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Essential Oils and Breastfeeding?

Can taking essential oils while breast feeding affect the baby?


Catie Van Gestel | Other Provider

Catie Van Gestel

Essential oils are truly a growing trend in today's day and age, for sure! There are so many kinds of essential oils on the market and many of them do smell nice, don't they? Unfortunately, the research surrounding essential oils and the believed benefits are not strong enough for me to routinely recommend them. Essential oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that they do not have to seek the FDA approval before they are produced and sold to consumers. There are some essential oils that may even impact your milk supply in a negative way and some that should absolutely not be ingested.

As a lactation consultant, I do not routinely recommend essential oils applied topically (to your skin) or ingesting them while breastfeeding. This is simply due to the fact that anything applied to the breast and nipple is likely to be ingested by baby unless it is washed off very well before nursing. Oils can also be rather difficult to wash from the skin (particularly sensitive skin, such as your breast and nipples) which can cause some irritation.

If you have specific medical concerns that are prompting you to want to take essential oils, I would encourage you to reach out to your medical provider! If you have breastfeeding questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your lactation consultant!

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