Why Essential Oil is a Must-Have
Essential oils are great for many reasons – from completely changing your emotional status with just a sniff of the fragrance to its many medicinal purposes, like treating migraines, nausea and anxiety disorder. There’s no question that having a bottle of your favourite fragrance helps you turn a stressful day into a soothing one.
Avoid when Pregnant and Breastfeeding
Despite the many good qualities of essential oils, there are selected essences that are best not to be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Essential oils should only be used topically and after diluting them with carrier oils, such as almond, hemp seed or coconut oil.
You are advised to avoid all oils that were extracted using solvents such as butane or hexane as they could leave traces which may be harmful to babies. The selections are as follows:
- Bergamot Orange (citrus)
- Peppermint – also to be kept away from children under the age of 2.
- Rosemary – not to be administered to babies and children below the age of 4.
- Sweet Basil – keep away from infants and toddlers
Though there is no solid evidence proving that these will have a definite negative effect on your breastfed baby, playing it safe may perhaps be the best way to do things for the time being. Granted that the effects of mixing these essential oils with your breast milk may possibly be minor, you should know that every woman reacts differently to its effects.
An experiment was conducted whereby a childbearing woman had used sage essential oil that led to a reduced supply of breast milk, which is vital for a baby’s growth and development of antibodies. However, another experiment using peppermint essential oil showed a reduction in milk supply for some women, while it did not affect some others. With that being said, breastfeeding mothers may not necessarily have to avoid the essential oils in the list above if pumping out the breast milk in advance is an option – though there is the possible sacrifice of losing a certain connection with the baby.
How Not to Use Essential Oils
Swallowing it is something you will want to refrain from doing as you could possibly get pneumonia, should you accidentally choke on it and some of it gets into your lungs. Best way to get the maximum effect is by getting a diffuser to dispense the aroma at home/office, or maybe even rubbing some of it on your skin.
Also, essential oils do not mix well with some medications. There have been some women who were taking medications to counter certain complications faced during pregnancy or delivery, and it seemed to have “dramatized” the effects of the medications.
At the end of the day, there are still some essential oils that pose no potential threat to your baby when breastfeeding, though it may just not be your aroma of choice. Either way, bring it up with your doctor before doing anything.