Essential Oils, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Babies: Usage and Safety
The hardest part about essential oils is that there is such a HUGE scope of advice pertaining to how to use them, the dilution percentages, what age to use, and so on.
Do we believe everything the MLM rep tells us is a good practice and safe? Do we get all of our knowledge from Pinterest? Or do we fly by the seat of our pants and use the oils how we think they should be used?
When I first started using essential oils I fell into many of the above mentioned categories for usage practices.
I was an avid Pinterest user for all things oil related, I flew by the seat of my pants and used the oils however I thought would work best. Basically, I’m lucky my 3-year-old guinea pig daughter is still alive! She seemed to always be the subject of my tests. (not sure if I should laugh or cry!!)
But somewhere along the line I got a little bit wiser in my willy-nilly-oily ways. I realized that essential oils are an incredibly potent tool that requires research, knowledge and understanding to be utilized properly. This statement is MOST true when we talk about essential oils while pregnant, breastfeeding and with children.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Would you take a medication (over the counter or prescribed) while pregnant or breastfeeding without reading the label and/or researching to ensure it was safe? Definitely not! The same precautions need to be taken for use of essential oils while pregnant and breastfeeding. Some essential oils can be toxic to the fetus, the fetus’ nervous system, some can cause gestational interference and some can disrupt hormone levels while pregnant.
An essential oils can be totally safe while pregnant and breastfeeding and that very same essential oil, with a different chemotype, should be completely avoided while pregnant and breastfeeding.
So, how do we know what is safe? We have to have a good understanding of the oils we are using while pregnant and breastfeeding and how we are using them. Here is a great tool to reference for individual oils and their safety while pregnant and breastfeeding.
Children and Essential Oils
The age in which we use essential oils on our children is very important. What is equally important is the dilution percentage we use on our littles, because essential oils are so potent, they can be especially dangerous for our tiny bodied children.
I once read, while down a rabbit hole of research, that ONE DROP of peppermint essential oil was the equivalent to 20 peppermint tea bags. WHOA!
Most essential oils are safe to be intermittently diffused at 6 months of age. But, as a rule of thumb, I don’t recommend any topical use of essential oils until 2 years of age. The reason for this is because from birth to 2, our children are going through HUGE developmental milestones; physical, emotional, cognitive and social, to name a few! Essential oils that are applied topically absorb into the bloodstream and are dispersed throughout our bodies to work how the specific oils are intended (anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial, etc). Essential oils that are not intended for young children, are not diluted properly or are applied too frequently can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly. It is of the utmost importance that we take the use of essential oils and our children (in womb or born) very seriously.
Furthermore, for some of us, our children are getting frequent vaccinations. These vaccinations (or any medication) are not evaluated for interactions with essential oils in the body. Meaning, if our kids get a vaccination or two and we use essential oils for any kind of symptoms they may be having, there is no research to show how the vaccination/medication and essential oil will interact in their system. Most all vaccinations are completed by age 2. Also, by 2 years old, our kids are able to communicate with us more effectively. They can tell us what hurts and where it hurts, making our job as parents/healer of all things easier.
We are all trying to do our best! We are on this essential oil journey to bring natural healing to our lives, to reduce chemical exposure and to decrease the likelihood of major health problems in the future. So today, and for the remainder of your essential oil journey, I encourage you to research! Research the individual oils you’re using, research the most effective way to use them, research dilution percentages!
This isn’t a fad. This isn’t something that will end and go away. Essential oils have been around for centuries and this is an alternative that you can use for your health for the rest of your life!
"My essential oil journey started as a way to help my young family in a natural capacity. That journey has blossomed into a love of essential oils and all things natural and a passion to educate in essential oil safety.”
Lisa Mitchell - Owner/Operator at Mitchell Apothecary LLC
You can learn more about the oily products and information on how to use them by following her on Facebook or joining her group, where you can ask questions are get individualized guidance from Lisa herself!