Best Pregnancy-Friendly Essential Oils to Use Throughout Pregnancy

For many healthy women, pregnancy is a joyful time, often where they radiate a healthy glow. On the other hand, some expecting mother’s experience numerous conditions related to the pregnancy that cause varying degrees of discomfort such as morning sickness, flatulence, leg cramps, oedema, fatigue, insomnia, and backache.

The judicious use of essential oils together with appropriate techniques of massage by a qualified and skilled therapist can help ease the discomforts of pregnancy, providing comfort and nurturing. During times of feeling fragile and when hormones are all over the place, below are the best pregnancy-friendly essential oils to use throughout pregnancy.

The world today is a place of stress and anxiety. COVID, lockdowns, home schooling, working from home and employment issues have a direct impact on the lives of pregnant women. Hormone and bodily changes coupled with social stresses can take their toll on anyone, but especially on susceptible pregnant women.


Caring use of aromatherapy treatments in many cases help to reduce the stress felt by these women, thus playing a valuable role in helping to reduce premature births caused by stress and the resulting prenatal deaths associated with this condition.

If you’re suffering from Backache:

As pregnancy advances, many women experience lower back pain due to the increased weight of the growing bub, their own changing body shape and the way this impacts on the lumbar curvature of the spine.

During pregnancy it is best for the mother not to stay in one position for too long, so she should avoid wearing high heel shoes, refrain from any forward bending or strong upward stretching exercises thus minimising back pain.

Yoga and specific natal exercises are beneficial; however, it is important to rest for 20 minutes each day, lying flat on the back with legs bent at the knees and supported on a chair. The thighs should be at right angles to the body and the calves at right angles to the thighs. This position straightens out the lumbar curve relaxing the overworked muscles of the lower back.

If you’re suffering from Constipation:

Sluggish bowel movement is common in pregnancy and should not be overlooked (as this frequently leads to haemorrhoids).

An effective aromatherapy treatment is to massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction. This is useful to aid proper bowel movement. Suggested essential oils include:

  • Neroli
  • German chamomile
  • Black pepper

Struggling to make decisions and control those racing thoughts?

Diffuse some Patchouli!

If you’re suffering from Leg Cramps:

Leg cramps tend to happen during the last few months of pregnancy but are nevertheless painful. They can be caused by the position of the baby or due to the reduction in diffusible serum calcium. Increase calcium and potassium intake by eating bananas, oranges, cottage cheese, almonds, and salmon. While sleeping or sitting, elevating the legs higher than the heart can help reduce leg cramps.

However, when a leg cramp does happen apply a heat pack to the cramping area. It can also be helpful to massage essential oils, such as black pepper or ginger together with a vegetable carrier oil, on the area to reduce the cramping.

If you’re suffering from Flatulence:

Take note of foods eaten to determine which foods are likely causing the flatulence. Also, instead of eating three big meals a day try eating 4 or 5 small meals a day. Exercise can also help, so start by walking one kilometer per day to help with digestion and elimination.

There are essential oils that can help relieve flatulence. These include dill, ginger, and spearmint (prepare 2% dilution of one of these oils and massage over abdomen several times a day).

If you’re suffering from Fatigue and Insomnia:

Fatigue can occur at any stage of the pregnancy. This can become overwhelming if in the first and second trimester, and particularly if the woman is still working. The body is continually adjusting, fluctuating hormone levels as well as providing sufficient nutrients and energy for foetal development and growth.

Essential oils, such as lavender, roman chamomile (safe after 12 weeks to use) sweet orange and neroli are excellent to use in baths, massage, or diffusing. These essential oils can assist in feeling more relaxed, help with overcoming fatigue, and assisting with quality sleep. 

Note: Lavender and Roman Chamomile are generally considered safe to use after 12 weeks of pregnancy, but always seek medical and professional advice as each case and person has different and specific needs and circumstances.

If you’re suffering from Morning Sickness:

Morning sickness often occurs in the early morning but can happen any time of the day. It is believed to affect about 50% of women during the first three to four months of pregnancy.

Diffusing four to five drops of essential oils, such as ginger or spearmint can help relieve morning sickness. Alternatively, making a compress with the preferred essential oil and placing it over the stomach area can also help.

Another tip: try drinking peppermint or ginger tea to help relieve morning sickness.

If you’re suffering from Oedema:

A rise of oestrogen in the body causes swelling of the hands and feet. Wearing loose, comfortable clothing is suggested. You may find your foot size goes up so make sure you are wearing well- fitting shoes. Avoid highly processed foods and maintain a balanced diet.

A hand or foot bath containing a few drops of either lime sweet orange, grapefruit or tangerine may be helpful.

If you’re pregnant and glowing or pregnant and uncomfortable, doesn’t matter when it comes to reducing stress and increasing your relaxation. Book a consultation today to experience the level of relaxation aromatherapy has to offer.

By: Susan Podhorodecki