Breastfeeding

Is Coconut Oil Safe For Breastfeeding & Pumping?

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Breastfeeding can sometimes be a painful experience. A shallow latch or infection is the main cause of sore nipples and oral thrush.

These burning pains can reduce a mother’s happiness every time she breastfeeds. They need to use nipple cream to soothe the skin in this situation. One of the natural nipple creams commonly used is coconut oil.

So, can you use coconut oil as a nipple cream while breastfeeding? Is it safe for your baby to ingest? The answer is yes and yes. This natural oil is not only safe for your nipples but also for your baby’s health.

To learn more about its benefits, keep reading below!

Is Coconut Oil Safe To Use On Nipples While Breastfeeding?

Coconut oil is completely natural oil. So, it is safe for breastfed babies. A small amount of oil on your nipples certainly won’t harm your baby. On the contrary, it has certain health benefits.

This type of oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids and beneficial fatty acids. Babies can digest them in breast milk to increase their immune systems.

Better yet, coconut oil appears in almost every kitchen. Any mother can take advantage of this oil to moisturize their cracked nipples. It also acts as an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent to prevent cracks and infections from spreading.

With all the benefits mentioned above, this oil is a no-brainer that you should consider first when looking for gentle nipple cream. However, everyone’s body is different and some babies may be allergic to coconut.

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your baby, discontinue use immediately and contact your doctor for appropriate advice.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil While Breastfeeding

Coconut oil is a great natural cream with so many uses. Let’s explore them in the section below.

1. Heal Cracked Nipples

In recent years, several scientific studies have demonstrated coconut oil’s effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to the Natural Medicine Journal, the rich lauric acid content in this oil can kill many types of bacteria on the skin. That’s why coconut oil is good for sore nipples from breastfeeding.

You can say goodbye to cracked nipples. The high moisture content in the oil also helps soothe the skin very well. As soon as signs of pain are detected, apply some oil to the cracked nipples. It will limit the spread of the infection.

2. It Can Help With Oral Thrush

When a mother’s nipples are damaged, it can facilitate the entry of candida fungus. This fungus causes an oral thrush that can be painful for moms and babies in the long run.

The pain from thrush is very persistent and can last for hours after each feeding. If you are experiencing this, use oral antifungal liquids to treat it.

The most common and benign liquid is coconut oil. You can apply it around your nipples after breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can also use coconut oil to treat thrush in your baby. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly before applying to avoid infection.

Treatment usually takes two to three days. You will need to talk to your doctor directly if you are not making progress after a week.

3. Lubricate Breast Pump Flanges

Even if you use a well-fitting nipple shield while pumping, the process can still cause friction and pain. Coconut oil is a good lubricant for breast pumping. You can use it to lubricate the flange before use.

This oil works to reduce friction between the nipple and the flange. So, the pumping process will be smoother, and you will be able to pump even more milk. There is no need to use too much, and you just need to apply a little oil.

4. Increase Antimicrobial Properties Of Milk Supply

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who consumed this oil produced more antibacterial lubricants.

Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), capric acid, and lauric acid work against bacteria and germs. As a result, the baby has a better immune system.

This type of oil also provides better energy for the baby. So, don’t worry if it mixes with breast milk during breastfeeding.

FAQ

If you have any questions regarding coconut oil and how to use it, let’s find out!

Do I Need To Wash Off Coconut Oil Before Breastfeeding?

Many nursing moms often apply coconut oil on their nipples to relieve the burning pain of chapped and damaged skin. This natural essence is a safe and effective therapy.

You don’t even need to clean your breasts before feeding your baby. Coconut oil is safe to ingest and can boost your baby’s health.

Is Refined Or Unrefined Coconut Oil Better For Breastfeeding?

Although refined and unrefined coconut oils share the same nutritional profile, they still have some differences.

The first difference lies in the extraction method. While the unrefined oil is pressed directly from the fresh coconut meat, the refined oil will have to go through several steps to make it suitable for cooking.

The two ways of producing unrefined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil are dry and wet. Each method has different characteristics, and wet processing is more popular.

For skincare and breastfeeding, both types are suitable. They all contain a high level of triglycerides to moisturize the skin. However, unrefined coconut oil is a better choice because they are more natural. Its flavor is also richer and more coconut-scented than the other option.

Can You Take Coconut Oil Pills While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you absolutely can. This natural oil has antibacterial properties and can be passed into breast milk through the bloodstream.

You can take coconut oil pills to improve the nutritional content of your milk supply. This enhanced milk will increase the baby’s resistance to fighting bacteria and viruses.

The high levels of lauric acid and capric acid in these pills cause your body to produce more milk. Lauric acid has also been shown to be an important substance in promoting the development of babies.

Add this oil to your daily diet. With just some capsules, your body already has enough nutrients to produce milk for the next three days. Besides oil, coconut milk and water also help with milk supply.

Conclusion

To summarize, you can use coconut oil for cracked and sore nipples while breastfeeding. It’s also safe for babies to ingest. Besides, you don’t need to apply too much oil for each use. Your skin can absorb the oil quickly, so that it will be cost-effective.

Hopefully, you find the answer in this article. Don’t hesitate to share your real nursing experiences with us in the comments below!

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