There are both pros and cons to using essential oils for breastfeeding moms. Nursing your baby is a wonderful way to bond and it’s healthier for your child but it’s not always easy. Sometimes your body doesn’t produce enough milk and other times it may make too much. Your breast can get really sore, especially during the first few days when your baby is learning how to latch on properly.
Many nursing moms use essential oils to help make breastfeeding go a little smoother so they can get the most from this amazing experience. However, using essential oils when nursing is a very controversial subject and many professionals recommend you avoid them altogether. Knowing the pros and cons of using oils when nursing will help you make a good, informed decision about whether to use them or not.
Essential Oils for Breastfeeding Pros
Using essential oils offers your baby the same health benefits that you receive. Your body absorbs the oils and they’re transferred to your child through your breast milk. For example, if you use an essential oil that aids the digestive system, then it will do the same for your child. This could help reduce flatulence and colic symptoms that often occur when babies have trouble digesting milk.
Infants can sense your emotions so when you’re upset, worried or stressed it can upset your baby. He may get fussy and cry more than normal. Essential oils can help you feel calm and relaxed, which will help your baby relax.
Essential oils safe to use when breastfeeding:
- Clary Sage
- Roman Chamomile
Oils like lavender and Roman Chamomile help dry, cracked nipples to heal and others such as fennel, basil and Clary sage help to increase milk supply. Peppermint oil will decrease your milk supply so it’s good to use when your breasts are engorged. However, you need to be careful not to use it too often or use too much of it because it may drastically reduce your milk supply.
Lavender oil can help calm your baby during feeding time, so he’s less fussy and others such as Clary sage and helichrysum can help reduce the pain associated with breastfeeding. When using these oils topically, mix them with carrier oil and apply directly to your breast but avoid the nipple area.
Essential Oils for Breastfeeding Cons
The fact that essential oils have the ability to pass from your body to your baby through the milk is one of the benefits but it’s also one of the cons. The problem is that if you ingest or if your skin absorbs oils that are not safe for babies and it passes to your child when nursing, it could potentially harm your baby in some way.
It’s also possible for essential oils to change the taste of your milk, in which case your baby may not want to eat. For these reasons, it’s important to follow safety protocol and use these oils with caution to ensure the safety of both you and your baby. These oils are very strong and there are some that you should avoid altogether when nursing.
Essential oils to avoid when breastfeeding:
For a longer list of essential oils to avoid when breastfeeding, check out this article from The Hippy Homemaker.
If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular, don’t take the chance. Always use essential oils in moderation when nursing. Overuse can cause problems for both you and your child. If you overuse the oils, you run the risk of overdosing your baby.
Many moms agree that using essential oils when breastfeeding helps to enhance the experience and they offer many health benefits for both you and your new baby. However, it’s not right for everyone. Examine your own personal situation and go over the pros and cons to determine if it’s the right choice for you.