The Benefits and Considerations of Coconut during Pregnancy

Oil pulling with coconut oil is a practice where individuals swish a mouthful of coconut oil for about 20 minutes. Research suggests that oil pulling may provide benefits such as reducing bad breath, minimizing plaque on teeth, preventing cavities, and strengthening mouth muscles, as indicated by a 2016 research review. While some anecdotal evidence suggests potential improvements in conditions like migraines, allergies, and kidney issues, more research is necessary to validate these claims. During pregnancy, dental concerns such as gingivitis or tooth erosion may arise, according to the American Dental Association. While oil pulling seems to be generally safe during pregnancy, there is limited research both supporting and opposing the practice. It's important to note that oil pulling should not replace essential oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. To try oil pulling at home, take a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, place it in your mouth, and swish it around gently for approximately 20 minutes. Ideally, perform oil pulling in the morning on an empty stomach, although this might be challenging if you experience morning sickness during pregnancy. Afterward, spit the oil into a trash can (avoid the sink to prevent pipe clogging) and follow up by brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with salt water. Always consult with your healthcare provider or dentist before adopting new practices, especially during pregnancy.

Dr Uma Mishra, Gynecologist

3/10/20243 min read

woman holding stomach
woman holding stomach

The Versatility of Coconut during Pregnancy

Coconut, both as a food and as an oil, can be a beneficial addition to a pregnant woman's diet. Known for its versatile uses and health benefits, coconut offers a range of nutrients that can support maternal health and contribute to the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. It contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Coconut also contains healthy fats, and lauric acid, and can help with rehydration and nausea.

Coconut as a Food Source during Pregnancy

Coconut is a nutrient-rich fruit that provides various essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Incorporating coconut into your diet during pregnancy can offer several advantages:

1. Rich in Essential Nutrients

Coconut is packed with essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. These nutrients play a crucial role in supporting the overall health and development of the baby.

2. Natural Source of Healthy Fats

Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of healthy fat that can provide a quick source of energy. These fats are easily digested and can help support the increased energy demands during pregnancy.

3. Boosts Immune Function

Coconut is known for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which can help strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system during pregnancy can help protect both the mother and the baby from infections and illnesses.

Coconut Oil and its Benefits during Pregnancy

In addition to consuming coconut as a food, using coconut oil in cooking can also offer certain advantages during pregnancy:

1. Heart-Healthy Option

Coconut oil is a plant-based saturated fat that is considered heart-healthy when consumed in moderation. It contains lauric acid, which can help increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body.

2. Supports Digestive Health

Coconut oil has been traditionally used to promote healthy digestion. Its antimicrobial properties can help combat harmful bacteria in the gut, reducing the risk of digestive issues such as constipation and bloating.

3. Moisturizes and Soothes Skin

During pregnancy, many women experience changes in their skin, including dryness and itchiness. Coconut oil can be applied topically to moisturize and soothe the skin, providing relief from discomfort.

Considerations for Food Selection during Pregnancy

While coconut and coconut oil offer numerous benefits, it is important to consider certain factors when selecting foods during pregnancy:

1. Allergies and Sensitivities

Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to coconut. If you have never consumed coconut before or have experienced any adverse reactions in the past, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating it into your diet.

2. Moderation is Key

Although coconut and coconut oil are nutritious, they should be consumed in moderation. Like any other food, excessive intake can lead to an imbalance in the overall diet. It is essential to maintain a varied and balanced diet throughout pregnancy.

3. Quality and Sourcing

When selecting coconut oil, opt for organic, cold-pressed varieties to ensure the highest quality and purity. Avoid refined coconut oils that may contain additives or undergo chemical processing.

4. Overall Diet Diversity

While coconut and coconut oil can be beneficial, it is crucial to focus on a diverse range of nutrient-rich foods during pregnancy. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and other healthy fats to ensure a well-rounded diet.

5. Consult with a Healthcare Provider

Every pregnancy is unique, and individual dietary needs may vary. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific requirements and medical history.


Coconut, both as a food and as an oil, can be a valuable addition to a pregnant woman's diet. Its nutrient content, healthy fats, and potential health benefits make it a versatile choice. However, it is important to consider individual factors, moderation, and overall dietary diversity when incorporating coconut into your pregnancy diet. Consulting with a Good Gynecologist will ensure that you make informed decisions and maintain a balanced approach to nutrition throughout this special time.

You may consult Dr Uma Mishra, Gynecologist in Noida. Call 8130550269 to book Consult.