At Absolute Essential one of the most frequent question we are asked is “What essential oils are safe for babies and during pregnancy”.
Today I’m going to answer that question, first by asking another: “What does ‘safe’ for babies and during pregnancy mean to you?” I think this is an important first question because it makes us consider something that is so difficult to qualify that it gets overlooked.
I’m talking about new-born purity. Millions of parents must have discovered themselves basking in that wondrous sensation of softness and light that surrounds a new baby, if only for a moment in time. But who can really describe it? What words are even appropriate?
The truth of the matter is that even though babies are born every second of every day, the world we inhabit has very few measures for such an encounter - we have long since had our own natural energy compromised by the pollution and impurities of modern living.
And yet, in those first moments of precious baby space where our hearts and spirits are lifted by unquantifiable natural sweetness - we do sense the difference and with that, the breathtaking vulnerability.
100% pure and natural is the only acceptable standard for baby safe ingredients
Becoming conscious of an almost ‘other-worldly’ level of purity in our offspring changes the way we see the world around us. Cleanliness becomes a priority, and we find great reserves of inner strength and resourcefulness to maintain a safety-zone around our child that is at least a little cushioned from the harsher influences of life beyond.
The commercial world of baby products knows this. Alluring baby blues and pinks, soft-surface plastics, images of fluffy-whiteness, sunshine smiles, gentle sweet aromas… take a walk in the baby-aisle of any supermarket and you will see the evidence of that.
But cashing in on our lack of a suitable measure for what is truly baby-pure is not the same as giving us what we need.
How could added colour or fragrance be anything other than a quick trick? Not to mention the potential damage in exposing a super-sensitive being to synthetic ingredients. (Perhaps you heard about that very trusted baby brand, recently admitting to having known carcinogens in its baby shampoo?)
What we are really reaching for is something equally rare and precious as a suitable match for new born innocence, and where else but in the unspoiled, natural world could we possibly hope to find such a thing?
Certified organic plant oils at absolute natural purity
Of all the essential oils and essential oil products that are available today, only a tiny percentage are made to exacting natural purity, involving strict organic growing and slow, artisan production.
In France for example, where clinical aromatherapy is part of conventional medicine, 100% pure essential oils are sold only in pharmacies through prescription. The premium price tag reflects the carefully preserved medicinal value of the oil.
This is basically how Absolute Essential therapeutic plant oils came about.
I trained in France and realised that I would have to source my own oils direct to be able to run my New Zealand natural health clinics at that same level of professional medicine.
One of my first cases involved a small baby with chronic eczema (uncured by conventional doctors). I was able to work with absolutely pure therapeutic plant oils and see the baby’s system respond immediately and continue to respond for a steady return to a place of sustainable balance and health - beautiful soft, supple baby skin, just as it should be.
That is where my specialism in maternity and infant care started.
People came looking for the place where they could guarantee natural purity for their babies. And 25 years later any recommendations that I make on baby-safe oils still start from that same premise: if you have doubts about the quality of the oil, don’t use it.
Essential oils that are safe for babies and during pregnancy
There is quite a lot of conflicting information out there on what oils are safe for infants.
I believe that is partly due to the fact that poor quality oils can create extra problems and that most people are not using pure medicinal extracts. Another issue is that there are no controls on safe-usage information and very few experienced aromatic paediatricians (my own term) to turn to.
In the absence of standardised research and governing regulations, I stick to my own strict parameters for the oils that I use. As well as ensuring oils of exceptional therapeutic purity, the dosage and application for babies must be careful and precise.
The recommendations I make on safe usage for pregnancy and infants are based on more than 25 years of clinical experience. In all those years I have never seen an adverse reaction to one of my essential oil prescriptions and I have seen more mums and babies than I would care to count.
My natural health practice has always used our own Absolute Essential therapeutic plant oils. If you go with another source then I urge you to look closely for genuine purity and certified organic credentials.
When I recommend specific oils I recommend my own because these are the oils that I trust. I have seen where the plants grow, how the oil is extracted, how transportation is handled… and I blend them myself and package them with my own team in our own organic factory.
I always point out that our Mother & Child range has pure and time-proven baby and maternity safe choices. On other ranges, the Mother & Child symbol indicates which oils and blends you can safely use - at half dosage or less.
For individual essential oils, I generally only recommend a few, soft-aroma essential oils for babies - who of course are much more sensitive to scent than adults, and as you will see below I prefer to steer new parents to gentle dilutions as the safest, easiest option.
These are my four top baby and maternity essential oil choices:
A gentle Lavender hybrid with a delicate calming aroma, plus antiseptic and skin tonic properties.
0-6 months: diffuse 3-5 drops to purify air and enhance relaxation of mother and baby; 1 drop to collar of baby's jumpsuit to protect from germs and enhance relaxation; 1-2 drops in ¼ tsp Sweet Almond oil for diaper or skin rash.
6 month+: up to double above dosage.
During pregnancy: diffuse 5-10 drops, or add to bath in milk for relaxation.
A more camphor-like Lavender that is still gentle enough for babies to inhale for respiratory issues.
0-6 months: diffuse 3-5 drops to purify air and enhance relaxed breathing for mother and baby; 1-2 drops to collar of baby's jumpsuit to protect from germs and enhance breathing.
6 months+: up to double above dosage.
Pregnancy: diffuse 5-10 drops for cold and flu or rub on chest and soles of feet.
Chamomile Roman 3% in Jojoba
A soft-scented oil that is calming on the nervous system with gently soporific qualities.
0-6 months: rub 5 drops to soles of feet to enhance relaxation for sleep, or to pulse points; massage 5 drops clockwise to tummy for colic, or to neck and cheek for teething.
6 months+: up to double above dosage.
Pregnancy: 5 drops to pulse points to aid sleep; and pure Chamomile Roman essential oil: 3 drops in bath before sleep; diffuse 3-5 drops at bedtime; 1 drop in 1tsp honey as sleep remedy.
Rose 3% in Jojoba
Tender rose is harmonising, nurturing and wonderfully tonic for both mother and baby. A quality dilution in pure carrier oil helps to sidestep the exceptional price tag that goes with thousands of hand-harvested petals in every ounce.
0-6 months: massage 5 drops to soles of feet.
6 months+: double above, or 10-20 drops all over body.
Pregnancy: massage to inner thighs at birthing to welcome baby into soft, nurturing aroma; apply to wrist, neck and ankles for calming, balancing perfume; apply around eyes to reduce dark rings.
For more information on safe child and maternity natural health care, please contact us direct to request a Mother & Child catalogue.
Medicinal-grade Therapeutic Plant Oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential.