Oh NO! This blog isn’t what you think it is. While the internet is full of ingredients and items to avoid while pregnant, we recommend you find resources and healthcare professionals you trust to give you the best information for your body during pregnancy.
As our midwife friend Angelique says… “no Googling. Less fear :)”
No doubt, pregnancy evolves a new level of conscious thought - “What goes into my body, goes into the baby”. And when you are pregnant you get a long list of to-dos and to-don’ts from more people than you ask.
One of the reasons why it is important to be mindful of ingredients during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is because babies have a small BMI, and their excretory systems are not as developed as adults. Imagine alcohol tolerance for a 300lb human vs 90lb human. Little baby bodies can’t tolerate toxins the same way adults can. Similarly, they can’t pee, poop, sweat out toxins like adults can either.
This is why, we believe, it is safer to err on the side of caution when it comes to skincare products and ingredients during pregnancy.
Fragrance, parabens, BPA, and other known endocrine disruptors are ingredients that pass through the skin membrane and into the bloodstream rather easily. They can mimic estrogen in the body and can pose some risk to fetal development. It is unlikely that normal exposure could cause serious damage, however, there are places in Canada where manufacturing industries are releasing toxins into the atmosphere every day and it is affecting miscarriage rate and changing the birth gender ratio. See Aamjiwnaang Nation.
More resources on this subject:
- Documentary with Sean Pean
- No Silver Lining
- Healthy Child, Healthy World organization.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. One drop of rose essential oil could be the equivalent to a living room packed with rose petals top-to-bottom. This makes essential oils nutrient-dense; they should be used respectively to the plant and conservatively for the body.
When you ingest essential oils, your body must assimilate this volume of plant medicine. We don’t recommend eating essential oils under any circumstances but this is especially true during pregnancy.
There are a number of essential oils that should absolutely NOT be used during pregnancy, as they have been shown to have negative effects on fetal development. Other oils have been deemed as safe for topical use during pregnancy, but because this field is not regulated, it is still better to be cautious in regards to using essential oils during pregnancy.
Essential Oils to Avoid
- Spanish Lavender
- Spanish Sage
- Dalmatian sage
Midwife Mantra - “If essential oils were as potent as everyone is afraid they are, big pharma would be outta business..... there are billions of humans on the planet, it takes a lot more than some essential oils to cause miscarriage/birth defects/bleeding etc......we are pretty sturdy and adaptable species...essential oils can be super therapeutic in pregnancy for relaxation, curing or causing headaches, sore muscles, sinus congestion, whatever, but unless you are taking ridiculously high doses of certain uterotonic oils - fret not!”
Essential oils are marketed and used as a medicine. This means when used, they should be used in aims to treat or have an effect on something specific. Pregnancy is not a pathology - meaning although it is a time where the female body is going through a tremendous amount of change, it is not a sickness, but rather a very normal and healthy function of the body. Although during pregnancy many concerns like stretch marks, acne etc may come up and it is tempting to use treatments like essential oils - we highly recommend using healthy and safe alternatives to these during pregnancy whenever possible to ensure healthy fetus formation.