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Tea Tree Oil and Pregnancy: is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Babies

tea tree oil and pregnancy

The topic “Tea tree oil and pregnancy” is discussed a lot as scientists haven’t found yet the answer to its safety for pregnant and breast-feeding women. Tea tree oil is widely used and possesses a lot of benefits due to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties. Is tea tree oil safe during pregnancy? MayoClinic.com writes about lack of information to recommend tea tree oil for pregnant and breast-feeding women.


Pregnant women tend to use tea tree oil to treat acne. As pregnancy hormones often lead to higher hair and skin oiliness pregnant women turn to tea tree oil instead of acne medications with Retin-A and benzoyl peroxide prohibited during pregnancy.  Tea tree oil is also used as an antiseptic for sun burns or insect bites. Pregnant women treat fungal infections and dandruff with it. They believe that when they use natural remedies instead of synthetic chemical ones they avoid undesirable side effects but it is not the case with tea tree oil. It is potentially dangerous for pregnant women as tea tree oil has side effects.

Possible dangers

Tea tree oil like other essential oils is able to cross the placental barrier and influence the health of the fetus. As there is not enough evidence on tea tree oil  safety during pregnancy, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) recommends against application of any essential oil for pregnant women.

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Effects of tea tree oil during pregnancy

Tea tree oil possesses some serious side effects. It has a possibility to lessen the strength of labor contractions; it might lengthen the labor process and thus puts moms and babies in danger. Breast-feeding women should avoid application of tea tree oil on nipples or breasts as there is a possibility of its absorption by the baby.  Medline Plus recommends avoiding tea tree oil use completely to minimize the possible risk while pregnant and breastfeeding, even in a diluted form and as a component of shampoos and skin care products.


Commercial mouthwashes, toothpastes and dental products sometimes contain some amount of tea tree oil to combat bleeding gums, gingivitis and bad breath. Ingesting tea tree oil by pregnant women may cause a number of complications to her, including diarrhea, rashes, confusion and dizziness. It may have a negative impact on the baby as well as alcohol in some mouthwashes. Be attentive, read labels to make sure that products you put in the mouth for dental care don’t contain tea tree oil.

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Is tea tree oil safe for babies?

The quantity of tea tree oil toxic to small children is as little as 5 ml, as “A Nurse’s Guide to Herbal Remedies” written in Salisbury University says. For an unborn baby, the toxic amount of tea tree oil would be less. Is tea tree oil safe for babies? NO. Never use tea tree oil to treat babies’ health conditions. If you want to apply tea tree oil for children’s treatment ask your doctor for advice. Only topical application is possible.


Pregnant women should use tea tree oil only under the doctor’s supervision. If your doctor recommends tea tree oil during pregnancy, follow his instructions carefully.