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A Roundup of the Best Essential Oils for Postpartum

An amber essential oil dropper sits in front of a twig of cotton




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

You're in the postpartum period, and it seems like your body has taken on a life of its own. From healing from childbirth to adjusting to the demands of breastfeeding, it can feel like you're on an emotional and physical roller coaster. Essential oils are a wonderful way to ease some of the discomforts that can come during this time, and give you the self-care you need. I'm such a big fan of essential oils, especially in the early days of newborn world when you spend more time at home than anywhere else, and now that I'm working from home every day. I literally have a diffuser in every room. Side note: I recently ditched all my water diffusers because they started to disgust me – despite frequent cleaners, they constantly had mold and oil build up. I replaced them with this incredible waterless diffuser by Canopy.

Did you know essential oils can help with everything from boosting your mood to increasing your breast milk supply? Let's dive in deeper.

Best essential oils for postpartum

Role of Essential Oils in Postpartum Care

In layman's terms, essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. It's like the plant's ‘essence', carrying its unique aroma and therapeutic properties. Essential oils have tons of benefits that can ease many of the discomforts in the postpartum period.

Imagine this: you've just had a long day, nursing, diaper changes, the baby won't sleep, and you're feeling a bit under the weather. A few drops of lavender and mandarin essential oils in your diffuser and the aroma permeates your room. You start to feel a sense of calm wash over you. Your baby seems to calm down too, and for a moment, it feels like a spa day in the middle of your living room. Now, doesn't that sound wonderful?

The Science Behind Essential Oils and Postpartum Recovery

Essential oils, when diffused or applied correctly, can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Once there, they work their magic on your nervous system.

How Essential Oils Aid Postpartum Healing

The secret lies in their ability to stimulate different parts of your brain, such as the limbic system and amygdala, which are involved in emotions, behavior, and memory. When a calming oil like lavender is diffused, the wonderful aroma triggers these areas of the brain to help reduce stress and anxiety. And that's not all, some oils like citrus can uplift your mood, banishing those postpartum baby blues. Additionally, during the postpartum period, essential oil molecules can be inhaled to stimulate the brain's limbic system, influencing mood and overall well-being, some can even support your immune system.

But, it's not just about physical relief. Postpartum is a phase of immense change and adaptation. Your body is working hard to get back to its pre-pregnancy state, and your hormones are on a roller coaster ride. Oils like clary sage can assist in balancing hormones and promoting a positive mood, making this transition smoother for you.

Essential Oils to Avoid During Postpartum

While the benefits of essential oils are many, caution is key. Just like how some oils can be your best friends during the postpartum period, others might not be so kind to you. Here are a few to avoid:

  • Clove: While clove has a wonderfully spicy aroma, it can cause skin irritations and even increase bleeding.
  • Cinnamon or Cinnamon Bark: Sure, it smells like a cozy holiday kitchen, but cinnamon oil can actually cause contractions in the uterus.
  • Oregano: aroma is a powerful immune booster. But, and here's the catch, it can also reduce your milk supply.
  • Peppermint: While peppermint oil is often used for nausea and headaches, it's known to decrease breast milk production..
Best essential oils for postpartum

What Essential Oils are Good for Postpartum Care

There's a bouquet of scents out there that can lend a helping hand during this tender postpartum phase.


Beloved for its calming and soothing properties, lavender essential oil is a go-to postpartum restorative. It not only promotes restful sleep, and melts stress away, but also aids in healing perineal discomfort


What’s not to love about the fresh, uplifting aroma of citrus? Ideal for battling the baby blues, citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit and orange essential oil can boost your mood and energize you on those sleep-deprived days


Frankincense, the king of oils, has potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It can be particularly helpful for those recovering from a C-section or experiencing postpartum hair loss

How to Use These Oils Safely

Safety first, always! Essential oils are potent, and a little goes a long way. Always dilute them in a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, before massaging onto your skin, abdomen, or pulse points. Use a diffuser for an all-day gentle aroma or add a few drops to a spray bottle for a refreshing mist. If you are opting for a roller bottle, these have already been diluted, and are safe. Never apply essential oils directly onto your skin, and always keep them away from baby's sensitive skin. Be sure to test on a small patch of skin first to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction. And if you're breastfeeding, always consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating new oils into your routine. And if you're going to use them in a diffuser, make sure to keep the room well-ventilated. Enjoy your aromatic journey, mama!

Two bars of soap, toothbrushes in a cup, and an essential oil dropper sit on a marble countertop
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Essential Oils for Specific Postpartum Issues

Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss can be quite a shock for many new mamas. But not to worry! Saje's “Rosemary Essential Oil” is here to the rescue. This incredible product is known for its hair strengthening properties. Just mix a few drops with your shampoo or conditioner and watch how it works wonders!

Mood Booster

Aromatherapy can be a wonderful way to uplift your mood and create a positive environment for you and your newborn. Saje's “Good Cheer Diffuser Blend Collection” offers a variety of scents to choose from. With everything from invigorating citrus to calming floral blends, you're sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

Baby Blues

Feeling a little blue after childbirth is not uncommon, and Saje's “Liquid Sunshine” is the perfect companion to help you navigate through this period. A delicate blend of bergamot, grapefruit, and lime, this mood mist lifts your spirits with every spritz. All you need to do is spray it around you, take a deep breath and say hello to positivity!

Pain Relief

Whether it's backaches or post-cesarean discomforts, Saje's “Pain Release Topical Analgesic Oil Blend” is your go-to solution. This analgesic blend helps numb and soothe the pain, making your recovery process smoother and more comfortable. And the best part? It's easy to use! Just massage it onto your abdomen or any other pain points you experience.

Enhancing Milk Supply

Okay mamas, let's talk about milk supply. A common worry, right? Well, Plant Therapy's “Sweet Fennel Oil” is here to save the day. Known for boosting milk production, fennel can be a great addition to your daily routine. Simply diffuse it in your room or add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage onto your breasts (avoiding nipples) to promote milk supply.

Essential Oils for General Wellness After Childbirth

Let's introduce some natural aids to keep you in top shape during the postpartum period.

Energy Boost

Sleepless nights and round-the-clock baby care can leave you feeling drained. But don't worry, there's a pick-me-up for that. Saje's “Energy” is your magic potion. This roll-on blend of peppermint, lemon, and rosemary specifically designed to invigorate your senses and give you that much-needed energy boost. Just roll it onto your pulse points whenever you need a pick-me-up, and you'll feel refreshed and ready to conquer the day.

A woman is holding an essential oil dropper.  The dropper is sitting on a tray amoungst other wellness items.
Photo by Yan Krukau

Skin Healing and Stretch Marks

We all love the amazing changes our bodies go through during pregnancy, but those stretch marks? Not so much. Thankfully, Saje's “Rose Hydrating Euphoric Mist” is here to help. This hydrating mist, full of the goodness of rose, geranium, and aloe vera, will help your skin heal, reducing the appearance of stretch marks and offering some much-needed hydration. Just spritz it on your abdomen or any area you want to target and watch hydration happen. For even better results, you can also try massaging a mixture of Geranium and Lavender (1 drop each) into your skin using 1 cup of olive oil. Olive oil is known for promoting elasticity in the skin, making it a great addition to your skincare routine during pregnancy and beyond.

How to Blend Essential Oils for Postpartum Care

Creating your own blend doesn't have to be some intricate scientific process. In fact, it's more like a fun kitchen experiment. And who doesn't love those, right? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Always dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them onto your skin or diffusing them. A good rule of thumb is to use one drop of essential oil for every teaspoon of carrier oil.
  2. For an uplifting aroma during those diaper changes or second-trimester nausea, citrus oils can be your best bet. Blend a few drops of your favorite citrus scent with a carrier oil, and you're good to go.
  3. If you're planning to use essential oils for a relaxing massage, always do a patch test first. Apply a small amount on your pulse points to see if you have any allergic reaction.
  4. Always store your blends in a dark, cool place to keep them fresh.
Best essential oils for postpartum

Where Can You Find Quality Essential Oils?

Finding quality essential oils could be likened to a treasure hunt; it needs patience, research, and sometimes you end up empty-handed. But, worry no more mamas! We've done the legwork to save you the trouble.

Recommendations for Reliable Essential Oil Brands

  • Saje – their commitment to 100% natural, plant-derived products has made them a popular choice for mamas like us.
  • Plant Therapy – their wide range of KidSafe oils makes this brand a winner for those with newborns.
  • DoTERRA – a brand that is widely known for their Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, Doterra is a favorite among aromatherapy enthusiasts.
  • Young Living – with a history dating back to 1994, this brand has always been about delivering top-quality essential oils.

How Can Essential Oils Improve Your Postpartum Experience?

There's a reason they've been cherished by generations of women. From boosting your mood to soothing discomfort, these little bottles hold potent power. They are a wonderful way to support your body and mind during the postpartum period. They're not just about aroma; think of them as your personal natural wellness toolkit. The use of essential oils in pregnancy can be wonderful to support the changing body through each trimester, into labour and postnatally, but must be used safely and sparingly.

Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen. Because while essential oils are awesome, your health and safety are paramount.

Photo by Liana Horodetska


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