Guide to essential oils during pregnancy

I’ve never really been clued up when it comes to essential oils. I love when I go to a spa and they use all of the different scents, and I always plan to get into them and learn all about the different healing properties and benefits; but when it comes to actually using them at home my plans have always fallen short.

It was only when I started my natal hypnotherapy that I began looking into how essential oils could help with not only my relaxation during pregnancy but my labour too.

flower essence

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants through the stems, petals and body. They are full of different nutrients and so highly concentrated that only a few drops are necessary to make a desired effect. This means that even the teeniest of bottles last a really long time.


How and why are essential oils used?

For hundreds of years essential oils have been used as massage oils, directly on the skin or hair, in the bath, inhaled from a tissue or blanket, and diffused in a burner. Because they’re so highly concentrated only 3 drops are needed to get the desired effects.

They are used for their beautifying and relaxation properties with effects varying among oils but you can be certain to find one for whatever your need, from calming and energising to uplifting and rejuvenating!


Essential oils and pregnancy

They’re great for numerous conditions but especially fab for muma’s with brewing bumps! What muma-to-be doesn’t want to feel relaxed and calm, especially with the thought of labour on their baby brains?

From what I’ve researched, it’s best to stay away from essential oils for the first trimester. Once you’re in the second and third however, they can’t do enough for you and your raging hormones and aching body!

Here are some of the essential oils recommended during pregnancy; some great for specific pregnancy problems and others for general relaxation:

  • Neroli –  Really good for promoting glowing skin and healing depression, digestive problems, anxiety, and sleep difficulties.
  • Bergamot – light, refreshing and citrusy. It relieves pain, aids in antenatal and postnatal depression and is an effective indigestion reliever.
  • Grapefruit – Helps with digestion and water retention.
  • Rosewood – Cant sleep? This one is meant to have mild sedative effects!
  • Eucalyptus – Antiviral so it eases coughs and colds naturally during pregnancy.
  • Lavender – Great for relaxation, pain relief  and even stretch marks!
  • Sandlewood Great for healing cystitis
  • Geranium – Pain relief for swollen/painful breasts, legs and ankles, as well as backache.
  • Chamomile – Well this one is a given, soothing and calming.
  • Ylang Ylang Keeps muma focused during labour while relaxing and calming.

If you’re going to massage the oils on you, or if you’re lucky enough to have someone massage them onto you, then it’s advised to mix the essential oil with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grape seed.

I decided to go for Lavender oil during pregnancy and Clary Sage for labour and if I go overdue. Both are from ‘Fresh Skin’ and come in 10ml bottles.

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 The lavender I use every time I listen to my natal hypnotherapy CD which I’m hoping will then act as a trigger during labour. Depending on where I am, I either put 3 drops of it into my bath, 1 on my pillow or 2 mixed with jojoba oil to rub on my bump and pressure points. 
At first I found it really strong and a bit overpowering but I’ve either learnt to love it or it’s ruined my sense of smell and I’ve become immune!
The clary sage I found to have mixed reviews when researching. Honestly, I found a lot of people suggesting it and once I bought it I found a lot of warnings not to use it during pregnancy.
Clary sage has loads of benefits, but specifically for pregnancy its calming to the nervous system, depression, stress, insomnia and deep seated tension.
It’s great for the womb and helps to ease cramps while encouraging a less painful birth.  It is suggested to inhale it from a tissue on the onset of contractions to relieve pain but has also been known to bring on labour so until now I’ve not been using it.
It doesn’t smell great I won’t lie. In fact I really don’t like the smell, so I just add one drop to my bath along with the lavender oil.
Essential oils to avoid
The best thing to do when choosing your oils is go to a store where you can smell a range of them one by one and see how they make you feel.The last thing you want is to buy one and then realise than what is suppose to make you feel relaxed actually makes you feel sick!
I was impatient so I just ordered mine online but I’m definitely going to try and get into using different onces for different reasons from now on.
There are also lots of oils that you should avoid during pregnancy due to high concentration levels and here are the ones that I’ve found:
  • Parsley
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove
  • Peppermint
  • Myrrh
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Hyssop
  • Juniper
  • Cedarwood
  • Pennyroyal
  • Jasmin (until labour)

I’m going to continue using the oils during my relaxation times and even though Winchester hospital provide oils along with their trained aromatherapist midwives (how awesome is that?) I’ll bring the oils along with me just in case.


What oils would you recommend or definitely not recommend?


Thanks for reading!




  • Jo & Bump! (@carsonsmummy)
    9th April 2014 at 8:05 pm Reply

    well if this works… good for you hun 🙂

    I personally am very sceptical of things like this (I also don’t have the time to experiment sadly!)


    • Jessica
      9th April 2014 at 8:27 pm Reply

      I definitely find the lavender relaxing, but the clary sage … if he comes once I’ve used it he could have been coming then anyway. It’s a lot of mind over matter for me though and if it’s preparing me mentally I’m happy 🙂

  • Jenny
    9th April 2014 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Jess what a great post. I have always love spa massages but like you didn’t know much about the oils. This was fantastic hunny. Thank you so much for linking up. #sharewithme

    • Jessica
      11th April 2014 at 9:46 am Reply

      Thanks so much lovely 🙂 I’ve gotten really into them now and will definitely be finding some new favourites after labour (I’m sure I’ll be put of lavender after delivering Rabbit haha) xxx

  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    10th April 2014 at 8:11 am Reply

    I did not do this but i remember lemongrass a lot in my cooking and it just soothes me while im sipping the soup and the smell is just so heavenly =) #sharewithme

    • Jessica
      11th April 2014 at 9:41 am Reply

      Ooh that sounds lovely, I used to use lemongrass a lot when cooking thai food, I may have to try using it again. Thanks for the tip! xxx

  • Ickle Pickle
    17th April 2014 at 9:19 pm Reply

    My mummy works with essential oils and used them during pregnancy and labour. She also used natal hypnotherapy and we both found it amazing! 😉 xx

    • Jessica
      21st April 2014 at 12:38 pm Reply

      I have to say it all went down the pan, I went into high risk so no oils for me! But i’ve still been using lavender in my bath since birth so thats a keeper 🙂

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Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity