Breastfeeding and Essential Oils to Avoid
Nursing our littles should be a time of bonding and connection, but that's harder to do if you're constantly worrying about what you might be introducing to their little bodies! We're taking some of the guess work out of it with this quick starter guide of what to avoid when using your favorite essential oils, and making a couple of suggestions.
*Before we get started, the information we're sharing here is for educational purposes- we're not attempting to diagnose, treat or cure any disease in this format. That would be ridiculous. The goal of any naturopathic professional is to work with people to bring their bodies into alignment and provide what it needs to heal itself the way nature intended. We're also not getting and financial returns on the information we share. We _highly_ recommend Young Living essential oils, (and can help you get some in your sweet little hands) but it's not a requirement....or a street gang. Just be careful out there otherwise- there's some nasty stuff being passed off under the title of 'natural'. As always, we recommend working with an educated, professional herbalist and/or naturopath if you're wanting to learn how to use natural products and plants to improve your wellness _safely_.*
When using essential oils while breastfeeding, there is an established list of no-gos. These oils could negatively affect your breastfeeding in a variety of ways, from reducing milk supply, to transmission to your baby. Here's a listing of those oils to avoid:
- Boldo leaf (Peumus boldus)
- Buchu (Agathosma betulina)
- Cade (Juniperus oxycedrus)
- Calamus (Acorus calamus)
- Camphor, yellow/brown (Cinnamomum camphora)
- Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
- Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, C. verum)
- Costus (Saussurea lappa)
- Croton (Croton tiglium)
- Elecampane (Inula helenium)
- Fennel, bitter (Foeniculum vulgare) (*debated)
- Fig Leaf (Ficus carica)
- Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia, Armoracia rusticina)
- Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)
- Jaborandi Leaf (Pilocarpus jaborandi)
- Lavender Sage (Salvia lavandulifolia)
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, A. arborescens)
- Mustard (Brassica nigra, B. negra)
- Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri)
- Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
- Pine, dwarf or Pumilio (Pinus mugo)
- Rue (Ruta montana)
- Sassafras (Sassafras albidum, Ocotea cymbrum)
- Savin (Juniperus sabina)
- Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum)
- Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
- Thuja (Thuja occidentalis khell, Thuja plicata)
- Wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides)
- Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
You probably noticed that fennel in the list above is a debated entry. This is because bitter fennel is not recommended for use while nursing, but sweet fennel is approved. The tricky part here is that both the bitter and the sweet version are listed by the same Latin binomial, Foeniculum vulgare. This is yet another opportunity to point out that working with a qualified aromatherapist/naturopath is important because they can give you more specific details that a bottle can. :) Essential oils and herbs can help your body increase supply, diminish supply when you're weaning, and offer support for common issues like mastitis, sore nipples, blocked ducts, and more.
So, if you're looking to manage or improve your breastfeeding experience with essential oils, we're happy to help. Just drop us a line through our Contact Page info, and we'll put all of those years of experience (and tuition, lol) to good use for you.
If you know what you're looking for, and are ready to roll on your own, you can jump over HERE and snag the best quality essential oils for a sweet discount and a ton of other perks. We may even have a kit ready for you to pick up if you're here locally in Corpus Christi (message us through the Contact Page if you'd like that option). Either way, we're here to help, mama!
Essential Oils: Pocket Reference (7th ed.). (2016). Orem, UT: Life Science Publishing.
Raybern, D. (2015). Gentle babies (2015 ed.). Barlesville, OK: Growing Healthy Homes.
Worwood, V. A. (1991). Safety Information. In The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (25th Anniversary Edition, p. 635). Novato, CA: New World Library.