A GNA feature by Yaa Oforiwa Asare-Peasah and Kaku Kyiamah (Ph. D)
Accra, Feb. 19, GNA - A pregnant woman is always a pleasure to see. The pregnancy gives a feeling of a miracle in the making. It is widely held that a woman remembers fondly the period during pregnancy and the delivery of her baby. However, many women tend to dislike some of the consequential physical changes such as stretch marks, varicose veins and weak pelvic floor. They also dread a difficult labour period and other possible undesirable outcomes.
The good news is that these undesirable consequences of a pregnancy can be prevented or minimized. The use of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) before, during and after pregnancy as food, body/hair lotion and massaging oil would assist you to deliver a healthy bouncing baby and to keep your hair and skin supple while preventing stretch marks on your stomach, breasts, legs and buttocks. It will also reduces the likelihood of varicose veins.
The milk of lactating mothers has been known to prevent infections that would harm the suckling baby. In 1966, research scientists led by Professor Jon J. Kabara of Michigan University found that the main active health promoting substance in the mothers milk is the same as the fatty acids found in coconut oil. These fatty acids destroy micro organisms and promote good health. The fatty acids are anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacteria. Hence, coconut oil has been classified as a functional food as it provides health benefits beyond its nutritional value.
Since 1966, many studies have been carried out on the effect of VCO on health. The results are excellent and often beyond expectation. A number of patents based on virgin coconut oil and its derivatives for medical formulations have been approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration such as:
- The use of coconut oil as intravenous infusions for improving the survival chances of pre-mature babies
- Axona for managing Alzheimer disease and dementia
- Lauricidin for managing autism and epilepsy and healing herpes and hepatitis
The VCO as part of the normal daily diet performs better than the patented medical formulations.
Edible Oil and Pregnancy:
The VCO in the diet provides the suitable fatty acids in the bilayer of fatty acids surrounding the cell and the esters inside the cell, while preventing the production of prostaglandins and free radicals that harm the cells and organs. In an extensive review of studies on Prostaglandins and Cancer, Dr Susan M. Fischer of M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas identified prostaglandins as being involved in cancers, DNA damage and cell mutations. The implication is that prostaglandins create the conditions for genetic and congenital diseases and defective senses.
During pregnancy, eating oils with high levels of poly unsaturated fatty acids causes prostaglandins to be secreted by the foetal membranes and placenta as spelt out by Jack DeRuiter in Principles of Drug Action.
Prostaglandins have a very disruptive role in the final events leading to the initiation of labour and the failure of the cervix to undergo natural physiological changes prior to the onset of effective uterine contractions. In order to avoid pre-mature delivery or worse conditions, anti-prostaglandins drugs are often used for initiation or continuation of cervical ripening in pregnant women at or near term with a medical or obstetric need for labour induction.
Eating diets containing virgin coconut oil, and avoiding processed unsaturated vegetable oils, the main source of poly unsaturated fatty acids, during pregnancy would prevent the production and secretion of prostaglandins and free radicals.
VCO in the diet also enhances the metabolism of vitamins, micronutrients and minerals. The concomitant result is better physical energy while reducing the incidence of tiredness, migraine, body pains and complications during pregnancy.
VCO diets support the cervix to undergo natural physiological changes prior to the onset of uterine contractions, thus making it far less likely for drugs or surgical procedure to be used for the initiation of labour.
This will create the conditions for natural delivery of a bouncing baby while reducing considerably, the likelihood of still birth, premature babies, maternal death among other defects and congenital disorders such as metabolic, neural and autoimmune diseases such as autism, Downs syndrome and childhood obesity.
Immediately after delivery rubbing gently the nipples and breast with virgin coconut oil initiates the immediate flow of the breast milk. As a cultural practice, the first meal of the new mother should be either fresh palm soup rich with palm oil and yams or virgin coconut oil in mashed yam with eggs (ETO). Yams promote fertility and tropical saturated oils promote good health.
In order to sustain the benefits of VCO diet after delivery, the preferred oil for the lactating mothers diet should be tropical saturated oils such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and shea butter. This will ensure creamy breast milk to support the healthy growth of the baby.
VCO diet for the post lactating child prevents herpes, autism, childhood asthma and many childhood ailments and diseases and strengthens the childs five senses including eyesight, hearing, speech, feeling and the reflexes.
VCO as part of the normal daily diet of the mother strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and makes the uterus and vagina more pliant and elastic. This ensures that the pelvic floor and related organs are ready for the next pregnancy.
The phenomenon of Stretch marks should be attended to early or before they show up, before pregnancy or immediately pregnancy occurs. Stretch marks are a bit challenging to treat after they have assumed deep indentations. Keep skin moisturized, pliant and easy to stretch during pregnancy by massaging with coconut oil, at least once a day but preferably twice a day, deep into breasts, belly, hips, legs and buttocks in the morning and evening after your bath. This will assist in the elimination of stretch marks and avoidance of varicose veins.
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