Are Essential Oils Safe in Pregnancy?

You may have come across many books that debate which, if any, essential oils are safe during pregnancy. You will often see a warning on the label or an advisory to contact your physician before using essential oils.
You may read that “studies” showing certain oils can cause spontaneous abortions, miscarriages, or uterine contractions. The problem with these studies is they are not clear on how pure the oils were and how much they were used. Indeed, I can’t imagine that any mother would agree to be a part of such a study using oils she thought would bring on complications or questionable outcomes in her pregnancy. Most of these studies were done with pregnant animals. These studies don’t necessarily apply to human pregnancies.

Even with all the confusion surrounding the use of essential oils in pregnancy, I stand by my experience. I also stand behind the particular brand I use.

That being said, I have not been given stewardship over your body and your baby. Only you have this right, so if you feel certain oils are not for your greatest and highest good, then, by all means, follow that intuition. I only speak from my experience.

You will want to find independently tested therapeutic essential oils from a reputable company that is 100 percent pure, naturally extracted from plants. Ensure they are tested in independent laboratories and do not contain fillers, chemicals, or artificial ingredients that would dilute their natural qualities. They must also be free of all contaminants, such as pesticides, herbicides, or other chemical residues.

It’s just as essential to assure the presence of active compounds at optimal levels as it is to keep contaminants out of the oils. This is necessary to guarantee their safety and effectiveness. Many oils claim to be pure and therapeutic grade, but few companies actually apply rigorous testing standards for chemical composition. All of the oils I use are independently tested therapeutic grade. They are sent to a third-party laboratory and tested using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to ensure both the purity and the potency of each batch. They run these tests for one hundred forty minutes, ensuring that they will catch any and all compounds, both good and bad. Some companies claim to run these same tests, but the length of time is as essential as the test itself. These are very costly tests, which means is that you can be a retailer and you can decide to get into the essential oil market, but there is no one that is governing how the essential oils are delivered to you. They can come in one of two ways.

Synthetically manufactured is the essential oil that is synthetically made in a lab, just like medication. It looks like lavender, smells like lavender, but does it act like lavender in our bodies? The answer is NO! Studies have found that synthetic essential oils do not function in our bodies the same way all-natural, unadulterated oils function.

Middle-man altered is where a middle man (think of a drug dealer) who will work with oil farmers, paying them pennies on the dollar of what they are worth. Then they get the oil, DILUTE IT with synthetics and fillers, trying to mimic the pure oil, and then they re-sell it to retailers. Unfortunately, you can have oils that are made this way, and they can still be labeled “100% pure oil” or “100% Pure Therapeutic Oil” or “Therapeutic Grade Oil.” Somewhere along the way, they have been therapeutic, and they are (under a microscope) pure oil, but they are NOT the REAL oil.

doTERRA’s oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. This means that a third party certifies every batch of oil that doTERRA’s farmers produce. Each batch must be 100% pesticide-free, filler-free and synthetic-free. If these criteria aren’t matched, the whole batch is thrown out.

Furthermore, dōTERRA has a specific chemical profile they are looking for with each oil. Based on scientific research, it has been determined that the oils work best in our bodies medicinally when these profiles are met. So each farmer that dōTERRA works with must complete this profile also. If a batch of oil made for dōTERRA is ever sub-par and doesn’t meet dōTERRA’s standards, a farmer can sell it on the open market to other oil buyers, which means the buyers are then getting dōTERRA’s rejected batches of oil.

I share this because I’m passionate about the quality of oils, and what we put in and on our bodies matters. Not all oils are created equal, and in this case, you most certainly want and need the real stuff, ESPECIALLY when pregnant and breastfeeding.