coconut oil and breastfeeding

I found this article in my inbox and I wanted to share with my readers.  Lately, I’ve been using my coconut oil as a moisturizer and have loved it.  It smells good and there aren’t any chemicals in it!  Come to find out, it’s good for breast milk too.  I typically buy my organic extra virgin unfiltered coconut oil on so I can get the subscribe and save discounts.  Here’s a link for the brand I buy.  Read the short article below for more details on how to make your liquid gold, golden.


The unique composition of human breast milk fat includes the fatty acids, lauric acid and capric acid, which have potent antimicrobial properties. These fatty acids offer the nursing infant protection from viruses such as herpes and HIV, protozoa such as giardia lamblia, and bacteria such as chlamydia and heliocobater.

A study published in 1998 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and other coconut products, have significantly increased levels of lauric acid and capric acid in their breast milk. Thus, the milk supply has increased amounts of the protective antimicrobials , which will give even greater protection to the nursing infant.

Pregnant females store fat to assure successful lactation. Any lauric acid and capric acid in the diet becomes part of the adipose stores. The milk fat of a lactating mother is made up of these stores as well as her current diet. If her diet doesn’t contain lauric acid, then generally her milk fat will contain around 3% lauric acid and round 1% capric acid.

When a lactating woman adds foods rich in lauric acid to her diet, the amount of lauric acid available in her breastmilk increases substantially to levels three times the original level and nearly double the amount of capric acid. In countries where coconut oil is a diet staple, levels of lauric acid in the mother’s milk can be as high as 21% and capric acid can be as high as 6% giving her infant even more protection against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.

Coconut oil can be used instead of butter in cooking and baking. You can stir it into oatmeal or even use it as a spread. Also, this oil’s antimicrobial properties are beneficial for the skin. Pregnant women in many cultures the world over rub cocnut oil on their expanding bellies to keep skin soft and prevent itching.


Fife, Bruce. The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil

Francois CA, Connor SL, Wander RC, Connor WE. Acute effects of dietary fatty acids on the fatty acids of human milk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998;67:301-308.

Bach, A.C., et. al. 1989. Clinical and experimental effects of medium chain triglyceride based fat emulsions-a review. Clin. Nutr. 8:223

© Cori Young, 2004- Cori Young is an author and herbalist who publishes a line of health & wellness charts which can be seen at

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8 Responses to Coconut Oil and Breastfeeding

  1. Holly Buss says:

    Oh, interesting. I use coconut milk to sweeten up my smoothies. I wonder if the milk has any of the same benefits as the oil. I have that same brand coconut oil in my pantry, but has expired long ago. Maybe I could still use it as a moisturizer and buy some new for cooking.

  2. Holly Buss says:

    Thought this might interest you…
    Tons of uses for coconut oil!!

  3. Amy Dearie says:

    Coconut Oil is also a great alternative lubricant for folks that are allergic to the synthetic KY’s and such. Great for massage, edible, and good for you. :D

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