PREGNANCY GUIDELINES & RECOMMENDATIONS:
Some of the most common inquiries we receive from our Community are regarding products that are safe for expectant mothers during pregnancy, and those that are safe for new mothers and/or those who are breastfeeding. The answer isn’t always as simple as a yes or no, but we want to use this blog post as a resource to support understanding the ‘why’ behind the suggested use, or suggested wait time, for some of our most popular products and different ingredients.
It is imperative that you are your own biggest health advocate, and that you have autonomy when choosing products to use that support your wellness. Our #1 suggestion will always be to speak to a trusted healthcare professional or medical practitioner that knows you well, knows any of your underlying health conditions or predispositions, and can help debunk any myths or stereotypes when it comes to certain essential oils or ingredients during pregnancy. All of the ingredients and instructions for use are listed on our product labels, and we suggest you discuss these with a healthcare professional.
WHEN TO SAY NO: FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY
It’s our recommendation that during the first trimester of pregnancy, you refrain from using any essential oil based products. The main reason is that during this delicate stage of life, many changes are occurring within the body as you adapt and become a home to a new life. There simply isn’t enough reliable research that’s been conducted regarding essential oils and developing fetuses, and so we believe it’s best to err on the side of caution and refrain from use. The risks - however small - outweigh the potential benefits, and so we believe it is best to save these products for later.
ENTERING YOUR SECOND & THIRD TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY:
Many experts agree that certain essential oils and essential oil based products are safer to use in the stages that follow the first 3 months of pregnancy, provided that certain safety precautions continue to be adhered to. Jennie Harding, the author of “The Essential Guide to Oils” recommends aromatic back massage, for example, as a soothing treatment for pregnant women, but with recipes that are modified to reduce the amount of product used. For example, if a standard recipe calls for 4 drops of roman chamomile and 2 drops of lavender with 4 tsp. carrier oil, she recommends reducing the essential oils by half, and using the same amount of carrier oil.
ESSENTIAL OILS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY
As a general rule, safety experts in aromatherapy like Robert Tisserand recommend avoiding many essential oils during all stages of pregnancy, and there are varying reasons for this: certain essential oils are simply too strong in nature, or their invigorating and stimulating properties could possibly induce contractions or pre-labor, as examples. A reminder is that this list is not exhaustive, and it’s important to consult with your doctor before using any essential oils, even those not included on this list:
- Juniper Berry
- Clary Sage
- Sweet Birch
ESSENTIAL OILS TO CONSIDER DURING PREGNANCY
Certain essential oils are known to have a soothing and calmative effect on the body, and as such are typically safe for most people under normal conditions during the 2nd & 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, provided they are used in safely diluted formulas, lower concentrations and in conjunction with the advice of a medical practitioner. Some of these oils may include:
- Roman Chamomile
The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists has a comprehensive set of guidelines and information to support the use of essential oils during pregnancy that we recommend reading.
NAHA, the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy is another excellent resource regarding research and safety information. Some of their top recommendations when considering essential oil based products are the quality of the oils being used, the method of application and the dosage being applied.
SAJE PRODUCTS WE RECOMMEND AS SAFE FOR USE DURING PREGNANCY
We’ve put together a list of some of our products that are considered safe for use in pregnancy, as per the recommendations set out by trusted professionals in our industry, like Robert Tisserand, Jane Buckle, Peter Holmes and Valerie Worwood, to name a few. This list is not exhaustive, and as always we encourage first reading the product label thoroughly, as well as connecting with a healthcare professional or registered aromatherapist prior to use:
Diffuser Blends: our recommendations for use include a smaller amount of drops (1-5), and intermittent diffusion (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) when possible (diffusing for up to an hour at a time).
- Goddess - a precious floral blend of neroli, jasmine and rose
Skin & Body Care: these are generally gentler formulations, blended with a lower concentration of essential oils and are supportive of your skin’s health during this time.
- Rose Mist - refresh and revitalize skin with soothing rose
- Parisian Garden bar soap - cleanse and tone the skin with french green clay, lavender and coconut oil
- Liquid Sunshine foaming hand soap - treat the hands to gentle and moisturizing cleansing with this bright blend of lime, grapefruit and bergamot
Air Care & Home Cleaning Products: these are products that are formulated to support your environment, and that you can feel good while using.
- Sweet Sheets - a bright blend of lemon and lavender to refresh pillows, bedding and the air in your space
During this delicate phase of life, it’s important to put your safety and well-being at the forefront of your mind when making decisions regarding personal care products. As always, we are happy to make suggestions and recommendations to suit your needs, while keeping the health of you and your baby top of mind. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have and we will be happy to answer them for you.
We also recommend the following resources regarding essential oil safety and how to use essential oils safely during pregnancy:
- Essential Oil Safety - A Guide for Health Care Professionals by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young
- Physical and Psychological Effects of Aromatherapy Inhalation on Pregnant Women - a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a reputable industry leader in published materials within biomedical and life sciences fields of study.
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood