Ask Dahlia: Cleaning With Essential Oils During Pregnancy

“Thank you for your post on Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant and Breastfeeding, extremely helpful. I was wondering if it is okay to use peppermint and/or lavender oils during pregnancy and after for household only, e.g. cleaning, disinfecting, air-freshening, laundry etc. etc. i use them quite extensively around the house, including vinegar, and cannot not think of any better and natural alternatives.”


Hi! Thanks for the great question. So there are 3 ways to get exposure to any chemical whether it’s an essential oil or something synthetic. 1. ingestion (swallowing), 2. skin absorption and 3. inhalation. Check out the article I wrote, “READ THE LABEL [CHAPTER 2] How Substances Enter Your Body.”

Unless you’re allergic or have other respiratory ailments, inhalation of the oils you mention, should not be detrimental or increase risk. Excessive amounts could cause irritation to eyes and lungs, but beyond that, I’m not worried.

There are so many resources out there on aromatherapy, but nothing that evaluates or compares each of the exposure types I mention, and whether each of these types has different impacts for pregnancy. It is my personal belief, others may argue, that these oils you’re wanting to use (lavender and peppermint) will be harmless as aromatherapy while pregnant. And these oils (and vinegar) have been used for centuries for disinfecting and cleaning. The quantities you’d be using are likely to be less than 1% anyway.

My only concern about using essential oils in cleaning is the unknown impact on household pets. Many animals are allergic to various types of essential oils; e.g. lemon and cats. So just be mindful. -Dahlia

Do you have your own question for Dahlia? Let us know! You can ask Dahlia yourself here. Your question may even be featured in the next newsletter!

Written by Dahlia Kelada
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