Coconut oil is pressed from the white flesh of the coconut, and is rich in saturated fatty acids (mostly lauric and myristic acid), that are great for our health. It’s an ideal cooking oil and can be used in weight-loss programmes – it even has positive effects on cholesterol.
You’ll find two types of coconut oil commonly available: virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil.
Virgin Coconut Oil: This is made from fresh (raw) coconut meat, is cold-pressed, filtered and retains its natural coconut scent. What’s more is it is rich in natural micronutrients, but is more expensive than refined coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oil: This is made from dried coconut meat, is refined and processed. It has, however, no coconut scent and contains fewer micronutrients. It is also less expensive than virgin coconut oil.
Here are 21 mom and baby-friendly uses for coconut oil:
- Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of the foetus and newborn. Expectant mothers can ingest a couple spoonfuls a day to boost their immune function.
- Add several tablespoons of coconut oil to your bathwater for added moisture to your skin. A few drops of lavender essential oil will also make the bathwater soothing and relaxing.
- Rub the oil into your skin to prevent stretchmarks and itchy skin associated with a growing baby belly.
- Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion.
- Mix with a drop of lavender oil to soothe pregnancy-induced haemorrhoids.
- Virgin coconut oil balances blood sugar and controls diabetes and helps keep morning sickness under control.
- Mix it into your favourite pregnancy herbal tea.
- When applied to the perineum in the weeks leading up to labour, it can help reduce tearing and the need for an episiotomy during the birth.
- During those first few newborn diaper changes, coconut oil will help remove the sticky meconium from baby’s bottom.
- Coconut oil is the perfect carrier oil to remove baby’s stubborn cradle cap.
- Nursing mothers can use it on their nipples, which can become cracked and painful during breastfeeding.
- Consuming coconut oil can increase your milk flow.
- Rub the oil on your baby’s diaper rash – it’s especially good for a yeast infection rash.
- Add the oil to your homemade infant formula.
- When baby is sick, make your own homemade vapour rub with the help of coconut oil.
- Need a pick-me-up after the hard work of taking care of baby? Eat a spoonful for a boost of natural energy.
- Coconut oil taken both internally and topically can help treat the yeast that causes both thrush and candida. A little oil dabbed inside the baby’s mouth, as well as mom eating it and applying it to her nipples before breastfeeding is very effective.
- Take coconut oil to reduce or eliminate headaches and migraines.
- If you or your baby has eczema, rub coconut oil on your skin to soothe it.
- Take a spoonful of coconut oil 20 minutes before a meal to help curb your hunger.
- Coconut oil makes a great hair conditioner that can tame that awkward dry/falling out stage your hair goes through after pregnancy.
A few widely available coconut oil products are:
Crede, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Kapruka, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil Hair Shine from the Body Shop