Are Reed Diffusers Safe During Pregnancy? (Quick Facts)

Reed diffusers are a popular and modern way to keep your home smelling fresh and clean 24/7. Yet, being pregnant means being a little more cautious about the product you use in your home. After all, you don’t want to risk your pregnancy by exposing yourself to unknown chemicals.

So, are reed diffusers safe during pregnancy? For the most part, reed diffusers and other essential oils are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy. But, there are a few you’ll want to stay away from. Keep your distance from oils like basil, clary sage, and rosemary. These might actually trigger uterine contractions in pregnant women!

It’s totally reasonable to be a little worried about the products you use in your home during pregnancy. So, we’re going to be reviewing everything you need to know about using reed diffusers when you’re pregnant. To learn more about what you can or cannot use during these crucial times, visit the Motherhood Community site.

Are Reed Diffusers Safe During Pregnancy

What Are Reed Diffusers?

Reed diffusers are a unique touch on the wildly popular essential oils. Instead of mixing a few drops of essential oils with water and turning on a diffuser, reed diffusers are actually active 24/7. They’re basically sticks or reeds dipped into some form of fragrance oil. The scent then travels through the reed and escapes into the air.

What makes reed diffusers so popular (aside from the lovely scent) is just how long they last. You might get a few good months of use from your reed diffuser before having to replace it. They definitely last much longer than candles or regular essential oil diffusers.

What They’re Made Of

Even though you’re not lighting a reed diffuser like a candle, it’s still nice to know what’s flowing through the air in your home. Let’s discuss what exactly your reed diffuser consists of.

The actual “reeds” of your reed diffuser are usually made of rattan. These are a unique form of sticks that have tiny holes within them. This allows the scent to travel through the rattan and eventually find its way into your air.

The liquid portion of a reed diffuser is usually a mix of essential oils and carrier oils. Homemade versions of reed diffuser oil usually call for high levels of isopropyl alcohol. The combination of each of these ingredients is what puts off the fragrance in reed diffusers.

Reed Diffusers & Pregnancy

Now, the general concept of reed diffusers doesn’t pose a risk to pregnant women or unborn children. If used correctly, reed diffusers should never cause any issues within your pregnancy. But, there are some precautions that you might want to take. And, you definitely want to consider other alternatives if you’re worried about your unborn child.

Let’s talk about how reed diffusers can impact pregnancy.

Possible Side Effects

The biggest safety issue when it comes to reed diffusers and pregnancy is the use of specific essential oils. In fact, some are believed to actually induce labor and cause uterine contractions. When you’re 38 weeks along, that might be exactly what you’re looking for. But, that’s not the best situation if you’re in your first trimester and hoping for a healthy pregnancy.

The problem is that there’s not a lot of scientific evidence backing up these claims. So, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid them altogether when you’re pregnant.

Here’s a look at some of the essential oils that might cause issues when you’re pregnant.

  • Clary sage
  • Rosemary
  • Wintergreen
  • Fennel
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Parsley seed

Because of this, it’s in your best interest to keep a close eye on the ingredients in the reed diffuser oil before bringing it home and setting it up.

Some people also believe that the inhalation of essential oils can actually cross into the placenta of your unborn child. So, it’s best that you speak to a medical professional first regarding the possible dangers of using specific essential oils.

With that said, it might be a good idea to avoid using essential oils until you at least reach your second trimester.

What Your Options Are

On a more positive note, there are plenty of essential oils found in many reed diffusers that you can use when you’re pregnant. Some might even help you to feel more comfortable and improve your mood during a rough pregnancy.

Here’s a look at some essential oils that might make your pregnancy just a little more bearable.

  • Lavender: This can help with relaxation and reduce your stress levels. This is particularly useful if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep at night.
  • Bergamot: This essential oil is perfect for those pregnancy blues and stress reduction. It might even help to relieve some of the pain and aches that come with contractions and pregnancy in general.
  • Lemon: This is exactly what you need when your pregnancy is destroying your energy levels. Lemon can help to boost your mood, reduce fatigue, and help you to control your intense emotions.
  • Rose: This is a perfect choice if you’re particularly overwhelmed or stressed during your pregnancy. Rose can help you to feel calm and improve your mood at the same time.
  • Ginger: This will be a lifesaver if you’re suffering from nausea and morning sickness with your pregnancy. Ginger can be especially useful for nausea that occurs during your first trimester.

For the most part, there are more essential oils that you can use during your pregnancy than those you can’t. Just make sure you’re clearing it with your doctor to make sure that you’re not endangering yourself or your unborn child.

Using Them Safely

To date, the only issues that have come up when it comes to pregnant women and essential oils have had to do with the actual ingestion of these oils. So, as long as you’re not drinking the liquid from your reed diffuser, you should be in the clear.

But, you might want to take other precautions.

For example, it would be a good idea to only use pure essential oils that haven’t been tampered with. That means during pregnancy might not be the best time to experiment and create your own reed diffuser liquids.

What you will need to do is buy pure essential oils from a high-quality distributer and make sure that they’re diluted properly. The proper dilution should be between 1-5%. On the other hand, buying a reed diffuser set means the oil is already diluted as it should be.

Last but not least, don’t ever drink or apply a reed diffuser oil to your skin. This is the best way to avoid any negative consequences during your pregnancy.

Other Alternatives

One issue you might experience with a reed diffuser during pregnancy is nausea. That’s 100% a result of your increased sensitivity to smell during pregnancy.

If your reed diffuser is producing a smell that you think is too intense, it might be a better idea to use a regular diffuser. You can then use fewer drops of essential oils to limit the intensity of the scent. You also might want to light a gentle-smelling candle to freshen the air in your home.


For the most part, reed diffusers are a great way to improve the scent in your home without putting your unborn child in danger. But, there are some essential oils in reed diffuser oils that you’ll want to avoid. If you’re finding reed diffusers to be too intense a smell during your pregnancy, you can use a regular diffuser instead. 

Either way, make sure you’re checking with your doctor to guarantee that reed diffusers are safe to use during your pregnancy.

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Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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