Coconut oil is a great superfood for pregnant women. It has anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help prevent cold and flu.
By including one tablespoon of the oil and also replacing coconut oil with other ingredients in cooking can help keep one’s immune system strong during pregnancy. The oil helps combat morning sickness and nausea, too. Coconut oil is a great substitute if pregnant women want to avoid dairy during pregnancy. In case of worries whether one’s child has dairy intolerance, then one could simply swap breastmilk with their coconut equivalents. After breast milk, coconut oil is the second best source of lauric acid which helps strengthen both the mother’s and the baby’s immune system. It also helps stimulate milk production during breastfeeding.
Coconut oil has multiple benefits during travelling. It’s a cleanser, moisturiser, hair conditioner, body lotion, can be used after a shave, and a salve for rashes and scratches as it is 100% organic and smells great as well. Applying coconut oil is suggested to ease the discomfort of vaginal dryness, a side-effect of pregnancy. It is also a great solution for soothing sore or cracked nipple while one is breastfeeding. Using a little coconut oil on baby’s nappy rash and irritation works wonders for the baby’s skin.
Applying coconut oil from the third month till the ninth can help in reducing stretch marks post-delivery as it has Vitamin E.
(The author is consultant OB/GYN & laparoscopic surgeon, Dr Sita Bhateja
Multi-Speciality Hospital, Bengaluru)