Essential Oils: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Babies?

Essential Oils – Are they, or are they not safe for pregnancy, childbirth, and babies?

I brought up this topic on the blog not too long ago, just after purchasing a book by licensed midwife Stephanie Fritz {who has been working with pregnant women for over 15 years, and using essential oils with pregnant women and their babies for 7 years}. And of course I promised to share more on the topic – so here I am, holding true to my promise. 😉

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Why?

I’m 21 years old. Single. I am not pregnant {nor do I plan on being anytime soon}. My youngest brother is 7 years old … and going on 20 😉 . There really aren’t that many babies around {which is sad because I totally adore babies!}. I do not have any intentions or desires of becoming a midwife or doula at this point.

So why on earth am I concerned about pregnancy?

I love people. I love healing. I love to watch the power of natural, gentle {yet powerfully effective!} herbs at work in people’s bodies, doing so much more than erasing symptoms. Healing.

I have determined in these couple of years of doing what I do that I absolutely adore essential oils. They are my favorite. They are my best-sellers. They are my most powerful, effective healing products. And why not?

Essential Oil

Essential oils are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs!

Pregnant women come to me often. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard things like, “I know I can’t use them right now but I might try them on family members … I don’t think I should use that because there are too many oils to avoid and I’m not sure which ones really are harmful … I won’t touch those until I’m well into my pregnancy …” etc.

And this began to concern me.

Because how could something so wonderful, so amazing, and so beneficial be harmful or dangerous to a pregnant mama and her baby? And why on earth should a pregnant mama spend months {perhaps years – long term} of her life missing out on the loveliness of some relaxing lavender, soothing peppermint, refreshing citrus, etc.?

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I wanted to understand. Not just know, but truly understand. I needed to be able to confidently tell pregnant women {and their babies} whether or not essential oils {even specific ones} would be harmful or helpful to them.

FINDING ANSWERS

I wanted to know more. So I began to seek out people who had answers – women who knew what they were doing; experts on essential oils. I contacted several women who make their own products, advise others on natural healing, and use essential oils in their daily lives – to bring healing to themselves, their families, and others.

THE BOOKS

I bought and read 2 books, by 2 women who buy and sell oils from 2 top essential oil companies – Young Living and DoTERRA {I do not use oils from either company}. Both  of these women are confidently using {and advising others to use} essential oils with pregnancy, childbirth, and babies.

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Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies – by Stephanie Fritz

Gentle Babies – Essential Oils & Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants & Young Children – by Debra Raybern

THE VIDEO

At the same time, a good friend {locally} who is well into her pregnancy {and has been using essential oils consistently throughout her pregnancy} shared a link to a video by Stephanie Fritz {the author of the first book} which goes into great depth on some of the specific oils and how various ones can be extremely helpful and beneficial throughout pregnancy and childbirth {and for the baby from the moment he/she is born}.

Watch the video here.

THE CLASS

Shortly after this I had the opportunity to attend a class on essential oils for pregnancy, childbirth and babies. We saw a portion of this video there, and other discussion and materials were provided.

Wow. Talk about educational and informative.

Here’s what I came away with… and what I want to share with you. Because…

WHAT I KNOW AND THINK AND BELIEVE DOESN’T MATTER – IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW AND THINK AND BELIEVE THAT COUNTS FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH.

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QUALITY & PURITY

Quality and purity seem to be 2 essential keys that I come across again and again in my research and learning. Perhaps this is why essential oils are so “dangerous” when you take an overall glance at the information so freely provided “out there”. It goes perfectly hand in hand with the adulterated, cost-cutting, quality-skimping standards typically used in the process and preparation of most essential oils on the market today.

I absolutely love what Dr. Hill said…

“You will find warnings everywhere about which oils you should and should not use during pregnancy. These previously were very valid concerns because of the impurities that were so prevalent in the oils available and the threat that they posed to a developing fetus. But now that we enjoy the purity of oils that we have with dōTERRA it is no longer an issue” … Dr Hill 

While I’m not a DoTERRA essential oil user, I love {and demand} 100% pure, unadulterated, high-quality {typically organic or wildcrafted – whether in standard or certification} essential oils. When I say “love” I actually mean that I’ve spent the last couple of years trying out different companies, driving customer support reps nuts, and doing everything in my power to figure out what it is that I’m getting from this company vs. that one. And now I’m not only confident about essential oils, but very much in love with the ones that I use and sell.

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A HEALTHY FEAR VS. WHAT IF

There’s really no reason to throw off good {even beneficial} factors simply because we’re afraid of “what if”.

What if I have an allergic reaction to dairy tomorrow? What if I get in a car wreck on my next trip to the grocery store?

Essential oils may be potent and powerful, but they come straight from the flowers and leaves growing my back yard and herb garden. They are gentle and mild and safe at the same time {in the majority of situations}. They can be applied to a baby’s soft delicate skin, as well as to hardworking hands, or a persistent patch of red, itchy, eczema.

Mother massaging baby

True, there are herbs that should be avoided during pregnancy – abortificient Herbs are those that may cause premature labor, etc. Likewise, there are precautions that might be taken with a few specific essential oils.

A {KEY} PART OF THE PLAN

In my 21-year old mind essential oils are not just safe for pregnant women, they are good. Healthy. Beneficial. Effective. Helpful. Healing. Key. Essential. A must-have. The same would be true during the actual process of childbirth… and moments later when that little baby is born into the world… why that would be an absolutely ideal time to start applying them all over again!

In her video, Stephanie Fritz {licensed midwife} says that she uses ALL the essential oils with pregnant women, with the exception of one. Clary sage is used most effectively when it is time for labor to happen – to encourage labor. She goes on to say that it would not necessarily be harmful to use clary sage in earlier stages of pregnancy, but she does not typically apply it.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD USE ALL THE ESSENTIAL OILS WHENEVER YOU WANT, HOWEVER YOU WANT, WHEREVER YOU WANT – FOR WHATEVER PURPOSE?

The purpose of this post is to discourage an unhealthy fear, and to break down the myth that is so prevalent in our society today – that essential oils are not safe, even harmful, for pregnant women and their babies.

The purpose of this post is not to be {or replace} your doctor, midwife, or health advisor. It is not to tell you that you should absolutely do what Stephanie Fritz or Debra Raybern or others are doing in their daily lives {whether personally or with others they are helping}. It is not to say that there is a right and wrong for your specific situation, when it comes to using essential oils. Because every body is different – and will respond in different ways to different things.

If you take the time to search out answers {even read these 2 books and/or watch the video as I did}, you will find that several oils are optimal for morning sickness, that others are helpful to strengthen and rejuvenate the body. There are those that can be used during pregnancy to prevent tearing or speed up the process of childbirth. With babies you can apply them for diaper rash, circumcision, sleepless nights, or simply to calm and soothe as they enter the world and begin to adapt to strange and unfamiliar surroundings.

And the list goes on.

EXCEPTIONS

Of course there are always exceptions – as with all things. Some will be allergic to a specific plant or ingredient. Some will not do so well with a specific ingredient at a specific point in time, facing specific situations.

Use discretion. Avoid what your body does not respond well to. Be responsible. Observe results. Start slow, and small. Build up from there.

Going Forward

I am one confident girl.

By that, I mean that before I was clueless, nervous, somewhat worried about having to “deal” with cases like pregnant women and newborn babies. I didn’t really know. I was unsure.

Now I feel confident about what is right, and what is safe and good.

I believe that essential oils are God’s gift to us – through the living, growing plants that He created all around us for our use and for our healing.

I am confident that they can be safely and effectively used as key ingredients all throughout pregnancy & childbirth, and from that first moment when a baby enters the world.

I know that they are amazing, powerful remedies that have the ability to make pregnancy and labor go much smoother and effectively – when used properly in the right place, way and time.

Each body is different, and will respond differently and in different ways. There is no perfect tried-and-true plan or recipe-for-success.

Essential Oils can be amazing for people of all ages and conditions – when understood, and used properly.

I love essential oils!

P.S. I highly recommend reading the 2 books and watching the video I shared {links above}. They will revolutionize your thinking, clear any wrong doubts/fears, and hopefully give you new confidence as to what essential oils can do if you use them properly.

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