Aromatherapy Guide during Pregnancy

The does and don’t while waiting for Baby.

As we read absolutely anything and everything about essential oils during pregnancy: from very scary to total nonsense advises, we wanted to share not only our advise, but also the scientific knowledge of some PhD/certified in aromatherapy and pharmacist, as well as what is scientifically published. 

These informations, hopefully, will help you to know, for sure, what essential oils you can use (unless any particular allergy of course) during your pregnancy, and what you should avoid in any circumstances. 


Good news for Mom’s to Be: 

In the skincare field, the EU certification requires the products to have no more then 2% of essential oils as active ingredients and fragrances all together. Meaning: if you buy a natural/botanical skincare product which is EU certified, you are in the most safety zone. 

The usual list of  these essential oils according to aromatherapy/Doctors specialists (source D.Baudoux, Dr Penoel, Franchomme, non exhaustive list): 
The safe zone

Are authorized topically, except around the belly as of the 12th week of pregnancy: basil, Bergamot,  Hô leafs, Chamomile, Cardamom,  Virginia Cedarwood (watch out, other cedarwood ar not allowed, see the list below), Cista ladanifère, Lemon, Lime, Cumin, Black Spruce, Tarragon, Eucalyptus smithii, Eucalyptus,  Fragonia (watch out, other eucalyptus essential oils are considered as unsafe during pregnancy, check below), Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Inula Fragrant, Noble Laurel, True Lavender, Lemongrass, Lentisque Pistachio, Mandarin, Marjoram, Niaouli, Orange, Petitgrain, Pine, Ravintsara, Rose, Tea tree, Ylang- ylang.

The unsafe zone

Essential oils which are forbidden during the whole pregnancy because it contain cetones in big quantity, (the cetones are neuro toxic), some other essential oils contain hormone like substances and are therefore not appropriate to maintain a safe pregnancy:

Yarrow, Acorus calamus, Garlic, Ajowan, Dill, Green Anise, Angelica, Siam Wood, Ceylon Cinnamon (Leaf and Bark), Chinese Cinnamon, Caraway, Atlas Cedar, Himalayan Cedar, Turmeric, Cypress, Eucalyptus with cryptone, Eucalyptus globulus, Mentul eucalyptus, Juniper, Clove (nail and leaf except delivery), Katrafay, Lantana, Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Nard, Nutmeg, Compact and vulgar oregano, Palmarosa ( except for delivery), Parsley, Camphor Rosemary, Rosemary verbenone, Savory, Sage officinale, Tagetes, Thyme, Valerian India.

Throughout the pregnancy, it is not recommended to use essential oils orally without an expert advice, except lemon essential oil against nausea or liver fatigue (ginger essential oil is fine too).

The interview of an aromatherapist/ pharmacist and an obstetrician gynecologist:

-What are the 3 “key” essential oils that you recommend to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and what pain do they ease?

-D. F: Only 3! it’s not a lot. Let us quote the tea tree to treat any mycosis, whatever its location (in the vagina for example), the ravintsara for its antiviral properties of any kind (colds, flu, herpes …), the true lavender, true universal panacea, also great to take care of skin scratche, bobo, injury, sting, burn, dermatitis, as well as sleep disorders, hypertension …

Question asked to DF, pharmacist and aromatherapeute, as well as to the professor, BA: obstetrician gynecologist and director of the University’s Chair of Phyto-Aromatherapy of the Faculty of Medicine Paris:

Why doctors who are not trained in aromatherapy prefer they say that all essential oils are banned during pregnancy and breastfeeding:

Answer: Aromatherapist doctors obviously know that certain essential oils taken under certain conditions are perfectly compatible with pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, those who support the opposite do not know essential oils: aromatherapy training is an optional specialization after studies just like any other specialty. Is a pediatrician asked for his expertise in geriatrics? It’s the same for aromatherapy. Consult with a Doctor specialized in the concerned field.

Therefore we wanted to share some scientific publications showing the uses and effectiveness of essential oils during pregnancy, for example as a potent antibiotic: The activity of commercial antimicrobials, and essential oils  Olea europaea on Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from pregnant women.

Or another publication proving the effectiveness of Rose essential oil on pregnancy anxiety and labor pain: Effects of aromatherapy with Rosa damascena on nulliparous women’s pain and anxiety of labor during first stage of labor.

Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Pregnant Women’s Stress and Immune Function using a lavender essential oil blend. This study presented evidence that aromatherapy massage could significantly decrease stress and enhance immune function in pregnant women. The findings can guide clinicians or midwives in providing aromatherapy massage to women throughout the pregnancy.

Now that we shared the opinion of trained specialists regarding aromatherapy during pregnancy:

The precautions for use of essential oils are now well described in the article above, we want to draw attention to some mysterious claims in the cosmetic field, which we do not explain nor understand the basis.

Is using nailpolish safe during pregnancy?

France, who has studied osteopathy and aromatherapy, is well aware of the potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to certain neurotoxic substances during pregnancy, and has therefore made a thorough research for the substances used in a woman’s daily life, not to mention the medical care field.

To mention only the most popular products: beauty products, and particularly nail polishes and nail polish removers

It should be noted that a solvent is composed of acetone or methylcetones, in short, substances declared as toxic in essential oils, become uncontrolled, unregulated for the pregnant woman. Even for cosmetic use, repeatedly.

A nail polish contains: formaldehyde (recognized as highly toxic), toluene (regular exposure can damage the nervous system) and finally acetone (by reading: we immediately see the word cetone): these solvents are 100% compounds of ketones.

A team of Specialists in the Obstetric and Pediatric fields says: “In case of prolonged exposure and large amounts of acetone, there is a (low) risk of developmental problems and birth defects. “. The use of these beauty products is not a problem. 

Big surprise for us.

Our point of view, which is just our opinion, we would recommend to follow the identical safety line as for essential oils (therefore avoiding absolutely these solvents found in nailpolish and nailpolish removers) But it is only an opinion. 

Conclusion in the topic of aromatherapy during pregnancy:

Our advise based on our readings and studies (which is not a medical advise nor a prescription) would be to use only the safest 3 essential oils  (true lavender, Tea tree and ravintsara ) during your pregnancy. Use the essential oils of the safety list above in diffusion and inhalation.

Always seek a professional advise for a more personalized wellbeing and health guide, and for your beauty, with our essential oils guide you have many great options to pamper yourself and getting ready for this wonderful meeting with your baby

essential oils, aromatherapy safety guide during pregnancy. the does and don't. Interview of doctors specialized in aromatherapy

We hope that this post will help you to relax, remove any potential anxiety. Simply because knowledge offers you the power.


The Spoiled Bee Team