Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by Ines
Olive Oil for pregnant women
The olive tree is a symbol of peace, science, wisdom, and knowledge. Olive oil obtained from its fruits has enormous nutritional and healing effects in the body. It contains numerous active ingredients, which are beneficial for pregnant women as well.
Olive oil is considered safe during pregnancy! Adding it to an everyday pregnancy diet has benefits for both a pregnant woman and her baby! Not only that, but olive oil is also very beneficial when applied to the skin. As such, it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy against stretch marks in pregnancy.
Find out everything about olive oil in pregnancy, its benefits, and recommended amounts during pregnancy.
Is it safe to consume olive oil during pregnancy?
Women can consume olive oil during pregnancy safely! You can add it to your pregnancy diet without any reservations!
Due to its specific aroma, many people eliminate olive oil from their daily diet, but if knowing its benefits, they wouldn’t do so!
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, sterols, phenols, and other healthy substances. Regular use of olive oil lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, promotes more effective insulin action, reduces the possibility of some forms of cancer, prevents gallstones and stomach ulcers.
Olive oil can be used during pregnancy in the preparation of almost any dish, including desserts.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Pregnant Women
The most effective and proven benefits of consuming olive oil during pregnancy are:
- preventing constipation
- better absorption of vitamins, which contributes to various body functions, such as better immunity, healthier hair, better skin elasticity, or better eye-health
Olive oil is a source of essential fatty acids and dietary fiber:
A pregnant woman’s body needs higher concentrations of essential fatty acids, and olive oil is one of the best natural sources of them.
Olive oil is rich in dietary fiber, so it’s very easy to digest. That is significant for pregnant women who face constipation, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Some experts argue that only one teaspoon of olive oil a day helps with digestion.
It is a natural source of vitamins:
Fats are an essential part of a balanced pregnancy diet. Besides helping with digestion, fats store fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Regular consumption of olive oil not only helps to store vitamins but also improves their absorption in the body.
Its most prominent benefit in pregnancy is increased absorption of vitamin E.
- Vitamin E improves skin elasticity and thus reduces stretch marks.
- It participates in the proper formation and growth of the placenta.
- Vitamin E prevents oxidative stress. Some research has shown links between oxidative stress during pregnancy and the development of pre-eclampsia. But further studies about its prevention of pre-eclampsia must be done.
- Vitamin E helps your baby to adapt better to the oxygen-filled environment, soon after birth.
- Consuming Vitamin E in pregnancy may also help the baby to develop better lungs.
Olive oil is power-packed with antioxidants:
Olive oil is a treasure trove of antioxidants and polyphenols that protect us from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are poisons that cause chronic diseases and accelerate aging. They form due to our exposure to toxic substances, such as pesticides, artificial colors, medicines, etc.
Although we can be careful, we cannot avoid those substances entirely. As antioxidants help the body to nullify the harmful effects of those poisons, a healthy diet with foods high in antioxidants is advised, not only in pregnancy but all the time.
Olive Oil’s benefits in fetal development
- Omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil are beneficial for your baby’s heart development.
- Olive oil during pregnancy improves the baby’s brain function and development.
- Regular olive oil consumption during pregnancy may positively impact the height and weight of the baby.
- Babies born to mothers who consumed olive oil regularly during their pregnancy had better psychomotor reflexes in comparison to those born to women who did not consume olive oil during their pregnancy.
Olive Oil for reducing Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
Pregnant women take care of the belly skin differently. Some use expensive lotions, other natural oils, or they are convinced that stretch marks depend on the skin structure.
Every pregnancy is different, and the same goes for the skin. While in some pregnant women, the skin remains the same, in other stretch marks appears despite the use of various cosmetics products.
Dermatologists point out that the price of cosmetics does not always reflect its quality. During pregnancy, sometimes it’s better to trust simple products, such as olive oil, rather than the high budget products that promise wonders.
The reality is that the result will be more or less the same in the end. If you are prone to pregnancy stretch marks, you will most likely not avoid them completely. However, you can help your skin, and at least alleviate them a little! So, why would you spend tones of money on expensive skin products if you can use a natural product, such as olive oil, that costs less?
Is olive oil really so effective against stretch marks in pregnancy?
Regards to the studies, it’s not. There is no evidence that applying olive oil on the skin helps against stretch marks. But it does have many positive effects on the skin, and you shouldn’t give up on it during pregnancy! Olive oil has wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects when applied topically!
Also, when interpreting the studies’ results, one significant fact is often overlooked. Studies on olive oil effectiveness against pregnancy stretch marks have been done only by applying olive oil to the skin, while the effects of its regular consumption are often forgotten.
Olive oil is full of vitamins, including vitamin E, which improves skin elasticity. Olive oil also improves vitamin E absorption, so that the body can use its positive effects to the fullest.
Including olive oil in a healthy pregnancy diet improves the skin elasticity and is efficient in the fight against stretch marks!
Natural remedies for better skin during pregnancy
First of all, make sure you opt for good quality, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Rub it onto your skin and let your skin absorb the moisture.
You will get better results if you warm the olive oil before the application. To prevent burns, heat it just a little above your skin temperature! Warm olive oil will absorb better into the skin and improve your blood circulation.
Olive oil also works very well in combination with other skin-protecting and nourishing ingredients. Here are a few home remedies with olive oil that you may try during pregnancy.
Shea Butter with Olive oil against stretch marks in pregnancy
Shea Butter moisturizes dry, cracked skin, fades scars, and stretch marks, boosts collagen production, and relieves skin irritation.
- Use any cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil from your local store
- I use unrefined African Shea Butter
- For the scent, you can add essential oils to the mix. I use Lavender essential oil, which is one of the best essential oils in pregnancy.
Homemade body scrub against stretch marks in pregnancy
The structure of coffee grounds helps to get rid of dead skin cells, keeps the skin soft, and improves the skin’s ability to absorb lotions.
- The active ingredient that works to smooth and tighten skin is caffeine, so use only regular caffeinated coffee.
- Pregnant women should drink coffee only in moderate amounts, but what about applying it onto the skin. Your skin may absorb just a little caffeine through the skin, so it is considered safe during pregnancy.
- However, if you want to avoid caffeine during pregnancy completely, don’t use this body scrub.
Mix Olive Oil with Turmeric for tightening your skin
Turmeric tighten the skin, keeps it healthy, and prevents skin aging.
Aloe Vera with Olive Oil for pregnancy stretch marks
Aloe Vera stores water and nutrients and is widely considered a natural treatment for stretch marks. It hydrates the skin, improves its elasticity, keeps it soft, and prevents skin damages. Such skin stretches more easily and thus prevent stretch marks.
- If you don’t have an Aloe Vera plant, you can buy an organic Aloe Vera gel made of freshly cut plants.
Side effects of olive oil during pregnancy
Like any other thing in pregnancy, moderation is key. Also, every pregnancy is different, and what may be beneficial for someone may not be for the other.
In general, using olive oil in culinary should not be problematic. But if you have never used it before, consult your health care provider first.
Possible side effect while applying olive oil on the skin during pregnancy
Pregnant women with sensitive skin, and any skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, should avoid olive oil. Applying olive oil on the skin may change its natural barrier, leading into a dry, redness, or irritating skin. Olive oil can also aggravate atopic dermatitis in pregnant women suffering from this disease.
If you do not face any of the above problems, there is only a minimal chance that you are allergic to olive oil. But as it is better to be safe than sorry, do a patch test before using it.
To prevent olive oil oxidation, store it in a glass bottle, preferably made of dark glass, and away from direct sunlight and moisture.
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