Bronner Magic for the Pregnant Mama

Bronner Magic for the Pregnant Mama

Pregnancy astounds me. The idea that my body can – and has – grown another body inside me blows my mind. And those other bodies that grew inside my body are not a replica of me. They are all entirely autonomous – with their own appearances, abilities, opinions, and, in two cases, gender. How did I do that?! I’ve been through it three times and I still can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s profound. And strange.

But along with the wonder, comes the all-too-physical aches and twinges and “No one told me THAT would happen to my body” moments. It’s a time when we are looking for relief, but we also want to be very careful.

Before we grab with wild abandon the latest and greatest miracle potion, remember: Personal care products demand scrutiny, produced as they are from an all but unregulated industry. The stakes are even higher when pregnant. We have a very tiny little one to think about. Any topical body care product carries some ability to absorb through our skin and affect our internal systems. When we’re pregnant, this means possibly affecting that little marvel-sac.

So know what you’re using. What’s in it? Do you understand those ingredients? Are there potential side effects? Is there something simpler, safer out there? There almost always is.

Read labels and do a little bit of research – try EWG’s Skin Deep database– and look for clear, understandable ingredients. Here are some products from Dr. Bronner’s that fit the bill.

Itchy bellies

Prior to conception, I had naively envisioned a pregnant belly as soft and squishy and symmetrical. But it’s not! It’s hard and lopsided and pointy. I think my kids each had three extra elbows that they lost in the birth canal. As the skin pulls and stretches over the growing baby, the itch is real.

A couple years ago (unfortunately about 6 years after it would have done my pregnant belly any good), my brothers came up with the Unscented Organic Magic Balm. Remember my line above about understanding ingredients?  When you have ingredients that you could practically eat, you know it’s safe to apply topically. Avocado oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil – all organic. Toss in some vinegar and you’ve got yourself a salad dressing. Not really, but you see my point.

Rub it on the belly, early and often.

Tired & swollen feet

How about those tired and sore feet? Take the balm and rub in a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil. Rub this on your feet at the end of a long day. Lie back and say, “Ahh.”

This same blend works wonders for decongesting when you’re pregnant and have a cold, which is an extreme form of super yuck. Not only should you rub this blend on your chest, but also – and this might sound strange – rub a thick layer of the Unscented Magic Balm mixed with peppermint essential oil on the soles of your feet before bedtime and pull on socks. This trick will do wonders to clear your head. I don’t know why this works. Just part of the magic, I guess.

None of these uses are just for the pregnant. Though my belly itching days are pretty much done.

Mamas will also want to keep the Unscented Magic Balm around postpartum, because it helps heal sore, cracked nipples.

Fatigue, sweat & nausea

I don’t think I’ve ever written such attractive headings before. But when you’re pregnant, the above maladies are all too everpresent. Fighting them with certain essential oils is a great way to combat them safely.

Essential oils are powerful. Some essential oils are ill-advised during pregnancy, but don’t let that deter you from taking advantage of the safe usage of other fantastic ones. Check with your medical provider to double check the ones you’re interested in.

Essential oils are all you’ll find in Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps for scent, and many have bonus therapeutic benefits:

Peppermint – You’re hot. All the time. Save some of that AC bill and take a peppermint shower.

Lavender – There’s so much to stress about – am I gaining too much weight? Did I eat enough Niacin? What if my water breaks at the grocery store? Take a lavender shower and breathe deep.

Tea Tree – Some women get that pregnancy glow … while others get the joys of pubescent break-outs. Tea Tree will help balance and clear your skin.

Unscented – I hear you. Nothing smells good. Not food. Not flowers. Not any earthly substance. Except Fruit Loops. Fruit Loops smell fantastic. However, in the absence of Fruit Loop scented soap, consider the Unscented Baby Mild to minimize the churning effect. Or use the Unscented as a base for adding your own unique pregnancy blend – Ginger & Lemon? Bergamot & Orange? Sandalwood & Geranium?

All this being said, don’t skip the fundamentals to good health. No blend of essential oils can replace good hydration, exercise, eating close to nature, and laughter.

But even with the most avid self-care, you might just feel a slight twinge or two when pregnant. Just a bit. Maybe once or twice. Hopefully at those times the above will help.

Further reading

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Organic Magic Balms Cheat Sheet

Organic Magic Balms – To know them is to love them!


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Suman says:

Hi Lisa, is it safe to use Dr. Bronner’s cheery blossom organic lip balm during pregnency as it contains hemp oil??

Camilla says:

Hi Lisa, thanks for this article! I love Dr Bronner lavender products! As you’ve mentioned the soap is ok to use during pregnancy, just wondering if the body lotion is too? I assume so, due to your mentioning of low concentrations of essential oil in the soap, but as this remains on your skin just wanted to check 🙂 Thank you!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Camilla – Absolutely! The Lavender Coconut lotion would be a fantastic help during pregnancy.

Shanae says:

Hi Lisa. What about use of the Castile lavender soap after birth? Is that safe as well?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Shanae- Our scented soap are safe during and after pregnancy. I looked into this very issue myself during my pregnancies. The concerns that have been raised about essential oils matter only with products that have a high concentration of the essential oils and are left on the skin for long periods of time. Since Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps only contain 2% essential oil and are rinsed off, there are no problems at all in using it while pregnant or after delivery. Once your baby is born, I recommend the Unscented Baby Mild for your little one. In fact, it was developed specifically for the maternity ward at UCLA medical center for use in washing newborns.

Danielle says:

Hi! Is the dr bronners magic balm (with Arnica & menthol) safe for pregnant women? I just used a tiny bit on my back and had a panic attack that maybe I shouldn’t have done that. I can’t find info on this anywhere so your reply would be super helpful to me. I am just in my first trimester. Thanks in advance

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Danielle- Thank you for reaching out and congratulations! While our products have been through safety assessments for the general population, we do not have data on the population of pregnant women specifically. The tiny amount applied topically to your back is likely fine, but for extensive use, please consult with your doctor. If your doctor recommends against using it, we offer an unscented balm as an alternative.

Jess says:

Is the lavender Castile hemp oil soap safe to use while pregnant ?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jess- I have looked into this questions myself through my three pregnancies, and yes, it is safe to use the Lavender Castile Soaps through pregnancy. The concerns with the lavender essential oil is that at high concentrations it can permeate the skin and affect hormone balances. However, this is only a factor with products with high concentrations and that are left on the skin. The concentration of essential oils in our soaps are 2%, and they are washed off. Both of these reasons make them no problem at all for pregnancy. When you’re little one arrives, it’s safe to use the Castile Soap on him or her as well.

Latoya says:

What about Dr Bonner peppermint toothpaste is that safe during pregnancy.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Latoya- Yes, our toothpaste is safe during pregnancy. Not only are all the ingredients safe, but when it comes to toothpaste, there would be very little possibility of ingestion, as the vast majority of the toothpaste gets spit out.

Cassandra Cross says:

Hello, Is the naked organic lip balm all in one usda organic lip balm safe for pregnancy even though there is Canabis sativa hemp in it?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Hannah- Yes, the Castile Soaps are safe to use during pregnancy. The concern with pregnancy is for essential oils that are used full strength and in leave-on situations. The concentration of essential oil is 2%. That, combined with diluting soap during use and the fact that soap is a “wash off” product, makes it perfectly safe for pregnancy. I looked into it myself when I was expecting.

Marisa says:

I have replaced all my former face and body moisturizers with Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil and love it. Is the coconut oil safe as a nipple and diaper cream? Or is it not sensitive enough like the the magic balm?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Marisa- Glad to hear it! The coconut oil would be great for both a nipple and diaper cream.

Kate says:

Thank you for recognizing the life of the little human! It’s refreshing when a large and prosperous, ORGANIC, good-for-the-environment company director values ALL life, even inside the womb.

Christine B says:

I am an IBCLC & an herbalist. I caution breastfeeding
Moms to avoid peppermint and sage. They are in the same family and may
Lower milk supply. Sage is used to stop Lactation

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

Learn about my book, Soap & Soul!

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Organic Magic Balms Cheat Sheet

Organic Magic Balms – To know them is to love them!