Are Essential Oils Safe to Use While Breastfeeding? - Naturally Blended

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Naturally Blended

Are Essential Oils Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

As an expecting mother and essential oil lover I have found myself with a lot of questions about using essential oils safely while pregnant and while breastfeeding. In Pregnancy and Nursing Safety – Part 1 we discussed safe usage while pregnant and reviewed our updated pregnancy and nursing safe chart. In this installment we will look at using essential oils safely while nursing.

When using essential oils while nursing it is important to keep in mind that they do have the potential to cross over into your milk supply. Normally less than 1% of the amount of oil the mother absorbs will cross over [1] however, “[i]t should also be remembered that infants have an undeveloped capacity for metabolism and renal excretion, and so their ability to clear [essential oils] is relatively impaired.”[2]

With all this in mind, one must consider the following when using essential oils while nursing:

  • The method of use
  • The amount of essential oil used
  • How often you choose to use essential oils
  • How often feeding occurs and in what volume
  • Duration of use
  • Your baby’s age and health

The more often we use essential oils, the longer the duration of use, the higher the dilution rate and the amount of absorption, the more essential oils have the potential to transfer to our milk supply. This can in turn affect our little ones. You can safely use essential oils while nursing, we just recommend keeping your dilution rates low, only using your oils as needed, and using essential oils that are safe for children and breastfeeding. Essential oils should not be applied directly to the chest or breasts while nursing.

If your little one has health issues or is premature please email an Aromatherapist directly at [email protected] so that we can offer guidelines and recommendations specific to your needs.

Checkout the recipe below for a soothing and nourishing nipple balm.

Nipple Balm

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  • Over a double boiler, on medium, mix and melt all ingredients.
  • Pour melted mixture into 2 ounce tin containers.
  • Allow to harden and use as needed.


Click Here to Download and Print the Pregnancy and Nursing Safe Chart


Click Here to Download and Print the Pregnancy and Nursing Safe Chart By Concern



[1] Smith, Anne. “Drugs and Breastfeeding” Breastfeeding Basics., Retrieved 10 October 2016.

[2] Tisserand, R., & Young, R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.



28 thoughts on “Are Essential Oils Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?”

    1. It’s the Ginger Root in the Energy blend that’s not pregnancy safe. You can find a list of all our pregnancy and nursing safe oils and blends here.

  1. Because of this blog I was able to safely introduce Plant Therapy oils to my 2 nursing daughters-in-law. They both have the downloads and are safely using the appropriate oils. Thank you Plant Therapy!

  2. If I apply an essential oil blend on myself topically such as lavendar, is it safe to be around my newborn with it or should I wash it off?

    1. Tiana, this depends a lot of the dilution of Lavender you are wearing. We recommend for children ages 0-3 months using 1-2 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil (this makes about a 0.1 – 0.2% dilution); this is ideal if it’s for an area your newborn will have skin to skin contact with, possibly like your arms, neck, and chest. For ages 3-24 months, you can up it to 2-4 drops per ounce. If you are applying the blend to an area your baby doesn’t have contact with (legs, maybe?), then I wouldn’t be concerned about it and keep it at a dilution that is appropriate for you. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] 🙂

  3. There a lot of questions unanswered here 🙁
    My question is in regard to inhalation: are personal inhalers (not diffusing) safe for use during pregnancy and nursing?

    1. If you’re using oils marked as safe in the chart, yes. We do not recommend them in the first trimester, however.

  4. Great information! The info about basil and fennel was helpful, especially since its opposite of what I’ve been hearing. Thanks so much!

  5. I just ordered Sweet Slumber for my toddlers. I’m currently nursing a 7 month old. Should I return it or avoid using it?

    1. Thanks for asking Annie. I wouldn’t advise using essential oils to boost milk supply for your sweet little one. Many of the helpful things in herbs (which can be used) do not translate to the essential oils. For this reason, it’s often said that fennel is helpful. This is the herb that people refer to. The essential oils basil & fennel can be estrogenic and should not be used with or near children. This is true even of lactating mothers, since it may transfer to the milk.

      There are essential oils that can promote a peaceful nights rest and help you to relax which in turn can have a positive effect on milk supply. Some of my favorite synergies for these purposes include Roman Chamomile, Bergamot, and Neroli. You can also use our KidSafe Sweet Dreams to promote sleep or our Spring Blossoms synergy to help you relax during the day. I hope this helps!

    1. Thanks for asking Lauren. There are a few reasons we generally do not recommend using Peppermint while nursing, reducing your milk supply is one of them. In addition, Peppermint is not considered a KidSafe oil. Since there is the potential for the oil to cross over into your milk supply, as well as the possibility of your baby inhaling the essential oil while nursing, we generally do not recommend using it.

    1. Thanks for the question Kim! Blue Tansy, also known as Tanacetum annuum, can be safely used while pregnant and while nursing. The oil you want to avoid is Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, which is contraindicated.

  6. Can you comment on lavandin being safe for pregnancy? I thought is was to be avoided during 1st trimester? Thanks.

    1. Sorry, I went back to the part one of this series and see that you addressed first trimester there. Thanks again for this series.

  7. Oh dear, I thought Rosmerry was the opposite nursing safe but not.pregnant safe. I’ve been using it in my shampoo and I’m nursing. What are the effects of rosemary while nursing?

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