DoTERRA Essential oils and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is one of the most beneficial and beautiful things you can do for your baby. I breastfed all 5 of my children and I loved that precious time with them. BUT it isn’t always easy, is it? Breastfeeding can come with it’s own set of challenges. Especially if it’s your first time nursing there can be a lot of stress and anxiousness. I actually wasn’t able to nurse my 5th child very long due to a missed tongue tie but I pumped for her for a total of 19 months! It was very stressful and all new to me, despite being so experienced with breastfeeding. Essential oils were such a tremendous blessing to me during that time because not only was it a stressful, trying time but my supply was very precarious. I was so blessed to have my oils and now I want to share with you all benefits of doTERRA essential oils for breastfeeding.
Here are some common issues and some oil suggestions…
Essential oils for a healthy Milk Supply
Some women have a robust supply and they don’t have to worry about it “dipping” or not having enough or their baby. I was like that with my first few children – milk for days. But with my last child and the issues we had with her not wanting to nurse (and it hurting like nothing else) and then pumping, my supply was an issue I was always worried about.
Good news! There are 3 oils that are fantastic for boosting your supply: Fennel, Basil and Clary Sage. Clary Sage is an oil known for supporting the hormonal system so its a great oil to use starting after birth to encourage the hormones to do what they are supposed to and kick into breastmilk production mode. You can use one, two or all three its really up to you. I personally used Fennel while pumping and had AMAZING results. I’d apply over the upper portion of the breast 1-2 times a day and within 3 days my supply was always happy and robust again. You can take these oils topically or internally but I recommend topically while nursing. *Note: do not use Fennel more than 10 consecutive days. Take breaks using it. But you shouldn’t need it more than a few days anyways. (How to dilute essential oils)
Essential oils for Peace and Calming
Breastfeeding can be stressful. Sometimes baby is having a hard time, maybe they are teething or overtired or just still adjusting to nursing. And sometimes we as moms can have a ton going on or not feel well ourselves and need help calming down and connection. Here are some oils you can apply to yourself to help you both find peace and calm for your time together (click here to learn about using oils on newborns and babies)
- Balance. Apply this to your feet to help you feel grounded and calm. I also like to apply it to the back of my neck if I feel anxious or emotional.
- Lavender, Serenity blend or Peace blend. These are all very calming oils. You can apply these to yourself on your wrists, neck, bottom of feet or even your shirt to help you feel peaceful. Just using them on yourself releases the oils into your air and is enough aromatherapy to calm baby too. And perfectly safe .
Essential oils to support healthy milk flow:
Sometimes if we wait to long to nurse or have a lot of stress in our lives (or who knows why else this happens), we can get areas of the breast that become plugged and hard. This has happened to me many, may times, especially before I had doTERRA oils in my life. Here are my best tips to tackling this issue right away – the sooner the better when it comes to plugged ducts!
- First of all – Nurse, nurse, nurse. It may be tender and you may want to shy away from nursing but draining the breast is the very best thing. Using massage or the comb (see below) after initial letdown can help the milk release from that area.
- The very best tool for a plugged duct is a fine tooth comb. My midwife taught me this. Stand in a warm shower and let it run on your breasts which will help the milk release. Then comb your skin from above the affected area, down towards the nipple. This works SO amazingly well. Random and weird tip: You can also use hot water in a newborn diaper to heat up the breast before combing
- Apply diluted Citrus Bliss blend over the hard area to help the extra milk release. (Plus you’ll smell amazing and feel happier!)
- It is important to support your immune system when this happens so infection does not develop. Use immune supporting oils like On Guard and Oregano on the bottom of your feet (not on the breasts) to stay healthy.
DoTERRA Essential oils for Sore Nipples
Sore nipples happen. It is especially common in the first few weeks as you adjust to nursing or when baby starts to get teeth. We can use gentle oils to help soothe the nipples but make sure to wipe off before baby nurses
- Dilute oils applied to the nipple to avoid drying out the skin. I love Lanolin for sore, cracked nipples and it’s a great carrier (and works great as lip gloss too – seriously, I’ve gotten many compliments!)
- Apply after baby nurses so there is plenty of time for it to absorb and fade before nursing again
- Wipe or wash nipple before nursing again, if needed
- Best oils for sore nipples: Frankincense and Melaleuca. These oils are gentle and great for skin support. They will calm irritation and support a health bacterial environment as well.
Essential oils for Emotional Support
- Mood lifters: Lemon, Wild Orange, Citrus Bliss, Cheer, Balance
- Low mood or mourning: Elevation
- Calming: Serenity, Peace blend, Frankincense
- Sleep: Cedarwood, Serenity, Peace blend
- Focus: Wild Orange, In Tune blend
Essential Oils to Avoid while nursing:
We don’t know for sure how much of the oils we use gets into breastmilk. We know food we eat and medicine we take internally enters the milk in a diluted form. However its harder to say how much ends up in the milk through the skin. According to Kellymom.com (the best breastfeeding information site) topical medications are safe because “virtually nothing” ends up in the milk. Essential oils may have a higher/deeper absorption rate but even so it’s not likely that using oils will affect your milk and your baby at all. That said there are a few precautions …
- Oregano, Cinnamon, Cassia – Avoid the most strong oils unless absolutely needed. When you do them, dilute well (1 drop per tsp carrier). Note that oils used in a blend are much more gentle, such as Cinnamon in On Guard. Oregano may have a cleansing effect if used excessively (see #3).
- Wintergreen. It is fine used as part of a blend like Deep Blue, diluted properly but avoid using Wintergreen excessively.
- GX Assist – avoid cleansing while nursing as many believe that toxins released can be dumped into the breastmilk.
- Internal use of essential oils while breastfeeding is a controversial topic and up to your discretion. I personally used oils while breastfeeding and I would again. Of all the things I am exposed to by breathing and eating food, I believe the oils could only help her. She is a strong, healthy 4 year old so it went well for us!
- Do not apply strong oils in a place where baby will breathe them in. So for example do not apply Breathe or Peppermint to your chest and then hold baby to it. Cover with a shirt, towel, etc., apply somewhere else or wait to hold baby.
The biggest question is always – Is it SAFE?
According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy there are 5 factors that influence the safety of an oil:
1. Quality of essential oil being utilized.
2. Chemical composition of the oil.
3. Method of application.
4. Dosage/dilution to be applied.
5. Integrity of skin.
6. Age of client.
To address these when it comes to using doTERRA essential oils while nursing:
- I ONLY recommend using doTERRA oils which we are know are thoroughly tested with more tests, more often, than any other company in the world. (Learn more: 10 reasons why I choose doTERRA)
- Because of their testing they offer only the purest and most safe and therapeutic chemically composed oils.
- I always recommend “ and extra dilution should be used for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- See number 3 🙂
- Dilute more for sensitive skin or areas such as the breast, face, etc.
- It is possible that some oils do end up in breastmilk when used topically
All that to say: It’s safe! Use common sense, dilute, and you’ll be good to go. Remember essential oils are one of the safest and most beneficial things your baby will be exposed to in a typical day!
Great oils for a nursing mother:
- Citrus oils: Lemon* – Wild Orange – Citrus Bliss – Cheer
- Clary Calm blend
- Elevation blend
- Balance blend
- Melaleuca/Tea Tree*
- Lavender* and/or Serenity
- Peace blend
- On Guard* (when needed)
- Oregano* (when needed)
* Found in the most popular starter kits
Have questions? Need help deciding whats best for you?
Email me [email protected] and I’ll be in touch very soon. Happy oiling! I look forward to working with you!