Health Benefits of Coconut During Pregnancy


Coconut Oil and Pregnancy: HybridRastaMama

In tropical countries all over the world, coconuts have long been praised as having fertility and pregnancy enhancing properties. In India, for example, a woman hoping to conceive will go to her priest for a special coconut; Thai babies receive, as their first solid food, three spoonfuls of soft coconut meat from their priests; a Balinese woman is forbidden to touch a coconut tree for fear she will drain its fertility into her own; and pregnant women from tropical countries consume large amounts of coconut water, hoping to increase their unborn child’s strength and vitality.

In addition to these traditions, there is now scientific evidence of the numerous health benefits of coconuts. While these health-boosting properties extend to everyone, they can be particularly beneficial to pregnant women. I have scoured all of my coconut resources and created a list of some of the powerful ways the coconut can be a pregnant woman’s ideal food product to consume.

Quick disclaimer – I am required to clearly state that I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I pretend to be one on this site. Take what I write as a launching off point to do your own research. My advice, experience, and suggestions are not to be considered medical advice.

Health Benefits of Coconut During Pregnancy

1. As nature’s “sports drink,” it keeps the body well hydrated. In fact, coconut water not only replaces fluids and minerals lost during physical exertion but it provides those extras needed to help support pregnancy and expanding blood volume.

2. It alleviates vomiting. Coconut water has long been used as a remedy for typhoid, malaria and other illness-induced vomiting. It also helps with a bad case of morning sickness.

3. Along those same lines, it soothes the stomach. In addition to offering some relief from actual vomiting, coconut water can quell a queasy tummy and lessen the symptoms of nausea.

4. It is a mild laxative. Drinking moderate amounts of coconut water or consuming at least 4 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily can help to keep things running smoothly and relieve the constipation so common during pregnancy.

5. It keeps the body cool. With excess weight, progesterone, and anxiety, it’s easy to get overheated during pregnancy. Drinking coconut water helps to regulate body temperature and keep you cool.

6. Virgin coconut oil balances blood sugar and controls diabetes. This also helps keep morning sickness in check and offers some protection against gestational diabetes.

7. It boosts the immune system. Virgin coconut oil is comprised of nearly 50% lauric acid, which has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. This can help protect a mother-to-be from a host of potentially threatening infections as well as boost her immunity, which is naturally weakened during pregnancy.

8. It alkalizes the body. High in potassium, magnesium and other alkalizing minerals, coconut water can help to create an environment more conducive to conception and perhaps even reduce the risk of miscarriage.

9. It cleanses the kidneys and offers protection against Urinary Tract Infections. UTIs are very common during pregnancy and can be dangerous if antibiotics are not used to treat them. Of course antibiotics during pregnancy have a whole host of risks!

10. It is amazing for skin. Coconut oil can be applied to soothe the dry, itchy skin associated with pregnancy. It may also help to reduce the occurrence of stretch marks. When applied to the perineum in the weeks leading up to labor, it can help reduce tearing during birth. Coconut water applied to the face helps to clear blackheads and acne that many women experience with the surge of hormones during pregnancy.

11. It promotes healthy lactation. The only other significant source of lauric acid is human breast milk. Research has shown that lactating mothers who consume virgin coconut oil and other coconut products have higher levels of lauric and capric acids in their breast milk. This increases its antimicrobial and immune boosting properties, while promoting both brain and bone development in the infant. Since the body stores lauric acid in the adipose tissues, consuming coconut during pregnancy may also help to ensure successful lactation.

Clearly, coconut, coconut water, and coconut oil are something every pregnant woman should try to incorporate into her lifestyle. Of course, if you are allergic to coconut or latex, you need to avoid it like the plaque. I am constantly amazed at the wonders of coconut. 

Be sure to check out my Products I Love page for information on where to purchase coconut oil! Don’ t forget to read the other posts in my Coconut Health series!

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  1. says

    I work with a lot of Indians, and one of the older ladies told me to drink and eat Coconut when I was having problems with lactating. It worked! : )

  2. says

    Where do I find coconut water? Is that different than coconut milk? I don’t care for the meat of a coconut, but I like the liquid. I’m pregnant *and* breastfeeding, so I can use all the help I can get!

    I’m not worried about stretch marks, though. After 3 kids, I’ve got them everywhere and wear them with pride! :-)

  3. says

    Jorje – you can get coconut water at any health food store. Totally different than coconut milk. Amazon also sells it and if you sign up for a recurring monthly shipment you get a good deal. There are all kinds of brands out there so I would check a local store first and see what one you like best.

  4. amy says

    I’m just wondering if 2-3 tablespoons are safe to take with elevit. I was taking coconut oil prior to pregnancy and I swear that’s what got me pregnant. I have bad kidneys and this helped soo much prior to pregnancy. I’m in my first trimester so I want to make sure its fine with elevit.

  5. says

    @amy Coconut oil is completely safe and harmless. In all of my research I have never stumble on anything mentioning a drug interaction. However, I am not a medical professional so you may want to do further research. But if it were me, I would take the two together without worry! Good luck to you mama!

  6. Anonymous says

    I’m wanting to increase my milk supply should I use refined or unrefined? Does drilling coconut water & eating coconut meat help too! Cuz I do loooove coconut!!! :)


  7. says

    @Jenn – yes – drilling/drinking (couldn’t resist) coconut water and eating meat helps! The coconut water is a powerful hydrator and the meat in rich is good fats. Unrefined is always the better choice so I suggest that! Check out my resource page for the brands I endorse!

  8. Robo says

    hi! love this website.. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and found a recipe for coconut milk…I’m confused if it’s safe to use this coconut milk from a can since it’s different than coconut water. thank you!

  9. says

    @Robo You can use coconut milk from a can but be weary of the BPA in the actual cans. This goes for any canned good. There are some products in BPA free cans and those are preferable. Coconut milk is super easy to make though so if you can, try your hand at it!

  10. says

    Hello, I just read that this helps with breastfeeding – I’ll start tomorrow! I’m just wondering how long do I consume the coconut oil before seeing results? A week or two? Also, my babe is almost 5 months old, will it still help with increasing breastmilk at this point? Thanks.

    • Anonymous says

      The key to increase milk supply is to feed, feed, feed. And pump in-between feedings. Do not supplement with any formula. I know it will feel like a lot of work but it’s worth it. I’ve just started consuming coconut oil so not sure how it works with milk supply but what always worked for me is fenugreek. 2-3 capsules 2-3 times per day and in about 2 days I had more milk, plenty. I’m currently 6 wks pregnant and still nursing. Good luck and hope something works for you 

  11. says

    Thanks, but I’ve tried all of that, with no success. I fed and pumped every 2-3 hours for weeks on end. Took fenugreek upto 14 tabs 3 times per day with no change. Took blessed thistle and didn’t do anything. Now I’m taking domperidone and still not full supply and MUST supplement with formula. Hoped coconut oil would help but doubtful

  12. says

    It is a mild laxative. Drinking moderate amounts of coconut water or consuming at see that least 4 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily can help to keep things running smoothly and relieve the constipation so common during pregnancy.

  13. says

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks

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