When pregnant, you are asked to use more of certain things and avoid a few others due to their impact on the pregnancy and the baby. Olive oil is one such ingredient. Pregnant women are advised to use and consume more olive oil for the various benefits it can offer during pregnancy.
Read on to know when, how and why many recommend the use of olive oil in pregnancy.
Olive oil is regularly consumed by many across the world. It is a safe ingredient to consume in moderation. Remember, your body undergoes numerous changes during pregnancy. You may not tolerate certain food items as well as before. So, if you are consuming olive oil during pregnancy, do not overdo it because of its numerous benefits. Consuming too much of anything is never a great idea, especially during pregnancy.
Topical application of any oil including olive oil is mostly safe as it won’t reach the baby. The risk is in the way it is applied. If you plan to get yourself an olive oil massage during pregnancy, ensure you get it from qualified professionals who are certified in pregnancy massages.
As mentioned above, you can add olive oil to your dishes or use it topically too. You can find recipes and ideas for numerous dishes using olive oil, online. You can use it in seasoning your salad or other food items. You can even use the oil on your skin for its deep moisturizing effect.
Stretch marks are one of the most feared outcomes of pregnancy. Most women want to avoid stretch marks or find a magical cream that can make them vanish. Olive oil can reduce the appearance of these stretch marks caused by the expansion of the woman’s belly.
Applying olive oil to the bump and other areas when the skin is expanding rapidly, can help reduce the appearance of the stretch marks. Olive oil can deeply moisturize your skin and prevent it from drying or itching. Check with your doctor before topical application.
Olive oil is very good for your skin. Massaging olive oil around your C-section scar can reduce the itchiness and heal the skin faster. The vitamins K and E in olive oil can help nourish and prevent skin damage. However, use it on your scar only after the doctor confirms your wound has healed or dried and after taking their approval.
Consuming olive oil during pregnancy can help improve your immunity. It contains Vitamins A, K and E, all of which can help improve your immunity and protect you better during pregnancy. You can add it to your salads or replace other oils in your cooking, but ensure you don’t overconsume.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for the heart and olive oil is rich in them. Consuming olive oil during pregnancy can help in the healthy development of the baby’s brain.
Some studies show that consuming olive oil during pregnancy can help improve the fetus's psychomotor reflexes.
Constipation is a common phenomenon in pregnancy. Consuming one spoon of olive oil on an empty stomach is believed to soften your stools and relieve constipation.
Like anything else, olive oil has its own set of side effects too, when used during pregnancy. Here are a few of them :
1. Acne – Olive oil is very thick and can occlude the skin pores. Over usage of this oil, without cleansing the skin properly can lead to the clogging of pores, which can result in acne.
2. Diarrhea – Overconsumption of olive oil can result in watery stools or diarrhea or even cramps, which can be very uncomfortable during pregnancy.
3. Allergies – Hormonal changes in pregnancy can cause allergic reactions to the use of olive oil. You can develop rashes due to topical application or even respiratory allergies if consumed internally. If you feel olive oil is not suiting you, you should stop using it in any form during pregnancy.
4. Unsafe for Baby Skin – Topical application of olive oil might help the mother’s skin but can cause rashes on the baby’s skin. Their skin is very tender and reacts easily to items that are not designed for their skin. Always check with a pediatrician before using olive oil topically for baby.
5. Contains fat – Olive oil is high in monosaturated fats and calories. Consuming a lot of olive oil regularly can not only increase your weight but can lead to various other complications too.
6. Reduces Blood Pressure – Many people add olive oil to their regular diet due to its effect on their blood pressure. When you are pregnant, your blood pressure fluctuates and even experience a sudden drop. Overconsumption of olive oil, especially if you already have low blood pressure, can be very unsafe during pregnancy.
7. Nausea – Olive oil has a strong smell, which can be hard on some pregnant women. If pregnancy has made you sensitive to certain smells, olive oil’s smell can be difficult to ignore.
Olive oil has its benefits and side effects when used regularly. When you use or consume anything during pregnancy, you need to be cautious and pay attention to how your body reacts to it. Remember, using or consuming anything in moderation is the safest practice during pregnancy. And always consult a nutritionist on how to plan it into your diet.
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