A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Breastfeeding

There are many options when choosing to use essential oils for breastfeeding. It’s important to be safe and do your research before using them and always consult your doctor before doing so.

Using essential oils to help with physical issues has become a common practice. It only seems natural that there would be options that would be helpful for a lactating mother to use. There are many safe options, but some essential oils should be avoided while breastfeeding. It’s important to know which oils to use and how to use them.



There are many reasons a breastfeeding mom could use essential oils for lactation. Essential oils could help a woman increase her milk supply, soothe cracked nipples, relax, and increase her mental clarity. Using essential oils may not be for everyone, but it is a great option to know more about.

It’s a good idea to make sure to use high-quality oils. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source for those looking to use essential oils.



There always seems to be a long list of things that you should not do while breastfeeding. Here is a list of some safe essential oils to use while nursing:
Essential Oil Botanical Name Effect
*Fennel Oil Foeniculum Vulgare Var. Dulce  increase milk supply
Basil Oil  Ocimum Basilicum  increase milk supply
Clary Sage Oil Salvia Sclarea  increase milk supply
Lavender Oil Lavendula Angustifolia  calming, skin soothing
Frankincense Oil Olibanum  immune support
Geranium Oil Pelargonium Graveolens  repels ticks
Wild Orange Oil  Citrus Sinesis  focus, mental clarity
Lemon Oil  Citrus Limon  mood-lifting, immune support
Argan Oil  Argania Spinosa soothes nipple cracks and skin irritations
Cedarwood Oil Juniperus Virginiana relaxation and skin soothing

*Do not use for more than 10 consecutive days at a time and consult your doctor before you begin using them.

Aromatherapy can help physical and mental ailments in many ways. It is important to be familiar with the oils and what they can do.



Many options of essential oils can be used while breastfeeding.  Some oils should be avoided while nursing. Even though something is natural, it does not always mean it is safe to use.

Different oils can trigger different responses within the body. It’s important to know how each oil may affect the body and what it could be.

Oils are natural remedies but should still be considered a form of medication.

This is a list of some oils to avoid while breastfeeding:

Essential Oil Botanical Name
Peppermint Oil Mentha Piperita
Oregano Oil Origanum Vulare
Lemongrass Oil Cymbopogon Citratus/ Cymbopogon Flexuosus
Rosehip Oil Rosa Mosqueta
Olbas Oil Blend of oils* Cajuput, Clove, Eucalyptus, Juniperberry, Levomenthol, Methyl Salicylate, and Peppermint
Parsley Seed Petroselinum Sativum
Tarragon Oil Artemisia Dracunculus
Wormwood Oil Artemisia Absinthium
Wintergreen Oil Gaultheria Procumbens

It’s important to use caution when trying any treatment whether it is natural or not. Contact your healthcare provider as a precaution.



Being a mom and choosing to breastfeed can be stressful at times. Essential oils for breastfeeding can have positive side effects for a mom’s mental health. A few drops of lavender oil in a bath can do wonders for relaxation and sleep issues! Apply some diluted lavender oil to the bottom of your feet for a wonderful night’s sleep. Wild orange or lemon oil can help mom focus on her tasks at hand. The versatility of essential oils is simply amazing when they’re used properly.



Using essential oils can be intimidating and confusing at first. There are 4 common ways in which to use essential oils for breastfeeding.


1. Diffuser

Always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc.). Do not put more than 12 drops of essential oil per one ounce of carrier oil (this will be 2% dilution). Mom can run the diffuser for 10-15 minutes one to two times daily or as directed by her health care provider. This is a great method for stronger oils. Keep in mind your baby will also inhale these oils.


2. Topical Application

It is okay in some instances to apply the oil (diluted) directly to the skin.

To dilute the oil, add one drop of the essential oil to one teaspoon of a carrier oil like olive oil. Rub your hands together to warm the oils. Apply to the area of skin you have chosen.

Avoiding the nipple is important. If the oil is to be applied near the breast, it should be done right after a feeding. Therefore, it has plenty of time to absorb into the skin before the next feeding.

It is important to understand that applying any oils close to the breast area may result in your baby having a nipple aversion.


3. Bath

In a warm bath drop four to six drops of your selected essential oil. For example, use lavender or wild orange for relaxation and/or focus. Both could be used (two to three drops per oil) for a calming bath that could leave you mentally focused as well.


4. Internal Use

Consumption of essential oils should be completely avoided when breastfeeding or pregnant.

Safety first! Remember, what mom consumes so does the baby.

There are so many different ways to administer essential oils. It is important to remember that not all oils should be applied in the same manner. Use your better judgment when using oils. Also, consult your physician before using essential oils for breastfeeding.



It is vital to know a reliable source to refer to when it comes to these topics. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) provides great guidelines to safely use essential oils.

1. Keep essential oils away from pets and kids.

2. Follow the directions pertaining of each oil used.

3. Avoid long term use of any oil.

4. Do not use unknown oils on yourself or anyone else.

5. Do a skin patch test.

6. Know the safety information of each oil.

7. Keep away from your eyes.

8. Essential oils are flammable use caution.

9. Use in a well-vented area.

10. Do not use internally unless properly trained to do so.

The NAHA provides a great amount of useful information. When it comes to breastfeeding and using essential oils, it you must have information.

Nursing is usually a time when mom is super cautious as to what she puts in and on her body. This guide will hopefully bring some ease to lactating moms who would like natural relief for their ailments.

Essential oils for breastfeeding can be a great resource if used properly. 



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