essential oil before using it more widely.

Essential Oils in the First Trimester

Essential oils in the early months of pregnancy should not be used on the body, as your baby may be adversely affected in their early developmental stages.

  • It is best to be cautious when using essential oils in the first trimester if your pregnancy is considered ‘high-risk’.  A woman’s pregnancy might be considered high risk if she: is age 17 or younger, is age 35 or older, was underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant. This could lead to health problems or preterm (early) delivery.
  • The fetus is most vulnerable during the first 12 weeks. During this period of time, all of the major organs and body systems are forming and can be damaged if the fetus is exposed to drugs, infectious agents, radiation, certain medications, tobacco and toxic substances. This is the time when your baby is growing and has a highly sensitive body.

Instead, essential oils can be applied in alternative ways, to provide benefits to your well-being during this time.

We recommend .5 – 1% dilution for pregnancy and breastfeeding, which equates to 2 -4 drops with 15ml of a carrier oil, before applying it to your skin, or in your bath. Start with 1 -2 drops at a time, as they are highly concentrated and work up.  e.g.  add 10 – 20 drops of the Appetite blend to relieve morning sickness and the symptoms of nausea into a 100ml bottle with 10 – 20 drops of solubiliser. Shake the bottle and spritz this into the surrounding air, or dispense a drop of the essential oil blend on a tissue and inhale at intervals.

We recommend Jojoba oil, which works well as a base oil. You can add essential to a diffuser, but don’t leave it on for longer than 15 minutes in each 1 hour. If you leave the diffuser on, the smell can become overpowering and you may feel nauseous.

Pregnancy can be an emotional time with so many adjustments in each phase. Aromatherapy can significantly help by revitalising the senses, giving you a mental and emotional lifting and relieving symptoms. The Mum + Bub blends offer support for each phase of pregnancy. Explore the Mum + Bub collection.

Tip: Use Jojoba oil as a daily moisturiser throughout the whole term of your pregnancy, to promote elasticity and nourish your skin. In the first trimester, we suggest using it as a facial moisturiser only, then in the second and third trimester it is safe to use on your belly.

Its hydrating effects are very beneficial for pregnant women and it helps prevent stretch marks. Also, great to use on your baby when they are born. It is perfect to keep your skin soft as it is a fantastic hydrator and will give your skin 24 hour hydration and will moisturise to a deeper level than any other natural product. Jojoba is not an oil, it is a liquid wax almost identical to the wax our own skin produces so skin recognises it as its own and lets it in to nourish, hydrate and heal the skin. Jojoba is hypoallergenic and can be used at any age and any skin type.


Essential Oils in the Second and Third Trimesters

In the second and third trimesters, some essential oils are safe to use, as your baby is more developed. As you reach the second and third trimesters, your physical discomfort may increase, depending on how your baby is sitting. This is perfectly normal; however essential oils used for vaporisation, an aromatic bath or massage, can help relieve and soothe many of your symptoms.

Some of the ways you can use them include:
Daily vaporisation: 2 – 4 drops of one of the Mum + Bub blends or individual oils listed below to  freshen the senses and create a environment where you can settle.

Aromatic Bath: Enjoy a relaxing bath before bed using 2 – 4 drops added to 15ml of a carrier oil of one of the Mum + Bub sleep blend to help soothe your body while preparing for sleep. Start with 1 -2 drops at a time, as they are highly concentrated and work up.

Weekly Massage: Especially in the third trimester, regular massage is vital to soothe stiff muscles or aching joints and ensure your comfort. Use massage oils from our range to increase the effectiveness of your massage, and continue to moisturise your face and body each day with Jojoba.
Tip: Carry your 100ml spritz blend everywhere you go to revive throughout the day.


While you should follow the advice of your medical practitioner during labour, essential oils can help during labour and post pregnancy too. We recommend trying the following:
Delivery support blend: Vaporise the Mum + Bub birth blend helps you stay settled and connected, as it eases the discomfort of contractions and nausea. It invirgorates immunity, revitalises, uplifts and comforts and clears the womb for new life to emerge.
Lower back pain: Compress the Mum + Bub active blend on the lower back to help relieve the discomfort of contractions. It improves circulation, activates muscles and helps recovery due to its analgesic action, eases aches, pain and neuralgia.
Tip: Spritz 1 -2 drops of spearmint to refresh the birthing room and clear the head.

Extra Tips:

  • Ensure you purchase quality essentials oils from a reputable brand that are unadulterated.
  • Only use essential oils externally, as ingesting them may cause miscarriage, negatively affect the fetus or lead to preterm labor, which occurs when your body goes into labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most preterm babies are healthy, but some need special care after birth, especially if they’re delivered several weeks before your due date calculation.
  • Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil—like jojoba, almond oil or olive oil—before applying to the skin.

Essential oils safe for pregnancy (2nd and 3rd trimester)

  • Bay
  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Buddha Wood
  • Cajeput
  • Caraway
  • Cardamon
  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Chamomile, German
  • Cardamon
  • Cypress Blue
  • Cypress Pine
  • Elemi
  • Eucalyptus
  • Eucalyptus Peppermint
  • Fragonia
  • Frankincense
  • Galbanum
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Gum Gully
  • Ho Sho
  • Juniper
  • Kunzea
  • Lavender
  • Lavender, Spike
  • Lemon
  • Lemon Scented Gum
  • Lemon Tea Tree
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Nerolina
  • Niaouli
  • Orange, Sweet
  • Orange, Bitter
  • Pepper, Black
  • Pepper, Pink
  • Peru Balsam
  • Petitgrain
  • Rose, Damask
  • Rosalina
  • Rosewood
  • Sandalwood
  • Spearmint
  • Strawberry Gum
  • Tangerine
  • Tea tree
  • Vertiver
  • Wattle

When to Avoid Essential Oils?

  • Some essential oils can lead to abortions, and so it is very important to watch out for them. Always consult your aromatherapist before you use an oil that you are not sure of.
  • Avoid applying essential oils, especially when you step out in the sun.
  • Avoid essential oils that have been stored in plastic for too long.
  • Avoid using essential oils if you are a thyroid patient.
  • If you have a history of miscarriage, it is safe to avoid essential oils.
  • If you have complications such as vaginal bleeding, you must avoid essential oils as there are chances for it to cause complications.
  • Don’t use oils that are old, rather make sure to buy oils that are new and recently manufactured.

Essential oils to avoid while pregnancy

Essential oils listed below are considered “Not to use in Pregnancy”:

  • Balm Bush Mint
  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Boronia
  • Cedarwood
  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Hyssop
  • Jasmine
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Myrtle
  • Lotus, Blue, Pink
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa
  • Myrrh
  • Myrtle, Aniseed, Honey, Lemon, Rose
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Ravensara
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Fir, Silver
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

But why do some oils only become a risk during pregnancy?

Well, some of these oils are emmenogogues and have a stimulating effect on the uterus. Some affect the hormones or have too strong an effect on a particular organ or system of the body. We also do not yet know to what extent oils used by the mother may affect the developing fetus, so any oils which may be too strong for the child should be avoided.

This amount of caution is also required because the quality of essential oils can vary widely in the marketplace. But under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist, great benefits can be gained by using some essential oils during pregnancy.

Key benefits of the Mum + Bub collection:

When used with care, essential oils in combination may provide the following key benefits:

  • Appetite blend can beat nausea and an upset stomach can be minimised and aids digestion
  • Active blend can soothe muscle aches
  • help reduce irritation and swelling associated with hemorrhoids
  • Birth blend helps you stay calm and connected, easing breathing and rapid heart beat. Eases the discomfort of labour contractions, pain and nausea. Invigorates immunity, revitalises, refreshes, revives, uplifts and comforts.
  • Breastfeeding blend supports deep breathing, muscle spasms and digestion. Activates the endocrine glands, boosts estrogen, balances hormones, and promotes mothers milk.
  • Flow blend stimulates the lymphatic system, nourishes the tissues cells, tones circulation. Helps fluid retention, inflammation, congestion and pain. Balances reproduction.
  • Headease blend lessens tension and cluster headaches, relieves the pain of migraines. Calms anxiety, frustration, helps exhaustion. Uplifts and refreshes.
  • Perineum blend helps to nourish, protect and promote skin elasticity and encourages the skin around your perineum to stretch more easily during childbirth.
  • Sleep blend slows down the mind, soothes nervous tension and anxiety. Allays mild insomnia, regulates the hormonal system, as it settles digestion, breathing, muscular aches and joint pain.
  • Tighten blend for belly and skin elasticity and the appearance of stretch marks can be reduced. Suitable for use on all skin types. Safe to use pre and postpartum.
  • Unwind blend soothes and settles, as it supports your body’s relaxation response. Helps you to be in the present moment, and respond calmly and clearly.
  • Vitality blend revitalizse, uplifts and rejuvenates your soul. Perfect at any time of the day, when you need to feel more vital. It restores mental clarity and boosts confidence.


  • Bathroom Cleaning Agent: Add oils such as Bay, Cardamon, Cypress Pine, Fragonia to kill yeast and can help clear out moulds that may be present in the bathroom.
  • Dishwashing Liquid: Eucalyptus Peppermint, Lemon, Lemon Scented Gum, Lemon Tea are powerful germicide and can be used to clean utensils, especially those that have been in contact with raw meat.
  • Air Freshener: Most essential oils such as Bergamot, Lavender, Lavender Spike, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, orange, when diffused can help give out an aromatic aroma.


See our full range of essential oils and blends for pre, post and Pregnancy here.


You can Book a consult by following the links below:
Let’s Talk! FREE Discovery Check-In – 10 Min Book Here
First Time Consultation – 90 Min Book Here
Repeat Consultation – 90 Min Book Here
Repeat Consultation – 60 Min Book Here
Go to Top