Are essential oils safe to use during pregnancy?

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"These oils are safe to use during pregnancy". (Getty Images)
"These oils are safe to use during pregnancy". (Getty Images)

Midwife and antenatal expert Tina Otte answers an expectant mom's query about the effects of using essential oils during pregnancy

The reader writes: 

I am six weeks pregnant and I am a skin care therapist. I do a lot of facials every day but am concerned about the essential oils during the facial massage and botanical mixtures in the water. Do I have to stay away from all essential oils or are there some that are still safe for me to use? If not, would wearing a dentist-type mask be okay so as not to breathe in the oils? Please help because I can't just stop working.

Also read: Insomnia in pregnancy: A commonly dismissed condition

Tina's advice:

There are many aromatherapy essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy. I would suggest not using any essential oils until after 12 weeks. I would suggest you only use lavender, geranium, patchouli, sandalwood, neroli, lime and mandarin- these oils are safe to use during pregnancy.

Oils are absorbed more through the skin than through breathing, so wearing a mask is not going to make a difference. I am more concerned about the oils getting into your system via the skin. Wearing gloves is not really an option with true essential oils as they eat through the latex.

I strongly suggest that you contact the manufacturers and ask them if they are safe to use during pregnancy. I cannot advise on the botanical mixtures as I have not worked with them, and you do not mention what is in the product you are using.

Good luck and stay safe and healthy!

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