It isn’t just delish in a pina colada – a coconut’s natural oil is bursting with health and skin benefits that can solve more than one pregnancy, new mum and baby complaint. And the bonus? It smells incredible. Before long it will be your latest beauty obsession.
Bursting with Goodness
Coconut Oil boasts of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help prevent colds, flu and other viruses. Having two tablespoons of the oil a day (in drinks or meals, if you aren't a fan of the strong taste) could keep your immune system strong during your pregnancy.
Take It as a Supplement
The benefits of coconut oil range from resisting bacteria and viruses to reducing cholesterol. While you should always consult a doctor before adding a new supplement to your regime (especially during pregnancy), the all-natural superpowers of coconut oil are certainly something to consider adding to your diet.
In the Bathtub
Add a few drops of coconut oil to the tub as a natural and hydrating form of stress relief.
If pregnancy discomfort is making it tough for you to get a good night’s sleep, combat dark circles by dabbing coconut oil beneath your eyes (just as you would with eye cream).
While it doesn't happen to everyone, for many women, pregnancy changes the texture of their hair. If your changing hormones result in newfound frizz, use coconut oil to smooth your coif.
According to experts, coconut oil is the ideal remedy for chapped lips, especially because it's semisolid at room temperature.
Turn it into a Face Mask
Pregnancy hormones can trigger acne in women who are prone to it and can even surprise those who aren't normally susceptible to breakouts (lucky you!). Just combine one tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of honey, half a teaspoon of avocado, and one tablespoon of mashed banana. Apply to your face, leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash off.
For those with eczema, pregnancy hormones can have one of two effects — they can send the itchiness into remission, or they can cause increased flare-ups. If you fall into the latter category, try coconut oil as a natural alternative to topical steroids.
Brilliant source of lauric acid
After breast milk, coconut oil is the second best source of lauric acid – a great and easy way to help strengthen both yours and your baby’s immune system. It’s also thought to help stimulate milk production during breastfeeding. So, drinking a small amount each day when breastfeeding will mean that the goodness of the lauric acid will be directly passed to your baby through your milk.
A substitute for dairy
Coconut oil is a great alternative if you want to avoid dairy in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Simply swap butter and milk for their coconut equivalents if you’re worried that your baby has a dairy intolerance that you don’t want to aggravate through your breast milk.
Helps with pregnancy side effects
If you’re struggling with morning sickness, heartburn or constipation, a little coconut oil can help relieve your symptoms. The oil can soothe your stomach and clean the bacteria out of your esophagus to soothe acid reflux. It’s even suggested for easing the discomfort of vaginal dryness – another delightful side effect of pregnancy.
Rub a little coconut oil onto any itchy or dry areas that may crop up during your pregnancy. Plus, it’s great for soothing sore or cracked niplples while you’re breastfeeding.
Prevents stretch marks
Lots of women swear by coconut oil as a great way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and help fade existing ones post-birth because of its moisturizing properties and inclusion of vitamin E.
Gentle on your baby’s skin
Once your baby arrives, you can use a little coconut oil to treat her diaper rash and cradle cap. Because it’s completely natural, it’s incredibly gentle on your baby’s skin and shouldn’t irritate her skin at all – but always do a small patch test first.
Great as a massage oil
A baby massage is a brilliant way to bond with your little one and can help her sleep better. And you don’t need to spend lots on a specific massage oil – a little coconut oil will do the job and will leave her skin soft and smelling delicious.
Use on dry hair
If you’re battling with a dry scalp (another common pregnancy side effect), then you can apply a little coconut oil to your roots and wash out in the morning for a deep replenishing treatment.