Essential oils in pregnancy and breastfeeding

Are all essential oils contraindicated during pregnancy and breasfeeding?

Toxicity and dangers of essential oils in special situations

Essential oils are concentrated preparations from a plant that should be used with extreme caution, as they can be dangerous. They contain a high concentration of active ingredients, so they are toxic in moderate doses and in high doses they are abortive, teratogenic and, in some cases, even fatal.

There are many documented cases of intoxication in pregnancy, lactation and in children, so, as a general rule, all essential oils are contraindicated in these situations.

Contraindications of essential oils during pregnancy

essential oils types
There are many types of essential oils. All have a dosing cap or dropper because they are used in very small quantities. For better preservation, they have opaque glass containers.

All essential oils are contraindicated for pregnant women because they are very concentrated remedies whose safety has not been proven, except in very few exceptions.

The main danger of these products is that their quality and composition varies widely between different trademarks. There are many types of essential oils on the market, and, in addition, the labeling of these products is confusing, so that some brands may contain perfumes or certain components that are not suitable for internal use or that are even toxic.

On the other hand, not all essential oils are suitable for internal use. In addition, they are extremely concentrated remedies and must be used only under professional advice.

Therefore, in general, the ingestion of essential oils during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended. There are many other safer natural remedies at these stages.

Possible harmful effects of essential oils in pregnancy

Essential oils are very diverse in terms of qualities and composition. Depending on the components of each product and the type of essential oil in question, they can have the following harmful effects during pregnancy:

  • Essential oil poisoning: characterized by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, which can evolve to serious complications.
  • Abortive effects (abortifacient)
  • Produce bleeding (emmenagogue properties)
  • Produce malformations in the fetus (teratogenic effects). For example, the essential oils of Plectranthus frutiosus produce teratogenic effects of anophthalmia. (absence of one or both eyes)

Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women do not use remedies or cosmetics with essential oils. Ingestion of these preparations could be dangerous. Consult a professional before using these products.

Essential oils during breastfeeding

The same precautions as during pregnancy are recommended during breastfeeding. Due to the close link between the mother and the baby, the components of essential oils can easily reach this and cause adverse reactions.

It should be taken into account that the effect of the substances depends on the weight of the individual. Babies, because of their immature metabolism and low weight, are very vulnerable to the effects of essential oils. Therefore, during breastfeeding it is important to avoid using creams in the breasts that carry essential oils and not consume these remedies for internal use.

Contraindications of oils for pregnant women

essential oils during pregnancy
All essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy, including creams and cosmetic products that contain them

Because during the pregnancy the woman’s metabolism changes, these substances could also have adverse effects on the future mother. Therefore, the essential oils that are commonly used may have different effects during pregnancy.

It is strictly FORBIDDEN to administer remedies with essential oils in infants and children, both internally and externally.

What natural remedies can be used during pregnancy and lactation?

For skin irritations, for face care or against stretch marks, natural remedies such as rosehip vegetable oils or almond oil can be used. (Difference oil and essential oils)

Hypoallergenic creams (without essential oils) or natural aloe gel (without acíbar) can be used for daily face care. Rosemary water is a good skin cleanser.

* Related information: Treatment of  pregnancy stretch marks

punto rojo More information on essential oils

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

6 July, 2021

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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