Which essential oils are harmful during pregnancy?

Aromatherapy

Feel good | Pregnancy | complaints

Everyone likes it when it smells good somewhere! A fragrant flower, the peel of an orange, freshly ground coffee ... and our mood will be a lot better. Scents can not only stimulate but also relax: Certain aromatic oils help to find peace and new strength, especially during pregnancy. Because the sense of smell is particularly sensitive during these nine months.

In many pharmacies, health food stores or drugstores you can get advice on which aromatic oil is suitable for you to relax or to alleviate certain ailments. It is important: It should always be a natural oil. Essential oils must also always be stored in a dark and cool place, because the oils quickly lose their fragrance and their effectiveness in sunlight.

Effects and areas of application of essential oils in pregnancy

  • An aroma lamp with delicate rose, rose geranium, vanilla or neroli oil relieves stress and helps with anxiety.
  • A smelling bottle with the scent of bergamot, ginger, tangerine, grapefruit, neroli, peppermint or lemon can help with nausea. Find the right scent yourself by smelling it. Only use peppermint if increased uterine activity is not observed.
  • Lavender essential oil helps with sleep problems, anxiety and mood swings.
  • Mixtures with immortelle, spikenard, frankincense and palmarosa as a topping or rub help you fall asleep.
  • Mixtures with rose geranium, marjoram, lemon balm, neroli, archangelica, bergamot and rose help you sleep through the night.
  • Rosemary oil (chemotype verbenone) has an invigorating effect on circulatory disorders and can increase stamina. To do this, drop one or two drops on a washcloth and use it for washing or showering.
  • Geranium, mandarin and rose have a mood-enhancing effect.
  • If you have a headache, dab a touch of lavender or peppermint on your temples may help.
Danger!

Take care with baby care: Certain aromatic oils can cause life-threatening poisoning in babies and toddlers. Sometimes a drop on the lip or nose is enough to cause the airways to swell. It leads to glottis spasms and shortness of breath. The oils of eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary, wormwood, peppermint and tea tree oil are particularly dangerous in this regard.


Most aromatic oils are also good for body massage. They get through the skin into the connective tissue, the lymph, the bloodstream and the muscles. However, they must first be mixed with a neutral massage oil, usually jojoba oil. Jojoba oil does not go rancid and therefore has a very long shelf life without preservatives. Almond oil, wheat germ oil, and even olive oil can also be used as a base for immediate use.

  • Lavender and neroli oil are suitable for massaging the abdominal skin against stretch marks or on the breast against the feeling of tension.
  • Back massages for low back pain are supported by an oil mixture of jasmine and tangerine.
  • A massage with chamomile, lavender, tangerine, neroli and rosewood helps with pain in the pelvic area caused by stretching the ligaments.
  • Varicose veins are relieved by spreading lemongrass, myrrh, yarrow, and cypress in a mixture of calendula and almond oil every morning (bottom up). Do not use in case of high blood pressure!

Aromatic oils cannot simply be added drop by drop into the bath water. Mix a few drops of aromatic oil in a beaker of cream or a glass of milk and then pour the mixture into the warm water. In this way, the ingredients are distributed more evenly and your skin is still cared for.

  • For hemorrhoids, myrrh, yarrow and cypress in hametum or marigold ointment have proven themselves, alternatively a Sitz bath with these essential oils.
  • In the case of urinary tract infections, a hip bath with sea salt (e.g. from the Dead Sea) and bergamot, lavender, rose, and yarrow helps.

Allergy sufferers should be careful with essential oils. Citrus oils, bay leaves and cinnamon in particular can easily trigger allergies.

Attention: Essential Oils During Pregnancy - Be careful with these oils:

In general, caution is advised with peppermint oil. It should only be used during pregnancy if no increased uterine activity is observed. Clarify the deployment with your midwife, pharmacist or doctor.

Bay leaves, nutmeg, cloves, thyme, juniper, cedarwood and cinnamon are less suitable during pregnancy. They can either induce labor or are toxic.

Essential oils during childbirth

If you had good experience with aromatherapy while you were pregnant, it will likely serve you well for pain relief during childbirth.

News ticker

Nice fragrance - danger for the child | 27.01.2017

Scented candles, incense sticks, and fragrance lamps that burn or vaporize essential oils are dangerous for infants and young children - even if they contain natural essential oils. The German professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ) has pointed this out. The combustion would release particulate matter, soot and in some cases even formaldehyde and distribute them in the air. They could irritate the skin and mucous membranes and also trigger allergies. Essential oils in gel form or as liquids can also be swallowed by small children, and there is - as with candles - the risk of burns. Scented candles, sticks and lamps as well as the associated oils and gels should be kept out of the reach of infants and small children.

Last update: 14-08-19, AG, AS