Are Essential Oils Safe for Pregnancy?
It depends on whom you ask. Due to a lack of randomized controlled studies demonstrating that aromatherapy is an effective treatment for illness or discomfort during pregnancy, many doctors will not recommend it. The use of essential oils during pregnancy is debatable, and there hasn’t been much research done on the topic, according to Landry.
Making matters worse, depending on what the product claims to do, it may not even be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the strength and composition can vary greatly. Landry also points out that essential oils can interact with conventional drugs. In addition, as the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists notes in its Pregnancy Guidelines, “essential oils by their very nature, being organic substances, will cross the placental barrier and have the potential to affect the fetus.”
However, using essential oils from a random blog or other lifestyle “expert” is not at all advised. Instead, inquire as to whether or not using essential oils during pregnancy is appropriate for you and, if so, whether they have any suggestions for high-quality oils. Additionally, it is best to use essential oils for pregnancy under the supervision of a knowledgeable professional, whether that person is a doctor, midwife, or someone else your healthcare provider suggests.
How Do Essential Oils for Pregnancy Work?
Essential oils for pregnancy or any other situation aren’t meant to be ingested. Rather, they’re inhaled or diluted into a solution and used topically, whether it’s a spot treatment or bath soak. “When used as a topical application, massage oils or other skin-care products are absorbed through the skin. When used through inhalation, the molecules move from the nose or mouth to the lungs, brain and other parts of the body,” explains Nita Landry, MD, an ob-gyn who is a recurring cohost on the syndicated show The Doctors.
Once inside the nasal cavity, the molecules communicate chemically with the brain region that controls emotions. According to Galper, “when we experience a scent, it triggers all kinds of responses in our body that have an impact on our wellbeing.” “For this reason, smelling something sexy or delectable can make us feel energized or hungry.” Our stress response is activated when we’re unwell or uncomfortable, and aromatherapy can be a powerful tool to change how we react to stress. ”.
Since many medications are off-limits when you’re expecting, using certain essential oils during pregnancy can be a great alternative for treating illness and uncomfortable symptoms, and that’s exactly why they’re becoming more popular with pregnant women. “Essential oils are natural remedies with very few side effects,” says Lakeisha W. Richardson, MD, an ob-gyn at Delta Regional Hospital in Greenville, Mississippi. “More and more patients are trying to use alternative ways to handle illnesses due to the large side-effect profile of most medications.” (Richardson’s favorite essential oil is lavender, which she uses to fall asleep.)
Safety Risks of Using Essential Oils While Pregnant
After using essential oils, some people may experience an allergic reaction or skin irritation. If you have atopic dermatitis or a history of adverse reactions to topical products, you are more likely to experience a negative reaction. Â.
Some essential oils may be more likely to result in an allergic reaction or skin rashes than others. Examples include:
Contact your doctor right away if you experience hives or a red, itchy rash after using essential oils because these symptoms are frequently indicators of an allergic reaction. Â.