The Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy

Are essential oils safe to use in pregnancy?
How can essential oils help you achieve a more blissful nine months?
Which essential oils might be helpful during childbirth?

Learn all of this and more in this podcast/blog mash-up which collides two of my favorite topics of all time—pregnancy and essential oils! With special guest Vanessa Merten from The Pregnancy Podcast!

Click below to listen.

Or simply read below...

Why Essential Oils?

It's important to make every birthing environment feel cozy and warm. One tool that can provide immense help to all mothers throughout their pregnancy and birthing journey are essential oils (here's my favorite essential oils to start with).

There are a variety of aromas that can help with the many excitements and challenges of pregnancy and labor!

Essential oils can be used for digestion, stress, mood swings, minor anxiety, increased energy, sleep, and even respiratory support! Oils are good for your emotions and provide your body with exactly what it needs to stay healthy. 

Essential oils can be topically applied to the body (wrist, bottom of the feet, on the ears, neck, etc.), internally, and aromatically (diffuser, smelling the bottle).

Are essential oils safe during pregnancy?

Long story short, YES they are safe! Despite all of the sensationalized blog posts you may read online, essential oils are overall extremely safe to use during pregnancy, and yes, even on children.

Ultimately, you need to make your own decisions, but overall, if you are an overall healthy person and you listen to your body, you should be able to use essential oils safely and without worry during pregnancy and beyond.

That being said, there are some general guidelines to be aware of when using essential oils while pregnant and here they are:

Safety Tips for Essential Oils Use in Pregnancy:

Start out slow

If you are brand new to essential oils, start slow. Just start by introducing 1 drop of oil to the bottom of your feet and tune in to see how your body reacts. Increase usage slowly over the next few weeks. Essential oils are strong substances that can create a significant (positive) change in the body, but if you’re brand new you want to avoid too much change too fast.


In general, I recommend to always dilute with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc. This will help it absorb more gently into the skin. When you become more comfortable with essential oils you can try applying them “neat” (undiluted).


Never put a citrus oil (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, bergamot, etc.) onto skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight within the next 12- 48 hours. This can cause a severe sunburn.

Quality Counts!

As with most thing in life, you get what you pay for. Always use a good quality, therapeutic grade essential oil. It is estimated that 94-96% of oils on the market today are adulterated (diluted or mixed with synthetic chemicals…yuck!). Unfortunately, even though a label might say “100% Pure Therapeutic Grade” it doesn’t have to really mean it actually is 100% pure or therapeutic grade.

There is very little regulation regarding essential oil labeling so it’s essential (pun!) to trust the source of your essential oils. For me, I use and trust Young Living Essential Oils. I’ve obsessed over the research on this topic, and these guys are LEGIT!

Some women choose to avoid excessive use of the following oils during pregnancy:

  • Clary Sage, Sage, Idaho Tansy, Hyssop, Fennel, Wintergreen, Myrrh, Nutmeg & Cinnamon

Oils that are pretty universally regarded as safe for use in pregnancy* include:

  • Peppermint (but may decrease milk flow in postpartum), Lavender, Lemon, Thieves, Peace & Calming, Gentle Babies, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit,  Sandalwood, Orange, Ylang Ylang.

  • *Please consult a health physician or a doctor before using oils. Each body is different and effects can vary.

It is important to listen to your body because our bodies are smart and know what’s up!  So take these tips into consideration as you are using essential oils and always listen to your body!

Be sure to view the attached handout below for a free printable “Cheat Sheet” for safe essential oils to use during pregnancy:

Remember, a very small amount goes a very long way. It is also very helpful to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or Young Living’s V-6 oil if you are applying them topically. I just use a small bit of carrier oil and a drop or two of essential oil in the palm of my hand to make it super easy.



Popular recipes and blends during pregnancy

Happy Tummy Recipes:

  • Peppermint Vitality - Add a drop directly to your tongue or put the oil in your water/tea and drink. or put in capsules.

  • DiGize Essential Oil Blend (from the

Immunity Boost:

  • Apply Thieves Essential Oil (from the Young Living Premium Starter Kit) to your feet on put in your diffuser.

  • Sleep next to a diffuser with Oregano, Thieves, and Rosemary essential oil

Happy Hips:

  • Rub Copaiba, Peppermint, and Idaho Balsam Fir essential oil over hips mixed with a carrier oil.

Mood Swings:

  • Frankincense Essential Oil - rub over your ears and wrist and/or place in your diffuser.

  • Stress Away Blend (from the Young Living Premium Starter Kit)

  • Citrus oils like orange, grapefruit, lemon, bergamot. try mixing with some lavender.

Glowing Belly Rub

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 4 tbls of cocoa butter, 4 tsps sweet almond oil, 6-8 drops each of Frankincense, Lavender, and Young Living's Gentle Babies blend.

Better Sleep

  • Mix 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Cedarwood, and 1 drop Vetiver Essential oils into your diffuser at night

  • Peace and Calming blend from Young Living

Helpful Oils for Labor & Birth

  • Clary Sage and Myrrh - apply to inner ankles and on lower abdomen

  • Jasmine- inhale aromatically

  • Wintergreen for a calming muscles rub

  • Stress Away blend from Young Living - apply to neck and/or diffuser

  • Valor blend from Young Living for courage and balanced emotions - put a drop on your heart and wrist or in your diffuser

Samantha Lee Wright