11 Essential Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy and Nursing


Pregnancy can be an overwhelming phase in a woman’s life. With so many changes happening in the body, a gonna be mom can go through mood swings and other issues during pregnancy. While essential oils do help soothe the nerves, there are a few you best avoid. Read on for a list of essential oils you must avoid, if pregnant.

Use of essential oils during pregnancy is one of the most common questions asked by many pregnant women. Well, before we move to the list of oils to be avoided during pregnancy, it is better to know about the reasons to avoid essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Read More: 11 Must Use Essential Oils To Boost Fertility

Reasons to Avoid Essential Oils during Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy is considered as the most delicate stage. Doctors and midwives may warn you about the foods to eat and those not to eat, the cleaning products as well as the skin care products used on your skin. Besides, aroma therapists are also concerned with the initial stage of pregnancy as toxicity can manifest in the form of structural defects.

However, it is important to be cautious throughout the pregnancy phase to avoid functional defects from evolving during the later stages of pregnancy. Besides, it is also important to avoid essential oils during the nursing period. This is for the fact that whatever a woman consumes gets into the breast-milk. It is a known fact that the foods you consume can affect the flavor of the breast-milk to a great extent.

Read More: 5 Essential Oils to Increase Milk Supply


List of Essential Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy and Nursing

Although essential oils contain numerous benefits and form an inevitable part of many women’s daily routine, there are certain essential oils that need to be avoided during pregnancy and phase of nursing. As a matter of fact, even the herbs and oils that are considered safe for use need to be used with caution during pregnancy. For instance, instead of applying them directly over the body, it is better to use them in diluted form using carrier oil.

1. Bitter Almond Oil

This oil is prepared using bitter almonds which can increase the risks of birth defects among babies. This oil needs to be avoided as it can cause birth defects in the child.

Read More: 5 Must Know Health Benefits of Almond Milk for Children

2. Camphor

Camphor is characterized by a strong odor. It is used in a variety of products ranging from medical stimulants to industrial lacquer. The chemical properties and side effects can be a matter of concern if you are pregnant or lactating. Excessive use of this essential oil can break down the red blood cells. It is, therefore, better to avoid it.

3. Basil

Although home remedies prepared using this leaf are considered completely safe, the essential oil can result in irritation and should be, therefore, avoided during pregnancy.

4. Lemon Basil

This oil is safe for use in low concentration. However, it is better to be safe than sorry.This oil can stimulate a miscarriage and hence is best avoided.


Pregnancy and Nursing

5. Aniseed

This essential oil should be avoided for the content of anthills in it. This element can raise the level of estrogen, which is not good in pregnancy.

6. Chamomile

This is an emmenogue. Therefore, use it with caution only after your doctor’s green signal.When used during pregnancy, this herb can stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area as well as uterus which can lead to a miscarriage.

Read More: Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea for Children

7. Cinnamon Bark

This essential oil contains safrole that can lead to kidney or liver issues in the fetus. Besides, it is also believed that cinnamon bark essential oil can trigger contractions or even induce preterm labor.

8. Clove

Generally, the use of clove oil is considered completely safe during pregnancy. However, many research studies also recommend that clove essential oil is can cause contractions thus leading to miscarriage. Therefore, it is better to avoid them during pregnancy. You can, however, consult your doctor for the same and take the decision accordingly. Safety should be the primary concern.


9. Lavender

Lavender is considered as one of the safest oils. Despite this, it is not recommended for use in the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy. Even though this oil helps women with menstrual issues, it can pose negative effects on pregnant women. It is considered as an emmenagogue, i.e. it can induce menstrual flow, thus increasing the risk of miscarriage.

10. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil too is an emmenogue and can reduce lactation. Besides, it can also cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to menthol or peppermint. This can turn dangerous if the reaction is severe during pregnancy. Therefore, avoid it during pregnancy and lactation period.

11. Wintergreen

This essential oil contains a compound called methyl salicate. This can affect the normal growth of the fetus and cause serious deformities.

However, if you still feel like using them, make sure to use them through aromatherapy. Diffusing them aromatically is a safe way to use them. Essential oils like frankincense and lavender can improve your mood while reducing the level of stress as well.