Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Misleading information on Coconut Oil

I wanted to write this as a public service announcement.

A couple weeks ago, I read an article titled, "Ditch the Toxic Sunscreen; Use Coconut Oil Instead" by Anthony Gucciardi, on the website Affliction Free Naturally: a Guide to Healthy Living.

I thought, "Yes!! I'm new to this coconut oil thing, but I like it! And I've heard that regular sunscreen has a lot of extras we don't need in it. Sounds good, I'll try it!"

I even shared it on Facebook.

So, I packed up my pool bag, grabbed some waters and headed to the pool. With my container of 100% Organic, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Trader Joe's.

I laid my towel out, and started slathering on the coconut oil. It's very oily and shiny. I spread on a generous layer at 11:00 am. At about 11:45, I got in the pool for about 15-20 minutes. A little after 12:00 and drying off, I reapplied the coconut oil to my entire body again. At about 12:45 Hector got to the pool and we swam for about 30 minutes and then went in the house.

(Note that this is the same amount of applications I would do if I were using traditional sunscreen. About 2 times in 2.5 hours, and after dipping in the water)

(sneaking in a pic of 24 week baby boy!)
See, it's very shiny! Looks like any other tanning oil.

Me, all oblivious.

So yes, the article I cited above, states that coconut oil can be used as a sunscreen, as it has an SPF of 10, which means it blocks 90% of UVB rays. 

When I got out of my swimsuit to shower, I thought, "Wow, I got some pretty distinct tan lines.." 

When I got out of the shower, my skin was tingling a little, and looking pink. 

About 3 hours later, after we came out of a movie, and I went into the restroom at the theater, I was flabbergasted. My skin was the color of a tomato. And it itched and burned. It felt tight all over. And this is a problem for an ever-growing pregnant belly. 

This picture was taken 36 hours after the sun exposure. 

I would like to report that I have never, ever had a sunburn of this caliber. I have to take Tylenol to keep the pain at bay. It hurts to walk, to sit and especially to try and lay down and sleep. Thank the good Lord my pregnant belly didn't allow me to lay on my tummy under the sun, or my backside would be just as burned. 

I'm super embarrassed of my maroon-purple skin right now. People ask what happened and I almost just want to say I fell asleep at the pool. Sounds more likely than, "Oh.. I read an article about how to use coconut oil as sunscreen.. haha, yea, it says it works! But, uh.. obviously it failed me." 

I know my whole front side is going to peel in a few days and it's going to be atrocious. I'm layering on aloe lotion every chance I think of it. 

Part of this is my fault, definitely. For reading one article and running with it. I should have done more research and been more cautious. But honestly, I did not feel like I was burning, while I was outside. I really feel like an idiot. I'm also writing the author of this article, because it is absolutely false information that can seriously hurt people.

There may be ways to make your own natural sunscreen out of coconut oil, but KNOW THIS. Coconut Oil ALONE will not protect you from sunburn. Just learn from my painful experience. 

I still love coconut oil as an everyday moisturizer, and will continue to use it, as my skin heals. But I will never again use it for sunscreen. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

23 Week Update

We've made it to 23 weeks already! When July 7th came and went, I thought to myself, "How can there only be 4 months left??" (Since due date is November 7th!)

I was going to do a chalkboard picture at 22 weeks.. since it's an even week. But I worked that day, then I decided I'd wait for an update on Baby's heart to do a post. (Recall that at our last ultrasound, the gender scan, the doctor felt that the heart was a little more midline in the chest than it should have been, so she ordered another one for about 3 weeks later.)

We went in for a repeat ultrasound on Monday morning. We ARE still having a boy. :) And confirmed by both the tech and the MFM doctor who reviews/interprets sonos, Baby Boy's heart is perfect. It is in the right place, it's four chambers are doing exactly what they are supposed to do and it is the correct size. I believe God answered our prayers, and the prayers of many, and put our little boy's heart right back where it is supposed to go. We are so thankful.

So here you go! 23 weeks down, 17 to go!

We've only had the one check-up since my last update. But I did overdo it last week and baby told me to slow down. I was scheduled to work 5 days with only one day off in the middle. Well, by that fourth day, I was feeling it. We're not allowed to have water in our rooms at work anymore, and sometimes we're too busy to go to the break room. This causes Braxton-Hicks contractions. Which I was having frequently. This, coupled with a continuous lower back pain and not feeling the baby move at all for several hours (and some other unmentionable symptoms) had me calling my doctor on Friday. She advised me not to work that 5th day, so I had to call in on Saturday. And all day Saturday and Sunday, I laid on the couch and drank water. I felt much better and baby boy started back with his normal kicking and squirming. And everything at our check-up on Monday went perfect. She checked my cervix and said it was not budging, not to worry about that. :) BP was great, weight gain is good. And he was behaving perfectly on the ultrasound. So, I've definitely learned that I have to take it easy some and 5 days of 12 hour shifts is too much. Period. And to drink water. Like, once you think you've drank way too much water, drink double that. 

Let's see.. We ordered our first baby items this week! The Moses basket and stand from rhbaby! I can't TELL you how thrilled I am with this purchase. I just can't wait for it to get here, so I can set it up and look at it everyday and admire it. Oh, and we did a small baby registry at buybuybaby. We don't need a lot, since big brother Coco was also born in the winter. :)

We traded rooms with Cohen this week. He had the bigger room, and let's face it. The soon-to-be three of us need more space than his little self. And he's quite happy with his new room! Now we have a nice big area to fill with baby stuff. (All the more reason I need that bassinet to get here!)

How big is baby? the size of Papaya! What to Expect app says baby weighs 1.2 pounds and is about 8.5 inches from head to bottom. And our sono said he weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces. He always measures about 5 days ahead of where we are.
Weight gain/loss: 10 pounds gained, still.
Sleep: Still not sleeping very well. I feel slightly less tired these days. But I still nap if I can. And I wake up so many times a night. Usually to go to the restroom, even if it's very little pee. :( Gets old. 
Movement: He moves all the time. More in the evenings, I suppose. He moves consistently enough now that I can make myself nervous when I don't feel him for any amount of time. 
Symptoms: Backaches when I don't rest enough or drink water. Reflux, reflux, reflux. I keep my bottle of Maalox in the refrigerator, so that it's cool and refreshing when I need it. :) Other than the gross reflux, I feel pretty great right now.
Belly Button: Innie still! (with Coco, it never popped out!)
Food Cravings: No real cravings right now.
Gender: It's a BOY! We're so excited for Cohen to have a little brother. I was initially a tiny smidgeon disappointed when the tech said "boy", but got over it immediately and am getting very excited! No name yet!
What I miss? Sleeping on tummy (or good, at all)
What I'm looking forward to? Getting his bassinet this week! (Hopefully!) 
Big brother: Is so fun right now. He is a good helper (Buddy, bring me that remote!). He loves going to the pool and playing cars and trains. He loves watching Cars and Madagascar. He likes to say "just" a lot lately. i.e. "I'm just looking mommy." "I just want to run mommy." "Just come play daddy!" :) He's so smart. 
Dr. Appointment notes: July 8th, we had our second anatomy scan. Everything looked great. He has grown so big! And Dr. R said everything seemed fine. Very reassuring. We'll go back on the 25th of July for my 1 hour glucose test. Yuck! I remember this! 
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