Enrich your pregnancy with the beauty and benefits of coconut oil!
The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk about outside of your body
- Katherine Hadley
There are so many ways that coconut oil can help you have the best pregnancy possible!
- Enhance your baby’s brain and nervous system development
- Strengthen immune function in both you and baby
- Prevent stretch marks on tummy, breasts, thighs
- Prevents constipation and haemorrhoids
- Assists weight management and post-partum weight-loss
- Balances hormones and thyroid function
- Reduces cravings and morning sickness
- Improves milk quality, supply and lactation
- Perfect for perineal massage to prevent vaginal tearing during birth
- Massaging the foot reflexology points, and shoulders, neck, lower back…..
- Help create deeper mother-baby connection
- Makes mum healthier in so many ways too!
- Select foods which are fresh, nutritious, in season, unprocessed and organically grown, where possible
- Whole, uncontaminated food is high in nutritional value and low in toxins
- Avoid refined, processed foods, sugar, gluten, refined carbohydrates and anything that you couldn’t imagine growing or roaming the earth!
- You are what you eat, and so too is your baby. Good quality fats like coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish… Healthy protein sources like eggs, hormone-free grass-fed meats and chickens, superfoods like mesquite, lacuma, acai and quality carbohydrates in vegetables and fruit of all colours.
- Consuming coconut oil while pregnant and nursing is a great way to help build the immune system of the baby
- The medium chain fatty acids possess potent anti-viral properties that have been shown to be effective in killing herpes and other infections
- Coconut oil will help protect the mother from infection and strengthen her immune system, thus preventing infection from spreading to the foetus.
- These positive immune effects are passed through the milk too
MAXIMISE YOUR BABY’S BRAIN AND NEUROLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
- Our brains are 2/3rd fat!
- So although our bodies are able to make many of the building blocks needed for health, it makes sense we need to consume them too!
- Your baby’s brain and neurological development are counting on you!
- The risk of congenital disorders such as metabolic, neural, autoimmune diseases etc are greatly reduced with regular materanal consumption of coconut oil
- Consider the child’s five senses of eyesight, hearing, speech, taste, feeling and the reflexes… all dependant on a healthy neurological development
STIMULATING YOUR BABY
- Interacting with your baby several times throughout the day will help enhance the special bond that you will share for your entire lives together
- Talking to your baby and touching your tummy are incredibly beneficial to both mother and baby
- Research suggests that babies can start to learn as young as 15 weeks, and hear sounds outside the womb from 20-24 weeks
- Your baby hears via the airwaves and sound vibrations that your voice creates
- Pay attention and you may notice your baby moving in response to your voice or your partner’s
- By frequently talking and touching your tummy, you are stimulating your baby’s developing brain (Morris 2001)
MASSAGING YOUR TUMMY
- Excellent way to reduce stress
- Can significantly reduce anxiety, depression, pain, length of labour and hospital stay, and post-natal depression
- Other areas: neck, shoulders, head, scalp, face, hands and feet spine… anywhere that feels good!
- Lightly massaging your tummy is an amazing way to connect with your baby
- Circular massage (clockwise)
- Straight up and down from your breastbone to your pubic bone
- Circular including thighs
- Stretch marks, also known as striae gravidarum can occur at any time the skin is stretched rapidly
- Massaging coconut oil daily into the areas that grow during pregnancy can allow your skin to stay elastic, supple and prevent stretch marks occuring
- The unique ability to penetrate the underlying tissue of the dermis allows optimum skin restoration
- The high amount of vitamin E in coconut oil helps nourish the skin and allow it to stretch while maintaining its tone and integrity
- The antioxidants in coconut oil protect from free-radicals that cause skin damage and weakening. Our connective tissues give our skin strength and elasticity and coconut helps maintain these.
- Massaging with coconut oil not only prevents stretch marks, it can also reduce previous ones
PREVENTING CONSTIPATION AND HAEMORROIDS
- Coconut oil purges, repairs and strengthens your entire digestive system, particularly your colon
- Coconut oil also increases your absorption of vital vitamins and minerals and assists maintaining healthy gut bacteria so bowel motility is maximised
- Coconut oil eases constipation because it is fibrous and it cleansing
- It also increases your metabolic rate letting your system break down food faster and more effectively which can lead to an increase in bowel movements
- Consumed regularly, coconut oil prevents constipation and other bowel troubles during pregnancy
- Constipation candy is a great way to get you moving if you get bound up too!
- Hemorroids can occur from straining and pushing, so if you keep your bowels well lubricated you can prevent them occurring.. and keep the straining and pushing for labour!
BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Consuming coconut oil prevents high blood sugar levels, this is important to:
- Curb cravings and prevent unnecessary weight gain
- Prevent gestational diabetes which can be dangerous uncontrolled
- Regulate consistant energy levels rather than highs and lows
- Coconut oil’s ability to control hunger and cravings has been well documented
- The MCFAs promote thermogenesis and lead to increased metabolic rate, this allows for appetite regulation and also in turn leads to stabile moods and thoughts.
Massage the gentle tissues around the perineum, vagina and between the vagina and anus to prevent tearing during labour
- From 30 weeks on, 15-10 mins, twice per week
- Factors that effect tearing:
- Strength of contractions
- Stretch ability or elasticity of tissues
- Size of baby
- Position of baby’s head
- Position of mother during delivery
- Speed of delivery
- Skill of attendant
- Scarring from previous deliveries
WHY DO PERINEAL MASSAGE?
- Many women are unprepared for vaginal or perineal tearing during labour, or the need for an episiotomy (surgical cutting)
- It is not until afterwards that women look back and wish they had spent more time preparing their bodies for labour
- Scar tissue from healing perineal wounds could affect the remainder of a women’s sexual life, with future intercourse possibly painful, and future births affected too
- Get your partner involved, birthing is a family matter (and the more help now, the better for him/her in the long run!)
- Breathe, focus on opening up, and trust in your body’s ability to stretch and give birth to your baby
For more information on perineal massage, please read the amazing book “Well Adjusted Babies” By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
PREPARING YOUR NIPPLES
- Depending how much ‘stimulation’ your nipples get on regular basis, preparing your nipples for regular use is extremely beneficial
- Breastfeeding can often make your nipples sore depending on the baby’s attachment and their drinking vigour
- Get used to handling your breasts before the baby comes
- Just a couple of minutes a day from 34-36 weeks is plenty
- Pinching and rolling gently is the key
- Pinching: use thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze just behind the nipple
- Rolling: once pinched, gentle rolling the nipple between your thumb and forefinger stretching forward away from the breast
BREAST MILK “the breast milk of mother nature”
- Breast milk has a unique fatty acid composition of 45-50% saturated fat, with a significant portion of this the MCFAs like those found in coconut oil
- Milk rich in MCFAs is vital for healthy growth and development of the child
- This is the reason it is added to most baby formulas!
- One of the major characteristics of breast milk is its ability to protect infants from a myriad of infectious illnesses while their own immune system develops
- It is the MCFAs, lauric acid, caprylic and capric acid in particular, that provide this protective mechanism
- These beneficial MCFAs are always in breast milk, produced by the mother’s body, but are many times higher when a mother consumes coconut oil daily throughout the pregnancy and lactation period (around 20%
- The presence of MCFAs in the milk not only prevent the mother contracting an infection, but also lowers the breast milk level of any virus/bacteria a mother may have to help lower the risk of transmission to the infant.
- The quality of the breast milk is influenced by the mother’s health and diet
- If the mother is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, then her milk will also be deficient, or she will become deficient as she passes them all to her baby
- The MCFAs in coconut oil improves the absorption of nutrients in a mother’s diet
- A single meal with coconut oil can significantly affect breast milk fatty acid composition for up to 3 days, with maximum benefit at 10hours!
- Promotes lactation and healthy milk supply
So as you can see, using coconut oil throughout your pregnancy is beneficial in so many ways!
Coconut oil is the perfect gift for any pregnant family!
And, don't limit your intact just to pregnancy, coconut oil's Medium chain fatty acids are beneficial for everyone!
All the coco-best
Dr Nat x
Dr Natalie Bird
MCAA MASRF MICPA
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