How I Used Essential Oils during my Pregnancy and Labor

I became interested in essential oils right around the time I became pregnant with Prairie Boy. However, I didn’t really start using oils very much until a few months later when the morning sickness subsided. All I could manage during those first few months was to keep the animals alive and Prairie Girl fed and clothed (barely)…

Once my energy came back, I was itching to try them out on some of the “side effects” of pregnancy.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding the use of essential oils during pregnancy…

Some sources say to avoid all essential oils completely, while others say only to use select ones. To be honest, I was pretty nervous to use them at first… However, after educating myself and talking to more folks, I began to play around with them a bit more– with definite success!

Let me do a bit of “disclaiming” first:

I am not a medical professional. Please use caution when using essential oils while pregnant. The ideas below are simply what worked for me– please do your own research until you are comfortable with what you find. I only recommend using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils (I use doTERRA brand). Many of the cheaper brands are impure and are NOT safe for ingestion or medicinal use.

My Favorite Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Labor

  • Lemon for morning sickness- One of the few oils I had at the beginning of my pregnancy was lemon. When a wave of nausea would hit, I would simply open the bottle and smell it. It provided instant relief. I know that ginger is recommended for morning sickness as well.
  • DigestZen for heartburn- I never get heartburn– unless I’m pregnant… DigestZen is a digestive blend made by doTERRA and a few drops of it in a capsule instantly relieved my heartburn.

  • Lemon, lavender, and peppermint for hay fever- I have a lot of seasonal allergies and I’m horribly allergic to several types of hay. Often after feeding hay (or helping hubby put out a big round bale and getting a face-full of hay bits blown up my nose…) I end up with itchy eyes and a runny nose. A drop or two of lavender or peppermint rubbed on the back of my neck helped a lot. I also like to put 2 drops each of lemon, lavender, and peppermint in a capsule. It works quickly to relieve the itchiness and stuffy nose. (Note: Please use extra caution with peppermint oil in the latter stages of pregnancy, as it can cause a decrease in milk production in some people. It didn’t give me any trouble, but each person is different.)
  • Helichrysum and geranium for perineal prep- I had a 2nd degree tear with Prairie Girl, and really didn’t want to repeat that this time around. I mixed helichrysum and geranium oil in a small amount of sweet almond oil and sprayed it on the perineum area starting around week 37. I only ended up with a teeny tear with Prairie Boy (no stitches), so I’m gonna say it worked! 
  • Frankincense and lavender for stretch marks- I mixed these two oils in a small amount of fractionated coconut oil and smeared it all over my belly on a regular basis. I ended up with only a few, very small, stretch marks, which I thought was acceptable for a 9 pound, 8 oz baby…

  • Clary Sage to increase contractions- My labor started out really slooooow. When the contractions were still pretty infrequent, I rubbed clary sage on my ankles every 30-60 minutes to see if I could intensify things. It seemed to work- and they seemed to increase right after application.
  • Lavender during labor- During the earlier stages of my labor, I held a bottle of lavender oil and smelled it during my contractions. I really do think it helped me to relax. I also placed several drops in the bath I took before leaving for the hospital.
  • Black pepper for back labor– I had hubby rub black pepper oil on my back during one contraction and it definitely seemed to help. Sadly, the rest of my labor was so intense that essential oils were the last thing on my mind! But it’s definitely worth a try.

  • Myrrh for the umbilical stump- I used a drop of myrrh oil once daily around Prairie Boy’s umbilical cord stump. Myrrh acts like a liquid band-aid and is antibacterial as well. The cord fell off on day eight, and never got icky like Prairie Girl’s did.
  • Lavender for afterpains Those things hurt the second time around! Whenever I would nurse Prairie Boy for the 3-4 days after his birth, I would rub lavender on my abdomen when the afterpains hit. It worked instantly.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray– This isn’t exactly an essential oil, but it does contain lavender and peppermint. I can’t say enough good stuff about this spray! It was a lifesaver during the first weeks postpartum. This is a must-have for every postpartum mama. What a relief!

There were two books that I referenced over and over again during my pregnancy, and I’m still using them for the newborn days:

Again, please use caution when using essential oils during pregnancy. Do your research and then enjoy the benefits of high-quality oils. I’m glad I did! :)

Visit my online doTERRA store to purchase oils and learn more.

For info on the January 2013 FREE Frankincense promotion, as well as info on how to save up to 25% on every oil you buy, shoot me an email at:


For more information on how I use essential oils around my homestead and why I use doTERRA, check out this page.

This post contains affiliate links.

This post was shared at: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways


Join 52,000+ others who are getting farm-fresh inspiration delivered to their inbox.
Get your copy of my No-Fuss Gardening Guide, plus my weekly Homestead Toolbox newsletter packed full of useful tips. (No fluff!)


  1. Jennifer P says

    I am so thankful to see this post! My husband and I have used essential oils for several years (we use Young Living) and I have been nervous about using them once I get pregnant. I have heard so many things about how you should never use them while pregnant, but I wasn’t sure how I would function without them! I can’t wait to read those books- thanks so much for the info.

    • Jill says

      Yes, all the conflicting info scared me at first, too! I think as long as you are cautious and do your research, you should be fine. :)

  2. Susan says

    Can anyone recommend a good everyday, all around book for essential oils? Something that would list all sorts of conditions and which oils to use for them. I’m trying to build up my resource library so I’ll have a hard copy of info should the power ever go out, the end of the world comes, whatever! Thanks so much!

  3. says

    This makes me feel so nostalgic! I became interested in medicinal use of essential oils in my pregnancy too. I’ll be looking into DigestZen in the future since my volcanic heartburn was the only thing I didn’t know I could fight with them. I ended up giving away my labor-enhancing herbs (I had bought some Black Cohosh out of fear of pitocin being forced on me) after our son was born because my labor was embarrassingly short and I didn’t need it =/ I’m definitely printing this post out (if you don’t mind!) and keeping a copy in my Pregnancy Box!

  4. says

    I am going to have to give the allergy remedies a try! That’s the one bane which still plagues me and it’s also nice to see another real food person having to deal with allergies.

  5. says

    Still looking forward to getting together sometime soon. Congratulations on the new baby. AND I really would love to chat DoTerra with you : ) xoLexie (down the road)

  6. says

    Hi! I just posted about how our family uses essential oils today as well. I actually found your site because I was linking my post on Frugally Sustainable and as soon as I was done, I saw yours pop up too! I wish I would have known more about essential oils during my pregnancies because I would have used them tons! Love your site :)

    • Jill says

      I checked out your post- great minds think alike, huh? 😉 Not sure how you purchase your doTERRA oils, but if you are interested in becoming an IPC and getting wholesale price, let me know!

    • Jill says

      Hi Maribel,
      I am a distributor for doTERRA oils, and you can buy them from my website:
      However, I hate to see anyone pay full retail price– there are options that can save you from 20-25%– I’d love to tell you more– just shoot me and email: jill(at)theprairiehomestead(dot)com

  7. says

    I’m so happy to have found your site! My sister introduced doTERRA & essential oils to me recently and at first I thought it was nutty, but then I tried On Guard and now I’m a believer and actually signed up to be an IPC under her this week.

    I look forward to reading your ebook & looking around your site- I just started buying raw milk & farm fresh eggs & I found “meat spots” in my eggs last week and quickly whipped them before I could think too hard about what they were. Thanks for the post about that! Sarah

  8. Erika says

    I also used EOs as well as herbs during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. I used lavender , peppermint, lemon, and ginger religiously! I also drank red raspberry leaf and nettle tea, as I wanted…or NEEDED a natural childbirth. Let me just say that I only got sick twice, didn’t develop any new stretch marks, and my l labor was only 8 hours from start to finish! I used a “tea” of EOs and herbs on pads for postpartum, and had no issues. If I didn’t believe in the power of EOs (and natural herbs) before that, I sure do now! My little stinker is now a year old, and we use EOs. Everyday for the whole family!

  9. says

    hi and thanks so much for your post. I just found out I’m pregnant but have been sick on and off. I just got te family physician kit from doterra and now I ant try it internally cause I’m pregnant. I’m feeling shivering now but don’t know what to do. what shoul I use?

  10. Barb says

    Hi Jill, thanks for this post. I am 35 weeks pregnant with my 4th and have been under the gun with sick kids and a sick husband. Unfortunately, I am sick now and have early signs of pneumonia. Based on your research, is there anything I can do to fend it off with EO’s? I have DoTerra oils but have not researched enough about how to use them safely during pregnancy. I’ve been taking OnGuard beadlets but know I shouldn’t use Oregano. I’d sure appreciate any suggestions you might have.

  11. says

    I’m 13.5 weeks Preggo and developed pretty nasty allergies to my two dogs. This is new for me.

    Would you follow the same suggestions on oils as you did for hay fever?

    Would love your thoughts!


  12. Jewlz says

    I know you’re not a doctor or anything but I just wanted to get your take on diffusing On Guard oil for someone who is pregnant since it contains cinnamon bark, clove and Rosemary. I think these are oils that i read should be avoided, or at least used with caution during pregnancy from what I have found. My SIL is pregnant and has 2 small children and is also babysitting a couple small children. They all came down with something and she started diffusing the On Guard in an Aroma Ace diffuser the other day. Any thoughts?

  13. RangerRick says

    Once again,
    thank you ladies for the info. I too use oils, I think I am the only Green Beret Medic ,that sent his troops back to the barracks smelling very pretty. Had to smile

  14. emily says

    Is it harmful to the baby, to put a couple of drops on your belly.? It cleared away my horrible cramps at 4am.

  15. says

    Thank you so much for sharing all of these. I just found out I’m pregnant with #5 :-) I’ve experienced all of the things you mentioned above. My pregnancies were never much “fun” but still a blessing. lol I’m new to using essential oils so I’m looking forward to seeing what works for me. Thanks again.

  16. John Smith says

    Wow! You used a whole bunch of them. I have been apprehensive about recommending them to anyone not that my wife would listen to me about these things. I will try to get her to use Lavender when she gets worked up. Thanks!

  17. says

    Thanks for the great post! I’m just starting my collection of essential oils and am always wondering what’s safe during pregnancy. I wish I would have used them with my daughter but now I know how to use them for the next one. Thank you :)