Natural Healing Wonders of Coconut Oil

The Natural Healing Wonders of Coconut Oil | Holistic Therapies with Paula Kemp

How I love thee… Coconut Oil!

If I had to choose one oil that I couldn’t live without for the rest of my days, it would have to be Coconut Oil.

Why? You may ask…

Well, you can use it to cook with, incidentally, it is the best oil to roast, bake and fry with, compared to other oils such as olive and vegetable oils. Olive oil is a wonderful and healthy oil, but is best for pouring on your salads and food, and not heating up.

It’s perfect added to smoothies and food as it helps to increase energy expenditure and weight loss, and it also makes the smoothie incredibly creamy in texture too.  I find it absolutely delicious spread on my toast, as it’s a great dairy free alternative to butter.

It’s full of lovely nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Iron and ultra moisturising, which makes it perfect for applying to skin and helping to avoid or minimise stretch marks! Coconut oil has such a lovely tropical scent, and soaks into the skin beautifully, leaving soft, supple and moisturised skin.

If your nipples are feeling a little sore and cracked following breastfeeding, then massage a little coconut oil to keep the skin healthy and supple.

If your hair is dry and brittle and in need of a moisturising boost, apply it as a hair mask.  It helps to increase hair growth and gives hair a lovely shine.  A little bit of coconut oil applied to the ends of your hair can help prevent split ends and breakages, but don’t add too much, especially for oily prone hair.

Coconut oil is made up of Medium Chain Tryglycerides (MCT) which are saturated fats, but don’t get freaked out, not all saturated fats are bad.  These MCT include Lauric, Caprylic, Mysristic and Palmitic acids, which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial.

Because of coconut oils antimicrobial properties, it has been shown to be extremely powerful in the treatment of Candida, and I believe that with continued use it will help prevent or cure Thrush. Especially with so many Candida species becoming drug resistant.

If you are looking to purchase some coconut oil, I buy the lovely Sri Lankan organic virgin coconut nut oil from, which I highly recommend.

Image: Africa Studio/

Maternity Photographer – Jo Douet Images (Guest Blog)

I am very pleased to share with you a guest blog from a very talented maternity photographer (who also did my headshots!) Jo Douet from Jo Douet Images, based in Walton on Thames, Surrey.

Jo Douet  Images LogoAbout Jo Douet

I am a maternity, newborn and family photographer based in Walton on Thames, Surrey. I am a mum to two beautiful girls (and yes, I am biased).

I so wished I had had some beautiful professional photos taken whilst I was pregnant with my babies, except the sideways pose lifting up my top to expose the bump just before heading off to hospital!

I think that many pregnant women may be hesitant about getting maternity portraits but the right maternity photographer should make the process a fun and enjoyable experience.

What is the best time to get Maternity portraits done?

maternity photography - Jo Douet Images

I tell my clients that the best time to get their pregnancy photos done between 34 – 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Before that, you may not be fully showing but also importantly best not to leave it too late on in the pregnancy as the mum-to-be will be more uncomfortable and also the baby may make an early appearance and you may miss the opportunity altogether.

I always tell my clients to contact me after they have had their 20 week scan to book in a session. As with newborn sessions, these sessions are flexible and can be brought forward or backwards if needed.

Help Her Feel Beautiful

As a maternity photographer you want to help the Mum to be feel good about her ever changing body. Most women in stages through out their pregnancy will not feel that great about their new growing shape, so it is my job to make sure I light them and position them in a way that emphasizes their bump, but also makes sure it is a flattering pose and above all a comfortable pose for them to hold.

Don’t Forget the Partner, Siblings… or the dog!

Including the rest of the family, even if it’s the pet pooch can make the shoot more relaxed and fun. Siblings are adorable in maternity portraits and involving them and your partner is an important part of them bonding with their unborn brother or sister, son or daughter and highlights the connection you all have.

What to wear?

It is important that you take into account your sense of style and types of photos you are looking for, as well as your level of comfort. Whilst some women prefer conservative and ‘traditional’ looks, many more are beginning to choose artistic (even nude) approaches. Either way, the mum and the belly are the highlights – make sure to choose clothing that won’t take any attention away from the true ‘stars’ of the show! Avoid clothes with busy patterns which can be distracting.

Form fitting clothes – boob tubes, strapless bras, tight tank tops, a mans buttoned down shirt, under the bump jeans or yoga pants, empire line dresses and so on are great items for a shoot.

Refrain from wearing any overly tight clothing prior to the shoot. This primarily applies to elastic in waistbands, bras, and socks. Tight elastic will leave marks on the skin, and won’t look very good in the photo.

The photographer will experiment with different angles such as standing, sitting on the edge of a seat, or laying down on a blanket. Poses can be limited as the mum-to-be may not be able to move about so easily and may find some poses uncomfortable so choosing the right angles, varied angles and lighting is so important during a pregnancy shoot.

Keep hair and make up simple and natural – This is no time to be experimenting with a new look.  Clean finger and toe nails as these may be in shot!

Where should my shoot take place?

Studio ~ So many maternity sessions are done in studio ~ this simplifies your surroundings in a dedicated photographic studio – no back ground clutter to take the attention away from you and your bump.

Lifestyle ~ either in your home, baby’s nursery, familiar surroundings and artifacts in the photo’s – The mum to be may feel more relaxed in her own home or in the great outdoors amongst nature – perhaps a favourite park or venue.

Clients should look at the photographer’s portfolio to see which type of session produces the type of photos they actually want to have. And lastly a good photographer should have web presence, showcasing his or her portfolio and testimonials recommending and raving about their work.

Pregnancy Photo - Jo Douet Images

Contact Jo to find out more about her maternity photography:

Website:  Mobile: 07766 142712

Jo Douet Images Logo

Postnatal? Why you should be selfish!

Mum & Baby Asleep

For the last 9 months you have been nurturing and caring for a new life growing inside you.

Hopefully the birth was easy and straightforward, but for many this is not the case and medical intervention with planned or emergency caesarean’s are often needed.  But whatever birth you had it takes time for your body to recover to a pre-pregnancy state.

Once the baby has arrived, broken sleep and changes in hormones can make it an emotional time and the focus changes from you to the little one, which is natural but then your needs are often put to one side.

All these things take a toll on your mind and body, so I ask you to make time for yourself and get a massage.  

Massage is very beneficial for the postnatal Mum:

  • Induces relaxation
  • Helps relieve aches and pains due to breast/bottle feeding
  • Helps promote postnatal recovery

My suggestions for you is, be selfish, take time for yourself (and get a massage!) and lastly ask for help, even if it’s just to look after the little one while you catch up on your sleep or have a soak in the bath, you can’t do it all and you need your rest too.

Parenthood is tough, and you have friends and family around you that will willingly be there to support you!