Bringing life to the world in itself is one of the beautiful experiences in the world but also exhausting. The journey of the whole pregnancy is sometimes confusing, overwhelming, and is packed with new experiences. Especially during this busy world where pregnant women have to face more challenges regarding their health, it’s important to take care of the body. Also, women in their thirties who have a history of taking birth control pills might suffer from irregular menstrual flow or hormonal imbalance. It is recommended to practice a healthy diet and lifestyle before planning for a pregnancy and in this article, we are going to discuss healthy pregnancy through Ayurveda.
Planning to Conceive
According to Ayurveda, reproduction of the offspring is decided by the four Ritu meaning the season or right time to conceive, Ambu meaning the nutrition, Kshetra which means the body of the mother should be healthy, and beej where the ovum and sperm should be healthy.
Cravings are the needs of the mother that have to be satisfied and in Ayurveda, it is believed that craving is caused due to deficiency of the specific nutrient in the fetus. The fetus expresses its specific desire for particular food through its mother.
Love and warmth through oil massage:- Gently and regularly massaging the oil during pregnancy is one of the essential parts to reduce swelling and improve circulation in the body. It is very important in regulating the Vata dosha which is very important in improving the strength of bones. It is better to use sesame oil and slightly heating up is better and gently massage this warm oil. Abhyanga will help in eliminating the fatigue and stress from the body and relaxing the body.
1. Say No to Stress
Expecting mothers are advised to stay away from horror, sad or violent movies. It is also important to avoid traveling or shifting houses during pregnancy as they have the potential to imbalance the Vata. This can easily impact the diet, sleep pattern, and mental health of the mother as well as the fetus. It is important to relax by listening to music, surrounding yourself with positive vibes, or chanting.
During pregnancy, the mother might also suffer from many health issues which are considered as garbhopadravas in the Ayurveda. This will lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, lack of appetite, anemia, itchy skin, or other bladder-related problems. Ayurveda suggests following a certain diet regime that will help in facing the health challenges and supporting the pregnancy to go smoother.
3. Pranayama and meditation
Practicing breathing exercises will help in increasing the flow of oxygen to the fetus which is important for healthy growth and also helps in improving the levels of hemoglobin. Performing meditation for a few minutes will help in providing both the baby and child with deep rest and also balancing emotionally. Both Pranayama and meditation will help in reducing the stress hormone and increasing the oxytocin hormone that helps in increasing the feel-good hormone. In addition to that, there are certain yoga asanas that help in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
The expected mother is told to consume food that is fresh as well as nutritious and prepared with attention and love. Providing mothers with unconditional love, proper food, comfort, and care is a crucial thing for pregnant mothers. Consuming all kinds of tastes like sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and astringent have important significance in the diet as suggested by Ayurveda. It is important that the diet needs to be nutritious to meet the daily requirement to meet the daily needs of mother’s health. This will help in forming the tissues and new cells in the body for the fetus and providing the mother with all the requirements for lactation.
These are the foods that need to be included in the diet
- Cooking pulses.
- Rice, millets, and wheat-like cereals.
- Green leafy vegetables like mint, fenugreek, spinach, etc.
- Spices like black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and black pepper.
- Milk products.
- Seasonal fruits like dates, oranges, pomegranate, avocado, lime, and apples.
- Include natural sugars like jaggery and include rock instead of table salt.
- Avoid taking soft drinks, wine, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks.
Diet According to the Months of the Mother
Ayurveda suggests taking certain types of food during pregnancy which includes
1. First and Second Month
Women who are expecting to be a mother should include cold, sweet and liquid food as this type of food is easy to digest. This will also help in preventing dehydration and stabilizing the health of the fetus. Foods that are sweet help in forming the growth of cells and stabilizing the Vata. Ripe bananas, Dates, and Grapes are easy on digestion and one of the excellent immunomodulators. Chestnut powder with milk will help in nourishing the fetus and daily consumption of cow ghee is very important during this time. Milk is packed with nutrients like fat, proteins, iodine, calcium, carbohydrate, enzyme, and minerals. Along with that coconut water and juices of fresh fruits should be consumed.
2. Third Month
Take fruits and foods that are easy on the stomach and easy to digest like consuming rice with clarified butter and milk. Honey which is one of the excellent analgesics and antibiotics will help in reducing morning sickness, heartburn, and discomfort in the stomach. Most of the organs are developed during these three months and the body of the mother goes through many physical as well as hormonal changes resulting in nausea and morning sickness. Mildly sweet food items will help in reducing morning sickness and preventing dehydration.
3. Fourth Month
Consuming good quality food for breakfast and lunch is one of the essential parts of the body. Including healthy fats in the diet will help in developing body tissue in the diet. Butter along with rice will help in giving essential nutrients like folate, vitamins, protein, minerals, potassium, and magnesium. For muscle activity and contraction of the uterine potassium is one of the important nutrients. Including fruits like watermelon, mango, pomegranate, and yellow pumpkin is important.
4. Fifth Month
Consuming rice with clarified butter and cow milk, especially Shashti rice grown in South India is one of the excellent food items. It is excellent for digestion and very beneficial in respiration, circulation, and the digestive system.
5. Sixth Month
Gokshura is one of the excellent Ayurvedic herbs packed with anti-hypertensive, diuretic properties and also very effective in increasing immunity as well. Consuming this herbal medicine will help in reducing edema and water retention problems.
6. Seventh Month
At this time the size of the fetus has increased to the extent that the mother might feel discomfort in the throat and chest region. It is better for them to take frequent and smaller meals at a time which will make them feel better.
7. Eighth Month and Ninth Month
Milk along with rice and ghee should be continued in the diet and the size of the fetus will hinder the functioning of the excretory system. Ayurveda suggests using medicated oil which will help in restoring the nervous system and removing toxins. Cotton swabs soaked in the medicated oil and placed in the vagina will help in lubricating the birth canal increasing the elasticity which is very essential for vaginal delivery.
Giving birth is one of the difficult processes where after delivery the body of the mother becomes weak and it is important to give nourishing foods. This will help in enhancing lactation as the baby is all dependent on the mother. At this time the healthy fat and ghee should be consumed in moderate amounts to enhance digestion. The mother and baby should massage on a regular basis with medicated oils.
It is important to avoid getting in contact with the environment in order to maintain a good immune system. At this stage, both mother and baby should maintain physical health since this is wonderful as well as the new experience of life.
Being pregnant and carrying the baby for nine is a difficult yet wonderful job as well as an experience of life. It is important for both the partners to be supportive towards each other as well because both are going to experience a new phase in life. Maintaining good health and lifestyle as mentioned above will help in achieving good health of baby and mother as well.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.