I love that we are discussing pelvic floor health more and more especially with moms postpartum. In many countries it is standard practice to visit a pelvic floor therapist after having a baby and while that isn’t the case here in the United States, there are more and more therapists available. I’m always happy to get the message out that if you are experiencing symptoms related to your pelvic floor after having a baby, you do not need to just ‘deal with it’.
I recommend looking for a pelvic floor therapist and doing some of your own at-home therapy as well. I’m always recommending the MUTU system for an at home program and I myself have really loved it. Recently, I also had the opportunity to try the Perifit Pelvic Floor Trainer as the company sent me one to review.
From their website, “Perifit is an FDA-approved medical device that is recommended by doctors to prevent prolapse and incontinence, eliminate the need to wear pads permanently, aid quick recovery from childbirth and surgery, regain core strength and bladder control, and enhance confidence in the bedroom.”
From my own personal perspective, it’s also just fun to use compared! You insert the device into your vagina and then it connects with an app that you play games with your pelvic muscles to move your “player”. It’s kind of hard to explain but go here to watch how it works. I’m not even someone who typically likes video games but this was surprisingly really satisfying to advance to the next level on—maybe because I know that I’m actually doing something good for my body in the process.
Kegels aren’t all that great for you
Many of us have always heard to do kegels… the way I learned was to practice the feeling of stopping the stream of urine but it turns out that that isn’t all that good for strengthening your pelvic floor, plus it’s boring! So, the difference with the Perifit is that you also work on the action of relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and contracting them. Plus, the device can tell you the difference between the use of your deeper muscles versus the superficial ones.
My favorite part is that you get real-time feedback so you know how you’re improving. It really helped me to better understand how to do pelvic floor exercises since you can try different things and then see in the app whether you’re improving or not rather than just listening to someone describe what to do.
Programs for your stage in life
They have a few different programs to choose from including: postpartum, stress/urge incontinence, intimate well-being and preventative. I’m working my way through the postpartum program right now and feel quite the sense of accomplishment when I move up to the next level! I only spend about 10-15 minutes a day doing the games and noticed an improvement within about 3 weeks (I may have missed some days in there but I TRY to do it every day). You can set the app to send you reminders to play the games too!
I definitely recommend the Perifit if you’re struggling with any pelvic floor issues and think it would benefit just about any mom postpartum. Of course it’s always a good idea to consult with your care provider if you have any questions.
You can use the coupon code TheBirthHour10 for 10% off your purchase. I was gifted the Perifit to review and was not compensated in any other way. I only recommend products to you that I truly love and all opinions expressed are my own.
What’s included in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit?
Your starter kit comes with a diffuser and you get to choose which one. I love the desert mist diffuser which can run up to 10 hours and has a candlelight flicker that’s so cozy. The aria diffuser is an upgrade but is so unique, every time someone sees mine they ask about it!
2. 12 Essential Oils
You get the 12 most popular essential oils with your premium starter kit and the value is insane! Lavender, Stress Away, Thieves, Frankincense, Peppermint, Lemon, Valor, Peace & Calming, Digize, Citrus Fresh, Raven, and Panaway. These 12 oils alone will support sleep, focus, digestion, emotions, wellness, muscles, rough days, head tension, relaxation, kids, mama time and the men in your life.
3. Ningxia Samples
NingXia Red supports immune function, liver function, and eye health and is reported to increase energy. I can tell you it’s more than reported to increase mine! I can tell within minutes how different I feel after drinking it! It’s my daily pick-me-up and I’ve cut my afternoon coffee fix since I started drinking NingXia.
4. Thieves Goodies
You’ll get some extra goodies from the Thieves cleaning line including the hand sanitizer which you’ll quickly fall in love with. It smells amazing and doesn’t dry your hands out because it’s made with aloe.
5. Roller Fitments
You’ll get two roller fitment tops so you can turn a couple of your essential oils into roll-ons right away. Favorites for this are usually Valor, Peace + Calming, Stress Away and Thieves.
6. Sample bottles
Premium starter kits come with 10 tiny bottles so you can share your essential oils with a friend or keep a smaller portion in your purse or take when you travel.
7. Product Guide
The Young Living product guide that comes with your premium starter kit is so informative and will help educate you on how to use the essential oils in your kit. It also has details on Young Livings other products like cleaning supplies, personal care products, baby and kids line, and makeup!
8. Essential Oil Magazine
This changes seasonally and is a great place for DIY recipes and inspiration for diving into the world of essential oils!
9. Member Resources
This is my favorite part and why it matters who you sign up with! We have a huge community group dedicated to teaching you and your team about every Young Living oil, supplement, Thieves product, remedy, guideline, success story and life hack! We have classes, books, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk of joining my team!
How much does the Young Living Starter Kit cost?
The premium starter kit from Young Living is $165 dollars and includes your membership, a diffuser, 12 of the most popular essential oils. The value of all of the products you get with the starter kit is more than $400 so the starter kit is the most cost effective way to get started with Young Living essential oils!
How do I sign up with a young living starter kit?
The Premium Starter Kit is how I recommend everyone get started with Young Living. It’s the most bang for your buck, and how you get the Young Living wholesale membership + access to all of our team resources, groups. etc!! You’ll get a diffuser, 12 of the most popular oils, and some great, useful samples like Ningxia pouches and Thieves goodies!
I’ll also send you beautiful art print that you’ll want to frame! Then the same day you sign up, I will send your Welcome email, add you to our FB groups, and you’ll have started on this whole wonderful new journey.
There’s so much to learn and you will love having so many resources at your fingertips, and I’ll be with you every step of the way! Non-toxic cleaning for your home, the best diffuser blends, overall wellness for you and your whole family, etc. We also have team exclusive resources like free ebooks, monthly online classes, mentorship and amazing groups including one specifically for pregnancy, nursing and babies as well as fertility.
Does it matter who you sign up with?
Definitely! YES. It matters who you sign up with. I get messages everyday from people (who have signed up with someone else) asking to use our team’s resources and if I can help them with their oils. Do your research before you sign up, and pick an enroller and team you WANT to be a part of and that gets you inspired and excited! With our team you get all the resources, all the amazing DIYs, all the support, all the FB groups…all the fun!
I LOVE sharing and educating, and would be honored to do this with you. And one of my favorite things is all of the new friendships started with the women who sign up with me! Come link arms with me and let’s get it going. I’ll be with you every step of the way. And you’ll also be a part of @caseyleighessentials, @grapefruitandgold and @goldendropsociety! Best team ever!
What Does it mean to be a Young Living Member?
Becoming a Young Living member does not mean that you have to sell the products, it’s simply how you get access to the Young Living Virtual Office so you can shop with a wholesale discount (24% off). There’s no commitment beyond getting your Premium Starter Kit. It’s like a Costco membership except instead of just getting the card, you’re getting $400 worth of goodies!
You will get a referral link that you can share with friends and every time someone uses your link you’ll earn $50—a great way to pay for your starter kit right away!
How to sign up for your Young Living Starter Kit in 4 steps
Follow these steps: Be sure the member number 15023809 is listed as the enroller and sponsor so you’ll be on our team. Also make sure to check Wholesale Member to earn your 24% off any future orders. (You never ever have to buy or sell anything in the future). Click Continue.
2. Select the Premium Starter Kit (PSK)
Choose the diffuser you’d like if you’re going the oils route! Desert Mist is my favorite. The candlelight flicker is so good! The Aria is also gorgeous but does cost more.
3. Sign up for essential rewards (if you’d like to)
You can get right on Essential Rewards if you want! This is our monthly autoship program where you get points back, freebies every month etc. To do this you must select your PSK, then click the box below, reading, “Use the selected Premium Starter Kit as my first Essential Rewards order and sign me up for an Essential Rewards subscription.”
If you are going this route, you can then set up your order for next month! To be on Essential Rewards you simply need to spend $50/month on anything you’d like. Some of my favorite things to add right away are the Tranquil and Deep relief roller, Gentle Baby and White Angelica essential oils, any of the Seedlings baby products, and Inner Defense and Multigreens capsules. I recommend doing this even if you plan to cancel the next month because this way you will get a FREE promo product and you’ll get 10 points back (equivalent to $10 back) to spend on something else!
4. Follow the prompts
Then follow the process all the way through to the end….yay! You did it! Once you’ve completed your order, you will receive a confirmation email and I will be in touch within 24 hours to get you all plugged into our free resources and send you your free gift!
Should you sign up for essential rewards?
Enroll at any time!
Your monthly order has to be 50PV or above, 50PV usually equals around $50
Earn points back on every order! Points can be used like dollars when placing a Quick Order!
Every month Young Living releases that months exclusive promos, you can qualify for the freebies by placing your Essential Rewards order or Quick Order, there are ER exclusive promos that you don’t want to miss though!
You can cancel at anytime, there is no contract or scary commitment!
Okay I get it, if you’re like me, you’re thinking “I don’t have an extra $50/month in my budget right now” and I thought the same thing!! But, I was actually already buying products like toothpaste, deodorant, dish soap, supplements, etc. elsewhere and wasn’t receiving money back, free products or any of the amazing benefits of essential oil infused products that I can get on Essential Rewards. You aren’t spending more money, you are transferring your budget from Target and other places and choosing Essential Rewards instead! It also saves a lot of time to not have to research and wonder if you’re buying things that are good for your health or not!
Again Essential Rewards is totally optional and you can start/stop whenever you want but I definitely recommend at least giving it a try so you can earn points back on every purchase, snag free oils and products to try, and kick the toxins and chemicals from your home!
Ready to get started? Click on the link here, or on the Get Started button below.
If you’ve been using essential oils during pregnancy, you may be wondering which essential oils are safe to use while breastfeeding, or which ones to avoid. Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience with your baby and many moms love knowing that they are giving their baby such amazing nutrition no matter how long they nurse their babies.
I’ve breastfed all three of my children and each time came with its own challenges which resulted in different lengths of time breastfeeding. Having essential oils in my mama toolbox with my most recent baby has been such a game-changer. It is so great knowing that I have one more way to address any challenges that come up.
3 things to consider before using essential oils while breastfeeding
1. Not every oil works the same for everyone
As with any use for essential oils, different people have different success with the wide array of options. In this post, I’ll share what has worked for me as well as other women. One of the great things about my Young Living team (more info on joining here) is that we have a private Facebook group specifically for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies. It’s my go-to place to get tips and questions answered!
2. Other factors affect your breastmilk supply
The main factor that affects your milk supply is how often you are emptying your breasts, either by nursing your baby or pumping. Your supply will work hard to meet the demand that you are putting on it. So the best thing to do if you are worried about your breastmilk supply is to nurse more often or pump after nursing sessions. That being said, there are some things that many women swear by, myself included, for giving a little extra boost to your milk supply.
3. Always consult your care provider
When it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor, midwife and/or lactation consultant before using any new medications, supplements, or essential oils.
6 essential oils that are safe to use when breastfeeding
1. Fennel Seed
Fennel is the most commonly known galactagogue, which is something that increases milk supply. One of the great things about Young Living oils is that they have essential oils that are safe to ingest. These oils are labeled differently and are referred to as Vitality oils. To increase your milk supply you can take two drops of Fennel Vitality a day for up to 10 days. You can put it in a vegetable capsule and swallow or you can add it to your food or tea. Many people will do two drops in a teaspoon of honey. Please do not ingest any other brands of fennel essential oil.
You can also apply fennel topically, just one or two drops on your chest mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba oil, being sure to avoid the nipple area. If it gets near your nipple, just clean the area before nursing your baby. Fennel should be avoided during pregnancy.
Basil is another essential oil that is thought to be a galactagogue and can be used to increase milk supply. It also comes in the Vitality version from Young Living. You can either ingest it, I’d recommend using it in cooking because it’s delicious (a drop or two to your spaghetti sauce is amazing!) or can be applied to your breasts. You can mix one or two drops with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil and rub it onto your breasts, away from the nipple. You can also apply it to your spine around your bra line area. Basil can be used for longer than 10 days if desired.
Dill is another essential oil that is thought to be a galactagogue and can be combined with basil or fennel. Dill is considered a milder galactagogue so it may be a great option to start with and see how it goes. Young Living has a Dill Vitality option so you can try it in a vegetable capsule or try cooking with it. I especially love a drop of it in a chicken salad mixture!
Lavender is probably my most used essential oil because it has so many amazing uses. Many of my favorite uses for lavender are especially great during postpartum and breastfeeding. Most especially, lavender helps promote a good night’s sleep and relaxation. A common cause for the reduction of milk supply is stress because it inhibits the release of the hormones that promote milk production.
Simply roll some lavender on your wrists at bedtime or whenever you’re feeling anxiety or stress and take some deep breaths. You can also diffuse it at bedtime to help you, and baby, sleep well. If diffusing in a room with a newborn start slow with just one drop. Again, this is why I love Young Living so much—because I trust the sources of their essential oils and know that there aren’t any harmful fillers in there. Read more about their Seed to Seal process here.
5. Peace and Calming
Peace and Calming is a really special essential oil blend that will aid in stress relief as well. It’s super potent, so just a couple of drops in your diffuser will feel your living room with the best calm vibes ever. Even just opening the bottle helps me feel more at peace—clearly they named this one well! It also now comes in the starter kit from Young Living which is so awesome!
6. Stress Away
Stress away is another blend that smells so good and helps with emotional support and stress relief. I kept a roller of this on me at all times during pregnancy and continue to do so while breastfeeding. Stress Away smells like vanilla and citrus combined and is so uplifting (also great as a perfume!). Again, anything that can help you relax, especially when pumping milk, is going to be good for boosting your milk supply.
4 essential oils that are not safe for breastfeeding moms
Just like there are some essential oils and herbs that help increase milk supply, there are also essential oils that can decrease your milk supply. These are great to use when you are wanting to wean your baby but should be avoided until then. Peppermint was one of my favorite oils to use during pregnancy, but I stopped using it after my baby arrived. Some women even avoid it during the 3rd trimester because they are worried about its effect on their milk supply. I used it right up until my baby’s birth and had an abundant milk supply, so use your judgment and consult with your care provider.
Oregano is another oil that is warned against using while breastfeeding for its milk decreasing properties. Obviously, eating the oregano herb is fine because it is much less concentrated than the essential oil. On that note, the website KellyMom mentioned that generally topical applications are going to affect your milk as much as taking something internally so if you use Oregano EO in a roller blend and are applying it topically to the bottoms of your feet, for example, it’s most likely not going to have any effect on breastfeeding.
3. Clary Sage
According to the book Gentle Babies, Clary Sage can be ingested and applied to your breasts to decrease milk supply. In contradiction, I’ve seen Clary Sage listed on certain websites as an essential oil to increase milk supply. However, Debra Raybern’s book Gentle Babies is widely respected in the essential oil community so I personally will be avoiding Clary Sage while breastfeeding. I’ve seen the power of Clary Sage first hand when it jump-started my labor!
It is generally considered okay to use wintergreen as part of a blend like my favorite, Deep Relief, because it is diluted and used topically. The Deep Relief roller is seriously life-saving when it comes to sore neck muscles from breastfeeding. It’s probably a good idea to use Wintergreen in moderation though, even in a blend.
Safety tips for oils around Baby
Be aware of when and where you are using your essential oils around your baby. If using any hot oils like Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme, and Peppermint be sure to apply them to areas that won’t be touching baby (your feet are a good option) and don’t diffuse them in a small, enclosed space where baby will be. This is another good resource regarding using essential oils with a baby.
Essential oil recipes for nursing Moms
Create a more milk blend for nursing Moms
4 drops fennel + 2 drops Geranium in a 10ml roller ball + carrier oil. I prefer jojoba oil as sometimes other carrier oils will make my chest break out. You can see all of my favorite essential oil DIY products here.
2 ounces of Ningxia Red each day
Another tip that I learned from our team Facebook group is to drink 2oz of Ningxia Red every day. Ningxia Red is an antioxidant drink made from goji berries. So many women told me about the combination of taking or applying fennel essential oil and drinking Ningxia Red boosting their supply in a big way that I tried it when I had a dip in my milk supply due to a virus I had and sure enough, I experienced so much support for my milk production from those two things together.
Recipe for Breast Comfort while Breastfeeding
Create a blend of two drops Melrose, 2 drops Lavender, and 2 drops carrier oil. Rub this blend on your breasts, avoiding the nipples, twice a day. I got this recipe from Betsy Bosom’s Baby Book.
Other good things to try when dealing with engorged breasts are heat, massage, and frequent nursing.
Get started with essential oils
The way I got started with essential oils, was with a premium starter kit from Young Living, which comes with 12 of the most commonly used oils + your diffuser (I recommend the Desert Mist which has an amazing candlelight flicker).
It’s such a great value & provides you with everything you need to get started. You’ll get over $400 worth of product for only $165. You’ll get lots of reading material with your kit and you’ll also get access to our exclusive facebook community full of amazing resources like how to use each oil in your kit, which oils to avoid around kids or while pregnant/nursing, and all of the dilution ratios for individual oils.
We have free online classes, ebooks, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk of joining me! I also send all of my new members this beautiful hand painted art print that you’ll want to frame in your home!
So many women stress over their milk supply while breastfeeding and it can be hard to know if you have a low supply or not because each baby empties the breast at a different speed and not all women are able to pump as much as their baby can get when nursing. The amount of milk that you get during a pumping session is not necessarily a good indicator of your supply. The best way to know how much milk baby is getting is to consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and do a weighted feeding where they will weigh your baby before an after a nursing session with a highly sensitive scale. You can find an IBCLC at ilca.org. I know how hard this can be, I’ve been there too and I’m cheering you on.
I’ve found so much support from my oils community in all things pregnancy and postpartum and would love to answer any questions you have about getting started. You can always reach out to me through the contact form on this site or on my oils Instagram account, @brynessentials.
The content shared on this site, is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It’s always best to check with a qualified health provider for questions you might have. Moreover, this information has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Pregnancy is one of those times in life when you definitely want to pay attention to your nutrition and vitamin intake. You may find yourself experiencing symptoms you’ve never had before and you may be suffering from a lack of energy. For me, it was really important that I add some specific supplements to my routine during pregnancy and postpartum and I felt so much better thanks to some specific high quality supplements during pregnancy.
Why take supplements during pregnancy?
Taking supplements during pregnancy serves two main purposes—supporting your own health and ensuring proper fetal growth for your baby. Your baby needs specific vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to grow and you are much more likely to become depleted in certain areas during pregnancy and postpartum. Ideally, we could all get the proper nutrients from the food we eat but it can be hard to maintain a well-rounded diet when you’re experiencing morning sickness or nausea or you just aren’t the best about eating your veggies! In order to feel your best and know that your baby is getting what they need, there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, you should always talk to your care provider when taking new vitamins and supplements.
10 supplements that are safe to take during pregnancy
1. Prenatal vitamins
All women of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal vitamin. It’s important to be taking a prenatal vitamin before you even become pregnant because your body needs certain vitamins in the very early stages of pregnancy, namely folate. There are many different varieties of prenatal vitamins and most only require one pill per day. Experiment with different ones if you find that yours is upsetting your tummy.
Folate or Folic acid is a B vitamin that is extremely important for fetal development and taking it before you get pregnant and in early pregnancy has been proven to prevent birth defects in your babies brain, called neural tube defects. There is also evidence folate can reduce the risk of heart defects and cleft lip/palate. You should be taking at least 600mcg of folic acid well before you become pregnant. If you are pregnant and haven’t been taking folate, start immediately. Your prenatal may have this amount already in it.
MTHFR is a gene mutation that affects the way your body processes folate. Most people don’t even know they have this gene even though it’s estimated that 40% of individuals do. For moms with MTHFR, it’s important to take a prenatal vitamin that uses methylfolate instead of synthetic folic acid.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D affects your body’s nerves, muscles, and immune system. It is also important in helping your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is crucial in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. During pregnancy, you need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. During postpartum, and if you are breastfeeding, you should actually up your Vitamin D intake to 6400 IU or be giving your baby a Vitamin D supplement. Here’s a postpartum multivitamin called Lactation One that has 6400 IU of Vitamin D.
4. Fish Oil
Fish Oil is a great source of DHA which stands for docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is super important for your babies brain and eye development. During pregnancy, you need 200 milligrams of DHA and not all prenatal vitamins have DHA, so you may need to add a separate DHA supplement. Many women prefer to take a DHA supplement derived from algae instead of Fish Oil due to concerns with mercury.
Your baby is going to need calcium to grow and if you aren’t getting enough calcium daily, your body will take it from your bones and give it to your baby. Sounds fun, right?! Luckily, most prenatals will have the recommended 1,000 milligrams of calcium. Other good sources of calcium include dairy, broccoli and kale and fortified orange juice.
Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium and is important during pregnancy. While magnesium serves the purpose of relaxing your muscles, calcium causes them to contract. There is research that shows that taking magnesium during pregnancy can prevent premature labor caused by uterine contractions. Magnesium also plays a part in growing your baby’s teeth and bones. In my personal experience, taking a magnesium supplement before bed helped with my charley horses and leg cramps. My favorite magnesium and calcium supplement is called Super Cal Plus.
Iodine is a mineral crucial to your baby’s developing nervous system and is used to make thyroid hormones. During pregnancy, you need 220 micrograms of iodine every day. Iodine isn’t always included in prenatal vitamins so be sure to check the label and consider adding an iodine supplement. Iodine is also found in iodized salt, dairy, fortified cereal, and bread as well as fish.
Probiotics help your digestive system work properly. They are comprised of the good bacterias that help gut health. They can be particularly helpful if you are prone to yeast infections as many women are during pregnancy. My favorite probiotic is called Life 9 from Young Living.
Iron is a very important mineral during pregnancy and something many women end up being deficient in. I personally bordered on anemic with all three of my pregnancies and needed to add an iron supplement in addition to the iron in my prenatal vitamin. In fact, your blood volume increases so much during pregnancy and your baby is busy making their own blood, that you need twice as much iron when you’re pregnant! Most prenatals will have the recommended amount of 27 milligrams of iron but if you are finding that your energy is low or that you’re frequently dizzy, you should get your iron levels checked and consider adding another supplement or upping your intake of iron-rich foods. My favorite supplement is a plant-derived iron called Floradix.
Chlorophyll is found in green vegetables but can also be taken as a supplement. Chlorophyll has similar properties to hemoglobin which essential to your blood cells and carries oxygen through your body. My midwife recommended I take Chlorophyll at the same time as my iron supplement as they work well together. I currently take a supplement called Multigreens which is a chlorophyll formula made from spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, bee pollen, eleuthero and Pacific kelp.
3 supplements to avoid during pregnancy
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is actually really important for fetal eye development but the problems occur when too much Vitamin A is consumed as your body will store excess amounts in your liver and can cause liver damage or birth defects for your baby. Your prenatal vitamin will have the right amount of vitamin A in it and you shouldn’t consume any additional Vitamin A supplements.
2. Black and Blue Cohosh
These herbs are often found in the form of a tincture and are used by many midwives to augment labor when a woman is past her due date or has premature rupture of membranes. I’ve personally done a black and blue cohosh regime for two out of my three births. Since these herbs can cause uterine contractions, they should not be used during pregnancy as they could lead to early labor. If using them to augment labor, only do so under the supervision of your care provider.
3. Dong Quai
Dong Quai is a very popular herb in Chinese medicine and similarly to black and blue cohosh, can cause uterine contraction so should be avoided while pregnant.
Here are some other herbs to avoid in pregnancy:
Pay D’ Arco
Take the following precautions when taking supplements during your pregnancy
Inform your care provider
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking any new supplements during pregnancy.
When using supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount and see how your body reacts. You are likely dealing with many symptoms that you aren’t used to and while supplements can often help with these symptoms, you certainly don’t want to make any of them worse.
Read the labels
One thing to keep in mind is that herb and vitamin supplements often are not evaluated by the FDA the way prescription drugs are. Many times the labels will say “avoid use if pregnant or breastfeeding” even though your care provider may have recommended it. This is because there is no official testing done to prove that they are safe for pregnancy so the company is required to include that disclaimer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the quality and strength of supplements may vary between different products or brands.
3 places to buy pregnancy supplements
Your local pharmacy will have many of these supplements and vitamins. Most large box stores like Target or Walmart also carry many supplements these days.
Health food stores
Your local co-op or Whole Foods will have a very large selection of supplements and these will often be organic and of higher quality than ones you may find elsewhere.
Online through Young Living
I personally prefer to order the majority of my supplements through my wholesale membership with Young Living. I get 24% off everything I order and they have very high standards for quality control. Several of the supplements I mentioned above are from Young Living and you can find out more about getting your own wholesale membership here. I’d love to help you learn more!
Pregnancy is a time of many changes physically, emotionally and mentally. Some vitamins like your prenatal, folate and DHA are essential for your baby’s development. Other supplements mentioned here may give you more energy and make your pregnancy a little easier. Consult with your care provider and find the supplements that are going to be best for you.
The content shared on this site, is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It’s always best to check with a qualified health provider for questions you might have. Moreover, this information has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Pregnancy is one of those times in life when you are experiencing a lot of new symptoms and yet you are very limited in what you can do to help. Using essential oils is a great option because they are natural, plant-based and non-toxic but there are a few things you should know about using essential oils during pregnancy before you get started.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plant roots, seeds, flowers, leaves, trees or entire shrubs. Essential oils allow you to experience many daily benefits and be self-empowered in taking responsibility for your own health during pregnancy and beyond. Of course, essential oils are not a replacement for medical care and should be used as a complement to the care you receive from your doctor or midwife.
10 essential oils that are safe for you to use during pregnancy
I discovered essential oils during my most recent pregnancy and used them for everything including sleep support, skin support, immune support and the biggest, for me, emotional support. Here are 10 essential oils that are safe for you to use during pregnancy:
Frankincense is a go-to oil for skin support during pregnancy. Skin can sometimes break out during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but just using one drop of frankincense in the palm of your hand mixed with moisturizer every morning and night can be extremely supportive. Frankincense is also great for emotional support and can help ease worries around pregnancy and birth.
Lavender is the jack of all trades when it comes to essential oils and can be used for SO many things during pregnancy. It’s super relaxing and calming and great for sleep support. Simply diffuse it with Frankincense at night or roll on your wrists before bed. It’s also great for skin support and a great option in the summer months when the bugs are biting and you don’t want to use other chemicals on your skin. You will also find many great uses for Lavender once baby arrives. Many new Moms use lavender to create a homemade diaper balm and diffuse it along with a blend called Gentle Baby. If you’ve never smelled the Lavender from Young Living you are missing out! It is so much more potent than any other brands.
Digestion issues are pretty common during pregnancy and Digize is a great remedy for this. Create a roller with Digize and use it during your first trimester on your tummy when you’re experiencing morning sickness. Other women also use it during the third trimester to soothe the acidity experienced in their esophagus. Simply roll is on the area bothering you, such as your throat and chest. It’s not one of the most favorable smelling essential oils, but it can get the job done.
4. Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
Tea Tree is a great oil for skin support especially specific spots like blemishes and irritations. You can use Tea Tree (after your Frankincense moisturizer routine) on any spots that needed extra support.
Lemon essential oil, like all citrus oils, is very uplifting and great to add to diffuser blends when you need that extra boost. Try using Lemon (and Citrus Fresh) in your water. Young Living’s vitality oils are safe to ingest and just one drop in your water can help increase your daily water intake which is super important during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Cedarwood essential oil is great for sleep support and calming nervous tension (aka when you can’t fall asleep at night because you’re thinking about all of the things!). Roll it on the bottoms of your feet right before bed. You can roll it on without diluting or you can make a roller ball with 25 drops Cedarwood and then fill with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Thieves Oil is a popular blend for immune support and sometimes you really need an extra boost for your immune system during pregnancy. Thieves contains Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. Several of those oils are recommended to use with care and caution during pregnancy. Also ensure you dilute Thieves and use it in moderation, rather than daily. Thieves is also a great immune support. Try making a 10ml roller with just 10 drops of Thieves essential oil and coconut oil and apply it to the bottoms of your feet and spine when you feel the need for an immune boost.
Peppermint essential oil has so many great uses during pregnancy including helping with smell sensitivities. You can simply open the bottle and sniff it or diffuse it along with a citrus like lemon or orange. Try using it in the summer to cool you down. If you’ve ever been pregnant in the summer, you know how hard it can be to cool down sometimes and a drop of peppermint and lavender behind your ears can be extremely cooling. Peppermint is also great for head tension and a roller with 10 drops peppermint, 10 drops Lavender and 10 drops Frankincense is often called the “Hangover Roller”—obviously in pregnancy it serves a different purpose. Note: Some people choose to avoid peppermint in late pregnancy because it can be used to reduce milk supply but I personally used it up until the end and had an abundant milk supply. Use your best judgment and consult your care provider.
There are two different versions of chamomile that are both wonderful and used for different purposes. Roman chamomile is extremely relaxing aromatically and great for sleep support and German Chamomile is fantastic for using on stretched skin after birth. Many women use German Chamomile on their perineum leading up to and after giving birth. It’s also in my favorite homemade diaper balm recipe.
10. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang is a very special essential oil and exceptionally fragrant and refreshing. It’s extremely relaxing and a great oil for emotional support during and after pregnancy. It’s also found in the blend called Gentle Baby which is one of my favorite essential oil blends for pregnancy and baby.
7 essential oils that you should avoid during pregnancy
Historically, there are instances of non-therapeutic-grade (meaning synthetic, adulterated and/or of impure quality) essential oils having possibly caused problems during pregnancy. I only use Young Living oils and because of their Seed to Seal commitment. I have a few reference books that I trust as well and especially love Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children. That being said, here is a list of a few oils that you should avoid or use with caution during pregnancy. There are certain blends that may contain small amounts of these oils that many women use (myself included) without issue. If you are concerned, always consult with your care provider and dilute, dilute, dilute. I’d also limit the oils that you ingest during pregnancy and definitely avoid ingesting any on this list.
Wintergreen essential oil is high in methyl salicylate (the naturally occurring version of aspirin) and should be avoided during pregnancy and birth because of its blood thinning properties. Wintergreen is found in a few blends from Young Living like Panaway & Deep Relief and since it’s just one oil in a blend, many women choose to use it in moderation during pregnancy. Wintergreen should never be ingested.
Birch essential oil is also high in methyl salicylate and should be avoided in pregnancy and never ingested.
Hyssop essential oil is high in Pinocamphone which has the potential to stimulate contractions and should be avoided.
4. Clary Sage
Clary Sage is a great oil for increasing the intensity of contractions once labor has begun as well as inducing labor once a woman has reached her due date. In fact, my water broke within an hour of me diffusing Clary Sage next to my bed. For that reason, it should be avoided until you reach your due date. Other oils that have the same property that could assist contractions are Angelica, Juniper, Myrrh, and Fennel and they should be avoided during pregnancy.
Camphor essential oil is an oil itself and it is also a constituent in other oils including Tansy, Spanish Lavender, Feverfew, Spanish Sage and Sage Lavender. Camphor oil is only recommended for use topically because it is toxic when ingested. There are no reports of Camphor oil causing harm when used topically in pregnancy but due to its toxicity internally, it is generally recommended to be avoided.
6. Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon Bark essential oil, along with Clove and Cassia contains Eugenol which has blood thinning properties. While there are no actual accounts of these oils causing problems in pregnancy, if used in large amounts (as in drinking an entire bottle) they could cause harm. As always, use common sense and use oils in moderation.
Rosemary essential oil contains the constituent 1,8 cineol also known as Eucalyptol which is great for respiratory support but again, could cause problems in high doses. Rosemary oil should be used only as needed rather than in a daily diffuser blend of perfume.
Take the following precautions when using essential oils during pregnancy
You’ve probably noticed a theme here and that is to use common sense, do your research and start small (aka dilute) when it comes to using essential oils.
Talk to Your Care Provider
During pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to run any concerns by your care provider. You can also seek the advice of an aromatherapist or a midwife or doula that have extensive experience using essential oils with pregnant women.
If you’re new to essential oils, I recommend starting with diluting everything. You can dilute oils in a carrier oil like jojoba, avocado, grapeseed or coconut oil. A great starting point with dilution is a 1:8 ratio.
Avoid Ingesting Essential Oils
Ingesting essential oils is going to deliver the most intense effects of the oil to your body. So while certain oils are great for ingesting while not pregnant, a good general rule of thumb during pregnancy is to avoid ingesting. Also, many essential oils you find online or at the grocery store are NEVER indicated for taking internally. If you’re using Young Living, they denote their oils with the Vitality label if they are okay for ingesting.
Avoid Using Essential Oils Altogether if:
Your medical history indicates it
If you have a medical history that indicates you should avoid essential oils, please do not go against medical advice. This could include an allergy or history of certain reactions. Epilepsy is another indicator that is often referenced when it comes to avoiding essential oils.
Ready to start using Essential Oils?
I had used several essential oils here and there before but I didn’t realize the difference in quality between many oils you find on the shelves or online versus Young Living oils. Did you know that the regulation around essential oils is pretty nonexistent so companies can claim to have a 100% pure essential oil when actually it’s packed with synthetics or diluted? You can tell a difference right away when you smell Young Living essential oils and their Seed to Seal commitment was what really sold me on exclusively using their oils. Once I started using Young Living essential oils during my most recent pregnancy, I was instantly hooked. I use oils every single day for emotional support, sleep support, immune support and skin support—to name a few!The cool thing about Young Living is when you become a member you are joining a “team” and if you’re joining my team, you get access to so many amazing resources like private Facebook groups (we have one specifically for pregnancy, nursing, and babies!), ebooks, online courses and so much more! If you want to join me, you can learn more about getting started here.
We’re a couple months into our Year in the Life documentary photography package with Heather Gallagher and I’m in love with the most recent images. The package started with maternity photos, then birth photos and will culminate with Harvey’s 1st birthday. I just know this year is going to fly by (as they tend to do) and I’m so excited to have so many memories captured by Heather.
This most recent session was a more intentional family session with a few posed shots (kind of necessary to get all five of us in one frame!) but we were still in the comfort of our home where our kids were free to be themselves (for better or worse ha!). I’m not a fan of props or background setups for family photos and I NEVER buy the school photos because they just don’t truly capture my children.
Heather has such a great eye (and timing!) for snapping photographs that I will always cherish. Here are a few of my favorites from our most recent session. Contact her via her website or Instagram for all the details!