Sunday, 4 October 2015

Essential Oils For Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Baby


I have attempted to write this post for sometime after having my baby Rosalie 4 months ago. I have discovered that there is a fair amount of confusion online regarding which oils are safe.

Even though essential oils are natural they are still 70 times stronger then the plant part itself. Therefore great care must be taken when using them on our little ones.
Babies are very sensitive to strong aromas. Young children’s immune systems have not fully developed and they are overall less able to deal with adverse effects of concentrated substances like essential oils. 


There may be essential oils listed here as unsafe, but safe on other websites. This post is not intended to scare anyone about using essential oils. Essential oils are safe as long as they are used correctly! Aromatherapy can be a wonderful aid during these times.

Rosalie as a newborn

Patch tests are always recommended for those who are more susceptible to allergic reactions. All essential oils should be diluted before topical application to skin. Percentages for dilutions with carrier oil are explained throughout this post.


This is a very general article as it would be impossible to cover every essential oil that existed. I have tried to include the most common ones. It's wise of course to always use your best judgment before using essential oils.

Information in this post is for educational purposes only and shouldn't be used as a replacement for a consultation with a medical practitioner.


I recommend you also read more information about oil safety on our blog post :
'Essential Oil Safety & Precautions'


-------------------------------------

~ PREGNANCY ~


SOME SAFE OILS TO USE DURING PREGNANCY
Bergamot, Chamomile, Coriander, Copaiba, Frankincense (only use at low dilution), Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange Sweet, Patchouli, Pepper Black, Petigrain, Pine Scots, Rose Otto (in 3rd trimester) , Rosewood, Sandalwood, Spruce, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang (in small amounts due to it's strong aroma)
IMPORTANT :
Citrus oils are potential photosensitizers when applied to skin. Do not go out in sun within 48 hours of application.


SOME UNSAFE OILS TO USE DURING PREGNANCY
 
Ajowan, Angelica, Star Anise, Aniseed, Basil, Bay Laurel, Birch, Camphor, Carrot Seed, Cassia, Cedarwood, Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cumin, Cypress Blue, Dill Seed, Eucalyptus, Fennel, , Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Labdanum, Lemongrass, Lovage, Marjoram, May Chang , Myrrh, Myrtle, Nutmeg, Parsley, Peppermint, Rose Otto (1st & 2nd trimester), Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Tansy, Yarrow, White Thyme, Wintergreen & Wormwood.

GENERAL ESSENTIAL OIL USE DURING PREGNANCY
  •  The list of safe oils are only to be used in a healthy pregnancy.
  • Essential oil use should be avoided during the first trimester as this is when there is a higher risk for miscarriage.
  • Avoid absolutes and solvent extracted essential oils as some hexane may be still present.
  • Remember less is more with pregnant women!
  • Topical use - Dilute at 1% with a carrier oil ( 6 drops per 30mls carrier oil approximately)
  •  Dilute 2% in carrier oil for use during labour. (12 drops essential oil to 30ml carrier oil approximately)
  • Do not add essential oils to the birthing pool. Essential oils float on top of the water and therefore may be harmful to the newborn baby when born. 
  • Clary Sage & Jasmine may be safe during labour under the guidance of a midwife or doula. These oils can bring on contractions and therefore should be avoided until this time.
  • Do not ingest essential oils during pregnancy. 
  • Do not use essential oils in excess for long periods of time.
  • Do not add too many drops of essential oil to the diffuser or inhale for long periods of time. 
  • Sense of smell can be particularly strong during pregnancy and therefore some pungent oils & aromas may be unpleasant during pregnancy.



    RECIPES FOR PREGNANCY:
     

    MORNING SICKNESS INHALER -
     
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 
  • 6 drops of essential oil such as ginger, grapefruit or sweet orange.

    Put in a small glass bottle with a lid
    and inhale when needed.


    STRETCH MARK OIL -
  • 20ml jojoba oil
  • 20ml apricot oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  •  3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops neroli essential oil

    Massage onto skin daily to help prevent stretch marks.
 -------------------------------------
~ BREAST FEEDING ~


SOME SAFE OILS TO USE DURING BREASTFEEDING 
Bergamot, Chamomile, Coriander, Copaiba, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Mandarin, May Chang, Myrtle, Neroli, Orange Sweet, Patchouli, Pepper Black, Petigrain, Pine Scots, Rose Otto, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Spruce, Frankincense, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Tea Tree Lemon, Ylang Ylang.

IMPORTANT : Citrus oils are potential photosensitizers when applied to skin. Do not go out in the sun within 48 hours of application.

SOME UNSAFE OILS TO USE DURING BREASTFEEDING
 
Ajowan, Angelica, Star Anise, Aniseed, Basil, Bay Laurel, Birch, Camphor, Carrot Seed, Cassia, Cedarwood, Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clove, Cumin, Cypress Blue, Dill Seed, Eucalyptus, Fennel , Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Labdanum, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Tansy, Yarrow, White Thyme, Wintergreen & Wormwood.
 
GENERAL ESSENTIAL OIL USE WHILST BREASTFEEDING
  •  Avoid applying essential oils to the nipples or areas of your body that will come into contact with your babies delicate skin.
  • Take care to remember that essential oils that you apply to your skin may be breathed in by your baby. Therefore oils that are not suitable for baby may not be suitable for yourself.
  • Topical Use - 2% in carrier oil can be used whilst nursing ( 12 drops essential oil to 30ml carrier oil approximately)
  • Do not ingest essential oils whilst breastfeeding.
  • Do not use essential oils in excess for long periods of time.
  • Some other articles suggest using essential oils like basil and fennel to boost your milk supply. These oils are actually not safe or recommended to use when breastfeeding. It would be safer to take herbal galactagogues like fenugreek and blessed thistle.  Drinking coconut water and eating foods like oats & flax meal I find helps to boost my milk supply.
  • Essential oils like peppermint, sage & jasmine have been traditionally used to reduce milk supply. That's why they are not listed as safe while breastfeeding. 
  • Remember everything you use on your body can find it's way into your breastmilk.
  • Less is always more when breastfeeding!
-------------------------------------
~ BABIES & CHILDREN ~
 
SOME SAFE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR BABIES & CHILDREN 
 
IMPORTANT : Citrus oils are potential photosensitizers when applied to skin. Do not go out in the sun within 48 hours of application.

Oils which may be listed as safe but should be used in extra small amounts topically include: cardamon, thyme, lemongrass, ginger, black pepper, pine, citronella, peppermint, nutmeg & clove bud. Some of these oils can be quite hot on the skin and have greater risk of being dermal irritants. Use with caution. If you must use these oils topically, dilute these oils more than the recommended amount.


ESSENTIAL USAGE OIL CHART FOR CHILDREN -
D
= Safe for diffusion.
T = Safe for topical application when properly diluted according to age.
X = Not Safe.

3 months +
6 months +
2 years +
6 years +
10 years +
Basil Sweet
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Bergamot
X
X
D
D T
D T
Cardamon
X
X
X
D T
D T
Cedarwood
D T
D T
D T
D T
D T
Cinnamon Bark
X
X
X
D
D
Chamomile
D T
D T
D T
D T
D T
Citronella
X
D
D
D T
D T
Clary Sage
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Clove Bud
X
X
D
D T
D T
Coriander
X
D
D T
D T
D T
Cypress
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Eucalyptus
X
X
X
D T
D T
Fennel
X
X
X
D T
D T
Frankincense
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Geranium
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Ginger
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Grapefruit
X
D
D T
D T
D T
Helichrysum
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Lavender
D T
D T
D T
D T
D T
Lemon
X
D
D T
D T
D T
Lemongrass
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Mandarin
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Neroli
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Nutmeg
X
X
X
D T
D T
Orange Sweet
D T
D T
D T
D T
D T
Pepper Black
X
X
D T
D T
D T
Peppermint
X
X
X
D T
D T
Petitgrain
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Pine
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Rosemary
X
X
X
X
D T
Rose Otto
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Sandalwood
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Spruce
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Tea Tree
X
D T
D T
D T
D T
Thyme
X
X
D T
D T
D T

SOME UNSAFE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR BABIES & CHILDREN

Anise, Aniseed, Basil Lemon, Bay Laurel (under 6), Benzoin, Birch, Camphor, Carrot Seed, Cassia, Clove (under 2) , Fennel (under 6) , Hyssop (under 2) , Lemongrass (under 2), May Chang (under 2) , Myrrh, Myrtle (under 6), Oregano (under 2), Peppermint (under 3), Rosemary (under 10), Sage (under 6), Tea Tree Lemon (under 2),
Wintergreen, Wormwood & Ylang Ylang (under 2)

Peppermint & Eucalyptus use on children   
 Previously I had written that it was not safe to use on Children under 10. These guidelines have since been adjusted.

Image from Robert Tisserand Essential Training

IMPORTANT: DILUTIONS & USAGE ON CHILDREN -
0-3 MONTHS OLD:
  • Avoid using any essential oils around babies before 3 months of age.
3 MONTHS +
  • Topical : Should not exceed 0.2% of essential oil per carrier oil ( 1-2 drops per 30mls carrier)
  • Diffuser: Diffuse for short periods of time (no more than 15 minutes) on young babies. Start off with 2-4 drops of oil maximum. 
6 MONTHS +
  • Topical: Should not exceed 0.5% of essential oil per carrier oil ( 2-5 drops per 30mls carrier)
  • Diffuser: Diffusion time can gradually start being extended for slightly longer periods of time with age increase.
2 YEARS +
  • Topical: Should not exceed 2% of essential oil per carrier oil ( 20 drops per 30mls carrier) 
  • Diffuser: Regular amounts of essential can start being used in diffuser. Generally around 5-6 drops maximum.
6 YEARS +
  • Topical : Should not exceed 3% of essential oil per carrier oil ( 30 drops per 30mls carrier)

GENERAL USE OF ESSENTIAL OILS WITH BABIES & CHILDREN
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  •  Never allow babies or children to ingest essential oils. Seek medical assistance if ingested. (The Poison Information Centre Australia – 13 11 26)
  • Slowly introduce essential oils one at a time to determine any allergies. An allergic reaction to any oils will usually present itself within 15-30 minutes after use.
  • Always dilute essential oils properly for topical use on children.
  • If too much oil is accidentally used on the skin - wipe the area using a carrier oil to help dilute and then wash off with soap and warm water. 
  • Keep oils away from eyes and other mucous membranes.
  • Do not use essential oils in excess for long periods of time.
  • Whilst chamomile is recommended for most age brackets, it is quite a strong smelling oil that overpowers others. I have found that one drop is usually enough for most applications and diffuser blends.
  • There have been conflicting articles claiming that use of lavender essential oil on boys can lead to breast growth due to being a hormone disruptor. I won't go into detail here but information proving this is not the case can be read here.
  • Remember that it's always best to use your own judgement when using essential oils on children!
Recommended reading :


Aromatherapy & Massage for Mother and Baby
By Allison England

 

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young



RECIPES FOR BABY -


HEALING BUM BALM ( 6+ MONTHS) -

Just use lavender essential oil without the tea tree for babies 3-6 months of age.
Store in a jar in the fridge.


BREAST MILK BUM BALM -

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months. The fat content in the milk may rise to the top, this is normal.

Other treatments that can help soothe nappy rash are calendula infused oil or aloe vera gel.


CRADLE CAP
Apply a small amount of jojoba or olive oil onto the scalp.
This could be done after bath time then leave it on for a few hours (or overnight).
Gently rub a cloth hand washer or a soft baby brush over the cradle cap to help lift it from the scalp. Do not pick cradle cap as this can cause the scalp to bleed.
It may take a few applications to remove it all.


RELAXING BABY DIFFUSER BLEND (6+ MONTHS) -

Fill water to the line in diffuser and then add the drops of essential oil.


Disclaimer: Information in this post is for education purposes only and
is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.

© Aromatherapy For Australia 

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