Pregnancy is a life event for which sometimes women are prepared, and many times – a surprise. However, the goal is to keep the baby and mother in optimal health during and after pregnancy. A woman’s body undergoes drastic changes while bearing and giving birth to a child. Hence prenatal, antenatal and post-natal care is of utmost necessity.
Ayurveda considers pregnancy a sacred and vital time for both the mother and the baby. The goal of pregnancy care in Ayurveda is to support a mother’s overall health and well-being, as well as the healthy development of the baby. Gharbini Paricharya – explained in Ayurveda includes measures that address proper growth of the fetus, the maternal physical and mental well-being and safe childbirth.
‘Conceiving’ – The Ayurvedic Concept
Conception is the union of the male and female counterparts and its development into an embryo. Ayurveda relates this to the germination of a seed. Just as how the earth (soil), water, season and quality of the seed matter in the formation of a healthy sapling, Ritu (time of conception), Kshetra (reproductive organs), Ambu (nourishment) and Beeja (seeds i.e; ovum and sperm) influences the growth and development of a healthy progeny.
Ayurveda’s advice for Expecting Mothers – What to avoid?
The Classics of Ayurveda mentions a group of symptoms that could cause complications in pregnant women, labeled as Gharba Upadrava. These include – nausea, anorexia, vomiting, dryness of mouth, fever, oedema, anemia, diarrhea and fluid retention. Dietary and lifestyle manipulations could help deal with the above complications and bestow a stress-free pregnancy!
Keep this in Mind…..
- Mental and Emotional health is as important as physical health
- Focus on personal hygiene
- Indulge in stress-free and peaceful activities or hobbies
- Avoid long and tiring walks
- Avoiding situations that involve anger and sudden fright
- Sexual intercourse during early and late pregnancy
- Avoid fasting and unhealthy eating habits. Make sure to have timely meals
- Avoid Staying up late at night. Catch enough sleep and rest
- Tight clothes and belts that put pressure on the abdomen are strict NOs
- Avoid traveling on rough roads
- Avoid squatting for a long time or sitting on hard surfaces
- Avoid Lifting heavy things or remaining in a bending position
Ayurveda Propose to Suit yourself with these Monthly Regimes!
- The First Trimester – Ayurveda advises avoiding medications in the first trimester of pregnancy and advises herbal formulations for nourishing the uterine bed and improving its blood supply. However, women affected with morning sickness, or other Garbha Upadravas can follow these simple tricks to manage them.
Adding coconut water, juicy fruits, honey, ghee, and warm milk to the regular diet
Warm milk decoctions medicated with sweet herbs like Vidari, Shatavari, Yasthimadhu, and Brahmi, all of which are Jivaneeya (life-supporting) and Garbhasthapaka (helping maintain implantation)
- Second Trimester: In the fourth month of pregnancy- the motor and sensory nervous tissues of the baby start to develop, the heart functions, and the fetus makes known its needs and desires via the mother’s physiology – indicating cravings expressed by the mother.
Use of Herbs like Guduchi and Ashwagandha in this trimester help to maintain pregnancy by nourishing the placenta, uterine bed and umbilical cord.
The diet could include butter, ghee, rice, warm milk, fruits like apples, mangoes and bananas and green leafy vegetables
During the seventh month, the mother experiences itching when the skin stretches and causes marks on the skin. Use Ghee medicated with Manjistha or a herbal paste made of neem, turmeric and manjistha.
- Third Trimester – The regimen advised by Ayurveda in the third trimester aims at preparing the mother for timely delivery. Herbal preparations targeted to avoid infections and complications during delivery are desirable.
The diet should include less fat, less salt and less water. Ayurveda recommends rice gruel/soup cooked in milk, topped with a little ghee.
Mild diuretic herbs such as Punarnava and Sariva help treat excess water retention. They also keep any urinary infections at bay. Fennel seeds are also suggested for their mild carminative and antispasmodic actions.
Effective Pregnancy care in Ayurveda throughout your Pregnancy-
- Satisfy your Cravings: Pregnancy care in Ayurveda suggests eating what you desire unless any medical/dietary contraindications prevail.
- Wholesome and healthy foods: This may include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as dairy products and protein sources like eggs, chicken, fish, and tofu. Optimal hydration is also essential. It keeps the body fluids in balance and also keeps the skin moist.
- Vata-friendly diet and lifestyle: Ayurveda suggests indulging in warm, wholesome and nourishing meals. These include Ghee (clarified butter), milk and grains. Fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables are also recommended. Activities like exposure to extremely cold climates without protecting the body, loud noise, not sleeping at night, travelling on rough roads, sexual intercourse (especially in the first and last trimester) and lifting heavy weights should be avoided.
- Moisturize with warm oils: Soft massage with Ayurvedic herbal oils will help calm the mind and improve blood circulation to all body parts. It will also reduce the appearance of stretch marks and control cracks on nipples while breast-feeding
- Practice gentle exercise: Gentle exercise, such as walking or yoga, can help to support the mother’s physical and mental well-being during pregnancy. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are safe options.
- Get enough rest: Adequate rest is essential for the mother during pregnancy. It is vital to allow the body to rest and recharge. Pregnancy can be physically and emotionally demanding, hence aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Practice Yoga & Meditation: Stress can hurt the mother and the baby during pregnancy. It is important to practice stress management techniques, such as meditation- to reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Many poses and techniques are safe to practice during pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to speak with a certified yoga instructor!
- External Therapies: Abhyanga (therapeutic massage) is an excellent treatment during pregnancy, especially from the sixth month onwards is believed to ease the process of labour. Other therapies like head massage, belly massage, foot massage and Shirodhara are also effective for relaxing the nervous system. There are numerous internal and external therapies advised for a healthy pregnancy. An experienced Ayurvedic Doctor can provide personalized recommendations and support throughout your gestation.
It is important to note that pregnancy care in Ayurveda should have the guidance of a healthcare provider. It is not a replacement for medical care; it is vital to seek medical attention if any concerns arise during pregnancy.
Consult Our Doctors at RAHA Ayurveda!
The art of Ayurveda has long been recognized as one of the most practical ways to deal with pregnancy problems. Our specialized team of doctors can be most helpful for your well-being and the baby’s development during this period. Alongside contemporary medical evaluation, complaints like high blood pressure, fluid retention, spotting, and other pregnancy complications can be effectively treated with Ayurveda, under the guidance of an expert physician.