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Have you ever used coconut oil? Most people have at least heard of the coconut oil craze! What was once mistakenly demonized as an unhealthy, saturated fat that would clog your arteries, has recently enjoyed more positive press… and for good reason! Coconut oil is amazing!
Do you remember the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” There are several humorous scenes in that movie where the patriarch of the family recommends Windex as the answer to all his family’s problems! Well, I may start to sound a bit like that father in the movie because there are TONS of uses for coconut oil. It is so incredibly versatile! This tropical oil can be used for cooking, baking, skin care, lubrication, cleaning, teeth and mouth care, hair care, weight-loss, heart health, and so much more. It is even being used today to treat seizure disorders and Alzheimer’s disease! If you aren’t familiar with this amazing super food, read on!
Coconut oil has really created quite a buzz online. If you google “coconut oil benefits”, you will see what I mean! I’m not going to elaborate on its many health benefits or claims in this post, but you can begin to read about that here. I am also including a very extensive article filled with research and lots of science for those of you who would appreciate digging deeper into the research. Read that here. In this post, I’m going to focus on the many great practical pregnancy uses for this beneficial super food!
How to Buy Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is so popular now that it’s very easy to find it in most grocery stores. But BEWARE! Not all coconut oil products are created equal. Because of the popularity of coconut oil in recent years, it is now being mass-produced and many brands have gone through chemical processing like refining and bleaching, When purchasing coconut oil, be sure to choose ORGANIC VIRGIN coconut oil. This is especially important for pregnancy or delicate baby skin.
Here is an example of a good brand that I like on Amazon.
**UPDATE** I also want to mention the name of my favorite coconut oil source. You can set up an online account and take advantage of this company’s frequent sales and promotions! I LOVE buying all my coconut oil products from Healthy Traditions because I have done my homework on them and I know that they source their coconut oil for the purest sources in the world. They also regularly test ALL their products for glyphosate residues and other chemical residues and reject products that don’t pass their rigorous testing. In addition to coconut oil, they have many other products that I use and love. Many of their products are made with their high-quality coconut oil. Browse their website and especially give their coconut oil a try!!
You also get a copy of the free book, Virgin Coconut Oil when you place your first order!
Coconut Oil for Topical Use
One of the things that I love most about coconut oil is that it is completely edible. Holistic health care practitioners will agree that we should NEVER put anything on our skin that we won’t put into our mouths and I couldn’t agree more!
In addition to its amazing moisturizing properties, it is also known for its powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. Studies show that it can kill harmful pathogens and promote healthy skin. Because of this, it is widely used topically in lotions, salves and hair care products. In addition, substances found in coconut oil have been shown to help kill the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans, a common source of yeast infections. Check out those studies here and here.
Coconut Oil Hacks for Pregnancy
Frequent applications of coconut oil during pregnancy may prevent the formation of stretch marks as the oil moisturizes the skin and improves elasticity. Although there is not much research to actually prove that coconut oil prevents or eliminates stretch marks, it is commonly accepted that skin that is well-hydrated is more soft and subtle, therefore less likely to develop stretch marks. It is also believed that lauric acid, found in coconut oil, is easily absorbed deep into the skin layers, where it may have a positive effect on collagen production.
The hormone changes in pregnancy can sometimes affect the pH level of the vagina, increasing the likelihood of a yeast infection. While not serious, it can be incredibly itchy and annoying. Try coconut oil! Because coconut oil has anti-fungal properties, it can help the body rid itself of this annoying problem. You can apply the oil directly into your vagina and surrounding vaginal tissue to provide soothing relief. You can also add coconut oil to your daily diet.
Extra virgin coconut oil may help reduce morning sickness by leveling off blood sugars. For more information on natural remedies for morning sickness, check out this post.
Super Immune Booster
Two tablespoons a day can give you an immunity boost during pregnancy, thereby protecting you and your unborn baby from flu, colds, and other common ailments. This is because lauric acid, the primary fat in coconut oil, has antimicrobial features that help to boost immunity. Read more about lauric acid and its immunity-boosting properties here.
Due to fluctuating hormones, many women experience dry, itchy skin or scalp during pregnancy. You can relieve this problem with coconut oil. Apply a little oil on your skin or rub into your scalp and leave overnight. The following day you can wash it off with lukewarm water. It will nourish your skin and scalp and keep dryness at bay.
This is a very common pregnancy complaint, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Coconut oil to the rescue! Although not backed by solid research, many folks claim that coconut oil gives relief to those suffering from acid reflux. Among the reasons given, it soothes the digestive tract, neutralizes the acid and reduces inflammation. Since there are no known contraindications to using coconut oil in pregnancy, it’s worth trying!
Nutritional Supplement Boost
Consuming healthy fats, like coconut oil, during pregnancy is extremely important! It ensures that you’re able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, which helps you get maximum nutrition from your food and prenatal vitamins. The Western A Price Foundation, my favorite nutritional research organization, recommends that pregnant and lactating mothers consume at least two tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil per day. See their other nutritional recommendations for a healthy pregnancy diet here.
Preparing for Breastfeeding
Coconut oil is an abundant source of lauric acid, which may stimulate your milk production during pregnancy and after your child’s birth. Consuming coconut oil during pregnancy is a great way to build up and nourish your body to prepare for the nutritional demands of breastfeeding.
Would you like a natural solution for constipation during pregnancy? You guessed it…. coconut oil! Yup, it’s true. Coconut oil is also famous for being a natural laxative.
*Disclaimer – The information in the post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be medical advice. Please make sure that you talk with your doctor or midwife if you have any health concerns during your pregnancy. Remember that too much of a good thing may not be good. Keep your coconut oil consumption to a moderate level. Also, check with your doctor or midwife before you start consuming coconut oil.
Have you tried using coconut oil during pregnancy? What benefits did you see? Please share with others in the comments!