Coconut Oil During Pregnancy – How Safe It Is and Benefits
Natural products have always played a crucial role in maintaining our health. Coconut is one such product which has a wide variety of uses. Coconut oil is produced by drying out the coconut in sunlight and then pressing them in machines. Due to the use and the benefits of coconut oil, it is also known as the breast milk of mother nature.
Coconut oil has anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help prevent common cold and flu. With the help of coconut oil, you can easily improve your immune system and stay healthy. During the 9 months of pregnancy, coconut oil can help you prevent common diseases.
How Safe Is Coconut Oil in Pregnancy?
The consumption of coconut oil is to be kept at a moderate level to reap the benefits. Coconut oil has almost 100% saturated fat and according to various health organizations, it is advised to limit the use of saturated fats. But not all saturated fats affect the body adversely. Coconut oil includes lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid. This fat, unlike others, has positive effects on regulating cholesterol levels. The antimicrobial action in lauric acid is termed as a ‘safe saturated fat’. Hence moderate consumption of coconut oil will ensure that your pregnant body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins which could help you and your unborn baby gain maximum nutrition. In other words, you have all the liberty to include coconut oil in your pregnancy diet.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Expectant Mothers
You may have doubts regarding the benefits for pregnant mother from coconut oil. Here are some major benefits that coconut oil offers to expectant mothers.
1. Coconut Oil for Getting Pregnant
Have you heard that coconut oil aids fertility? The truth is that it actually does help. Lauric acid has positive effects on the good cholesterol making your health better. It is a great immunity booster to the mother as well as the baby. It maintains vaginal health which is essential during the process of conception. It can also keep insulin and thyroid in check, which respectively, control the level of testosterone in women and facilitate healthy functioning of the thyroid. This, in turn, promotes fertility.
2. Helps in Weight Loss
Coconut oil is unlike other oils as it is almost entirely made up of medium chain fatty acids, which are metabolized by your body quite differently. They are converted into energy immediately or into ketones. This promotes weight loss. It also helps your baby get a regular supply of nutrients and calories required for growth. Make coconut oil a regular part of your diet to see long term benefits.
3. Lightens Stretch Marks
After delivery, one of the major problems faced by women is stretch marks. Whatever you do to prevent them, they are an inevitable part of pregnancy and are evident in your postpartum body. Using coconut oil for pregnancy stretch marks is found to avoid this. Applying the coconut oil on the stretch marks can lighten them or prevent them in some cases. Try using coconut oil for your pregnant belly as a moisturiser to see the effects.
4. Helps Cure Pregnancy Problems
During pregnancy, some women face symptoms like morning sickness, constipation, and heartburn. Coconut oil can provide relief. The usage of this oil will soothe your tummy and flush out any bacteria. It also helps calm acid reflex which is a cause of heartburn. Another common problem is vaginal dryness, for which the use of coconut oil is recommended to ease discomfort. Coconut oil can offer refuge during the first few months when pregnancy-related symptoms are at their peak.
5. Soothes Skin Irritation
You may face dry and itchy skin during pregnancy due to a change in hormones. Coconut oil can help keep your skin nourished and prevent dryness and itchiness on your skin. Post-pregnancy, sore and cracked nipples can bother you and make breastfeeding quite a painful task. Applying coconut oil to the nipples can soothe the cracks.
6. Painless Intimacy
For couples who are looking to conceive, coconut oil is actually a blessing. The vagina is capable of producing a lubricant that makes penetration easy, But not all women are lucky. Hence they need to look for some lubricants outside the body to have painless intercourse. Many oils can be used for the same, but coconut oil acts as a lubricant for pregnancy as it is safe and has anti-bacterial properties.
How To Use Coconut Oil in Pregnancy?
Here are some ways you can use coconut oil while you are pregnant.
- Along with your favourite smoothie blend, add some coconut oil. This gives you nutrition as well as acts as a great energy booster during tiring days.
- Use coconut oil for regular cooking. It could be best for stir fries and all other kinds of cooking.
- Apply on your skin or vagina to prevent dryness and lock some moisture in. You can also prevent stretch marks with this method.
- Mix it with some chocolate powder and spread it on bread for a power breakfast.
- Use it as a salad dressing.
- Mix a teaspoon or two of coconut oil in your coffee or tea.
How Does Coconut Oil Help Your Baby in the Womb?
Coconut oil has saturated fats which can help in the accumulation of fats. It can ensure that sufficient energy required during pregnancy is provided. At the same time, your baby is supplied essential nutrients from your body. As coconut oil and lauric acid are absorbed by your baby, your baby’s immunity will increase and promote healthy growth. Coconut oil is also easy to digest and helps absorb necessary nutrients from your diet. Thus your baby will gain more nutrition and protection from your diet.
Coconut Oil and Breast Milk
The use of coconut oil has a positive effect on your baby during breastfeeding. This is due to the fact that breast milk will contain antimicrobial properties gained from coconut oil. Hence, your baby will have more immunity from viruses and bacteria. Pregnant women store fat to ensure successful lactation after pregnancy. Lauric acid and capric acid in coconut oil will be part of the adipose store which is the milk store of a lactating mother in the later stage.
Coconut oil is one of the best diet supplements during pregnancy. When a part of your diet, coconut oil provides proper nutrition and protection to your baby. Start using coconut oil at the earliest to ensure that the benefits are gained throughout your pregnancy.