7 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pregnant Women
Netgenz - Health | During pregnancy, women generally will try to choose anything as natural as possible. Starting from food to care products, as far as possible all-natural. Nach, coconut oil is a natural product that has various benefits.
Coconut oil is the most popular ingredient in cooking. In terms of beauty, coconut oil has many benefits to keep the body from head to toe.
However, is coconut oil safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, coconut oil is safe for pregnant women, good to eat or apply outside the body. In fact, it's a better substitute for some things.
This time, you will be taken to find out the benefits of coconut oil during pregnancy.
Here are 7 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pregnant Women
1. Strengthen the immune system
Lauric acid and caprylic acid are two compounds that make coconut oil excellent for boosting the immune system. These compounds make coconut oil have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Because of that, coconut oil is really efficient to resist colds, flu, fight fungal infections (Candida), and fighting bacterial infections.
All these strengths make coconut oil particularly beneficial for pregnant women who avoid taking over-the-counter medications. You can increase your immune system throughout pregnancy by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your food or drink. You can also swap other ingredients in the dish for coconut oil.
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2. Prevent hypertension
Keeping blood pressure at the right level is important to avoid complications throughout pregnancy. Consumption of virgin coconut oil is useful for preventing the deactivation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important for controlling blood flow and vascular tone.
Thus, consumption of coconut oil during pregnancy helps increase blood circulation and reduce the risk of gestational hypertension. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of complex pregnancy due to hypertension.
3. Improve oral health
Pregnancy increases the risk of several dental problems, from gingivitis to tooth decay. Gargling with coconut oil is an ancient Ayurvedic practice to help maintain oral hygiene.
This step is usually carried out in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach for about 20 minutes. After completing the process, rinse your mouth with saltwater or brush your teeth.
Gargling with coconut oil provides several benefits, which include:
- Handle smelly breath.
- Reduce caries development.
- Prevent cavities.
- Strengthen the muscles of the mouth.
4. For perineal massage
As your due date approaches, you may want to do a daily perineal massage to prepare your body for labor. The perineum is the place between the vulva and the anus that needs to be stretched during vaginal delivery. Massaging this area regularly with a moisturizing oil, such as coconut oil, can help prevent vaginal tearing.
Here's how to do a perineal massage with coconut oil:
- Take a comfortable status on the bed or sofa.
- Apply coconut oil to clean hands. Then insert one or two fingers into the vagina to a depth of 2 or 3 cm (cm).
- Next, squeeze the thumb along the back wall of the vagina to the anus. You may have to apply a fairly strong emphasis to feel the loosening.
- Keep the fingers in this state for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Repeat two to three times and give intervals between perineal massage sessions.
While this can be started at any time, it is most efficiently done 6 weeks before the due date.
5. Treating hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a complaint that many women feel during pregnancy and the puerperium period. Hemorrhoids involve varicose veins on the outside or inside of the anus and rectum.
A small-scale study published in the Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility in 2019 that included pregnant women found that coconut oil can reduce the discomfort of hemorrhoids, such as pain and itching.
In the study, participants applied coconut oil ointment twice a day for two weeks. They make other lifestyle changes, such as consuming low-fiber foods, drinking water, and moving every day. However, it is important to understand that this study included phase 1 and 2 hemorrhoids.
6. Prevents the formation of stretch marks
As the baby develops, the skin also undergoes loosening, which results in the creation of stretch marks on the tummy, thighs, buttocks, arms, and so on. Fortunately, keeping your skin moisturized can help prevent stretch marks. Coconut oil's great moisturizing power gives it the potential to prevent stretch marks.
In addition, virgin coconut oil can help treat injuries by increasing collagen production in and around the injury. Coconut oil can reduce infections in the skin, which can improve the appearance of stretch marks.
7. Maintain blood sugar levels
Some women experience high blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy, which increases some of the complexity for the mother or baby if left untreated. Virgin coconut oil helps control blood sugar and increase insulin secretion.
A diet containing coconut oil throughout pregnancy can help protect muscle and fat from insulin resistance. With its power to promote efficient blood glucose, consumption of coconut oil during pregnancy helps to control and manage diabetes.
Basically, coconut oil is safe to eat and use tropically throughout pregnancy. However, it is always important to contact your doctor before making any changes to your diet or find out about home remedies that are safe to use throughout pregnancy.