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14 Prenatal and Postnatal Uses For Coconut Oil

Anyone who knows me well is all too familiar with my general coconut obsession. In fact, there are three young Thai coconuts sitting on my counter as I write this article. I realize that coconut oil is not all that alternative these days as every major grocery chain carries a variety of options, but there are still plenty of people who don’t understand the life-changing qualities of this edible oil.

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel (meat) of matured coconuts, which is harvested from the coconut palm. In the past, coconut oil has been demonized because it contains saturated fat. It is one of the richest sources of saturated fat with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated. However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless and that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.

It also may be helpful to know that coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak. They contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length. Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are either used as a quick-source energy or they turn into ketone bodies, which boosts brain power and development.

Ready to make a grocery run for this super food? Be sure to pick up organic, virgin coconut oil – stay away from the refined options. Read on for the top 14 prenatal and postnatal uses for coconut oil.

1. Add several tablespoons to bathwater for added moisture to your skin. A few drops of essential oils will also make the bathwater more soothing.

2. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of the fetus and newborn. Expectant mothers can ingest 2-3 tablespoons a day to boost their immune function. Mix it into a smoothie, your favorite herbal tea or in a warm breakfast porridge.

3. Rub the oil onto your skin to prevent stretch marks and itchy skin that seems to grow with your belly.

4. Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion.

5. Virgin coconut oil balances blood sugar, controls diabetes and helps combat morning sickness.

6. During those first few newborn diaper changes, coconut oil will help remove the sticky meconium from your little one’s tush.

7. Breastfeeding mamas can use it on their nipples when they become cracked or painful.

8. Eating a few tablespoons of coconut oil each day can increase your milk flow.

9. Coconut oil is the perfect way to remove your baby’s stubborn cradle cap.

10. Use coconut oil to battle your baby’s diaper rash (it is especially good for a yeast infection rash).

11. Need a pick me up after the hard work of taking care of your munchkin? Eat a spoonful for a boost of natural energy.

12. Coconut oil taken both internally and topically can help treat the yeast that causes both thrush and candida. A little oil dabbed inside your baby’s mouth, as well as mom eating it and applying it to her nipples before breastfeeding is very effective.

13. If you or your little one has eczema, rub coconut oil on your skin to soothe it.

14. Coconut oil makes a great hair conditioner that can tame that weird dry/falling out stage your hair goes through after pregnancy.

What about you? How do you like to use coconut oil? Cheers to a healthy and comfortable pregnancy with coconut oil!

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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