We all love having that cool, energizing and natural coconut water straight from the fruit itself to beat the heat on a hot and sunny day. But a lot of us Asian mums believe that coconut water might be too “cooling” and only drink it during the last trimester.
During the last trimester, a lot of Asian mums also believe that consuming a lot of coconut water will help “clean” your baby, so that the amount of vernix caseosa (the waxy or cheese-like white substance found coating the skin of newborn babies) is reduced when the baby is born.
Benefits of Consuming Coconut Water During Pregnancy
According to Dr. Hon Sook Kit, Gynaecologist, Gleneagles Medini Hospital, coconut water is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes help to relieve heart burn, constipation, and more importantly, they are necessary for healthy muscle and nerve activities during labour.
Coconut water also fights against dehydration, and replenishes lost fluids as 95% of its content is water. Good hydration helps to maintain good blood flow to the uterus and, indirectly, to the baby.
Studies have also shown that good hydration can result in good liquor volume, which is an important part of the baby’s wellbeing. And when baby is strong and healthy, he or she will be able to withstand the stress of labour much better.
Precautions to take when consuming coconut water
Coconuts are best consumed immediately after they are cut as they are ripe with nutrients then. Do also keep in mind that a ripe coconut can be harmful as it leads to constipation and can also increase a person’s body fat.
It is best to restrict the intake of coconut water to one glass a day in order to prevent an overdose of sodium or potassium. Some doctors may recommend that you stop drinking coconut water two weeks before surgery.
Side-Effects of Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy
Generally, coconut water is safe to be consumed during pregnancy by most women. However, just like any other food or beverage, moderation is key as coconut water also contains sodium, which should be avoided if a pregnant woman is suffering from high blood pressure and is on medication for it. Always discuss with your doctor before consuming coconut water if you have blood pressure issues.