Ayurveda in PregnancyDr. Arya Krishna
Ayurveda says, if a pregnant woman is taken care of as advised, she will give birth to a child who does not have any diseases- a healthy, physically strong, radiant and well-nourished baby who is superior to all the race.
Pregnancy is not merely a physiological process, it is a great responsibility for both father and mother. The mental and physical status of mother is important for a healthy pregnancy.
There are certain guidelines of regimen and diet from inception of child till the birth.
Always try to be in a happy mood. Be clean, neat and well dressed, always wear simple comfortable clothes.
Have proper sleep, go to bed early and avoid sleep during morning hours.
Engage in peaceful and benedictory activities like- listening to music, reading, craft works etc.
Do not indulge in anger, fright or agitating emotions.
Traveling on rough roads and long distance travel should be avoided.
Oil bath is advised.
Beholding natural urges should be avoided.
Ayurveda gives detailed explanation of diet that should be followed in each trimester. As a general rule, greater care should be taken during the first 3 months of pregnancy and after the completion of 7th month.
During first trimester, stress is laid on stabilizing the pregnancy and nurturing the uterine bed through Rasa and Rakta dhatus (Blood tissues). The embryo gets nourishment directly by percolation, hence more liquid substances like juicy fruits, coconut water, and milk are advocated.
In first month sipping cold milk and maintaining a light diet is good where in second month the intake of milk is indicated with certain herbs like Pueraria, Asparagus, Liquorice (sweet wood), Bacopa etc.
By the end of third month, the body parts of the fetus become differentiated, sensory perceptions and motor reactions start developing. The heart starts beating and is said to express the desires through mother’s blood. This the period when woman craves for certain foods/flavors. The needs of the mother and developing baby is identical. Hence Ayurveda recommends that her cravings be fulfilled as far as possible. If not contraindicated Bacopa helps in calming the nerves and sustaining the pregnancy.
From fourth to seventh month, drugs which strengthens the uterine muscles and nourishes the embryo are advised like winter cherry (Withania somnifera), Indian tinospora should be used. Also fruits like oranges, mangoes, apples, carrots. Indian gooseberry and leafy vegetables helps in providing nourishment to uterine tissues.
During seventh month, there is a chance of itching and irritation in the abdominal region due to stretching of abdominal muscles. This should be treated with taking sips of infusion of berries or butter medicated with Indian madder. External application of neem, basil is also effective.
From seventh month on wards there should be less fat and salt in diet. It is advisable to take thin gruel, green gram etc. in diet.
In short fully cooked, easily digestible food with proteins and vitamins are ideal during pregnancy period.
A proper diet and regimen will help mother to have a happy pregnancy and baby to lead a healthy life in future.