Essential Oils for Breastfeeding Moms – Benefits and Cautionary Tips

Essential Oils for Breastfeeding Moms

Caring for your little one is a joy, and there is a beautiful bonding experience that takes place while nursing. However, one cannot deny that there are the pee, the poop and the occasional regurgitating of milk that can make it quite the messy and smelly affair. So at the end of the day, when you’ve put the little angel to sleep, there is nothing more relaxing and pleasant than soaking in a nice hot bath flavoured by your favourite essential oils. Although, before you go ahead, it may be a good idea to educate yourself on them and find out which of the many will be most beneficial to you and your little one.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants. These compounds hold the scent and flavour of the plant and are what is considered to be its essence. Each of the plants that the oils are extracted from gives the oils their different and unique aroma and benefit. They are extracted through the process of distillation, either through steam or water or other mechanical techniques such as cold pressing. Once the chemical compounds containing the aroma are obtained, they are mixed with carrier oils and are then able to be used as essential oils that are ready for use.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Breastfeeding Mothers?

Are essential oils safe for nursing mothers? Good quality essential oils provide a natural way for mothers to soothe their aching muscles and reduce stress. They do not have any ill effects on the little ones as long as you use the oils that are considered safe for children.

How Can You Make Sure that Essential Oils are Safe for Your Newborn?

Avoid ingesting the oils as they are not safe for your baby. Only use the oils topically and after diluting them with carrier oils such as sweet almond, hemp seed or coconut oil. Avoid all oils that were extracted using solvents such as butane or hexane as these could leave traces in the oils. It is best to avoid using essential oils as much as possible, except for when it is really needed.

How to Apply the Essential Oils to Boost Milk Supply?

Here are some ways you can use essential oils to boost your milk supply:

1. Apply on the Breast

Using a fraction of coconut oil as a carrier, add one drop of basil oil into one teaspoon of the coconut oil and mix them well before applying on your breasts. Do not apply it to your nipples.

2. Apply on Pulse Points

Apply the same formula on your ankles as they are the pulse points that correspond to your breasts. You can also use lavender essential oil on the outside of your ears to help you relax, which will help you to produce more milk.

3. Diffuse the Oils

Use about four drops of either lavender, basil or fennel essential oils in your diffuser before you go to bed. Do not overdo it; one hour per day is enough to reap the benefits of this method and the oils.

Essential Oils and their Benefits during Breastfeeding

Here is a list of a few essential oils and their benefits during breastfeeding:

1. Basil

Basil essential oil and breastfeeding go hand in hand as it can aid with your milk supply.

2. Lavender

Lavender is a well-known essential oil for its ability to calm and relax the user. It is very often used to help with inducing sleep and do away with restlessness.

3. Frankincense

This oil is also known for its ability to reduce stress and is often used to treat stress disorders.

4. Chamomile

This wonderful essential oil is used as an antidepressant and to help with anxiety.

5. Tea Tree Oil

This anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiseptic oil is used to treat mastitis.

6. Cypress

This essential oil can help fight infections and relieve muscle pain.

7. Peppermint

While most mothers want oils to help with their milk production, there are others who actually suffer from the overproduction of milk. Peppermint essential oil during breastfeeding can help with that as it helps to reduce milk supply.

Which Essential Oils Should be Avoided while Breastfeeding

There are many essential oils that should be avoided by women due to their potency and properties that will be dangerous to your child. Eucalyptus, myrrh, rosemary, sage, and nutmeg are a few oils to stay clear off.

Precautionary Tips

Here are some tips you may find useful when using essential oils during pregnancy:

  • Do not ingest the oils
  • Be careful to wipe off any oils from your breasts before you begin to breastfeed your baby
  • Use only 1% of the essential oil in a carrier oil
  • Always use pure and 100% organic essential and carrier oils
  • Give preference to the other methods of boosting milk supply over essential oils if possible.

Always remember that while essential oils are good for you and provide a lot of benefits, your baby is still very delicate and essential oils can sometimes cause problems for him or her. Use the right amount of essential oils and always ensure that you speak with your doctor about what oils you want to use and get his or her approval before you go ahead with it.

Also Read: Is Using Deodorant Safe While Breastfeeding?