5 Ayurveda Principles for Healthy Pregnancy
Alternative Medicine

5 Ayurveda Principles for Healthy Pregnancy

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 11 Jan 2016 - 09:58

pregnancy-ayurveda-diet

Pregnancy marks the most significant milestone in a woman's life, a phase which changes the complete course of her life. It is a challenging phase where the mother's body goes through a series of changes to support the nutritional requirements of the developing foetus in her womb. Most midwives and medical doctors prescribe Ayurveda during pregnancy as it is believed to support the physical, emotional and spiritual faculties of the mother-to-be as well as the baby.

1. Pregnancy Care through Ayurveda

Ayurveda, a natural healthcare system believes that pregnancy is most sacred and therefore needs complete care and protection. One of the most essential aspects of pregnancy is to follow a highly nutritious diet, as the growing foetus depends entirely on the overall health of the mother for its nutritional requirements. As per Ayurveda, the nutrition/energy also called Ahara - rasa, which the foetus receives from the mother’s diet, serves three vital functions –

  • Mother’s nourishment,
  • Baby’s growth and nourishment
  • Formation of breast milk (called stanya)

2. Four Successful Ayurveda Strategies During Pregnancy

To strike a perfect balance between the health and the security of both the mother-to-be and the baby, the following Ayurveda-prescribed pregnancy strategies are considered:

a) Satisfying your Food Cravings

It is vital that you eat what you desire naturally, however, following a diet that is well-balanced is also important. Make sure you consume ample amount of veggies, protein and healthy starch. Always keep in mind that you’re eating for two and hence put away all diet restrictions and just listen to your body. It is assumed that food cravings after fourth month of pregnancy are generally that of the baby, so you must honour the same.

b) Balancing Vata (energy of the nervous system)

It is very important that you balance vata during pregnancy by sticking to a diet that is plant-based, fresh, whole/sprouted grains & non-processed foods. Usage of healthy oils is crucial viz., olive oil, coconut oil, etc. is recommended. To the most possible extent, it is good to have freshly prepared food instead of having leftovers.

c) Consuming the Right Milk

It is good to consume milk/ghee from grass-fed cows, preferably warm milk that is vat-pasteurized (heated < 135⁰F) and non-homogenized. Add a teaspoon of ghee to one cupful of warm milk two times a day. This helps to enhance your baby’s immunity and complexion.

d) Massaging with Ayurvedic Herbalized Oil

These oils are known to calm the mom’s sensory nervous system (skin-based), as a result the baby also calms down automatically. You could either massage yourself or get gently massaged by your partner. Gentle abdominal massage, especially in the last trimester is very important. Take special care to massage the nipples in order to get prepared to nurse the baby.

3. Conquering Morning Sickness via Ayurveda

  • Powder roasted cardamom seeds and keep eating a small pinch throughout the day.
  • Keep dry crackers or toast as a quick snack to satisfy your hunger pangs.
  • Keep sipping tea that is made from a quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds/ginger powder and hot water.
  • Preferably maintain a semi-reclined sleeping posture.

4. Ayurvedic Pregnancy Diet for Optimal Nutrition

During pregnancy, the demand for food increases greatly and it is important that the mother has a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins, proteins, fats, etc.

Here are some quick tips to address those food cravings the right way:

7 Foods to Eat during Pregnancy:

  • Buttermilk – After lunch, make sure you have a small glass of buttermilk that is prepared freshly. This not only improves digestion but also increases one’s appetite, reduces gastric issues and prevents constipation
  • Butter – Having about 2 spoons of butter provides strength, enhances the mother’s complexion and the skin texture of the baby, keeps constipation and piles related problems at bay.
  • Ghee – This is the best agent that lubricates the internal part of the body and makes it soft. It also builds up the mother’s stamina  and increases the ability to concentrate, grasp faster, stay alert, etc. It is advised that a pregnant mother must have a minimum of 7 teaspoons of ghee along with the food.
  • Iron – Iron is very essential to prevent from anaemia. Consuming natural sources of iron are black currants, amla, lemon, green leafy vegetables, dates, beet, figs (dry/fresh), jaggary, pomegranates, etc. helps. You can also take iron supplements without creating any constipation.
  • Proteins – Pulses, dals, cooked sprouts, milk, lentils, eggs, rotis/parathas instead of rice are a great source of protein. Make sure you avoid uncooked sprouts.
  • Fresh fruits – take plenty of fresh fruits like apple, figs, pomegranate, amla, chickoo, grapes, oranges, sweet lime, etc., all of which are known to promote the health of both the mother and the growing baby.
  • Saffron – Take a small amount of saffron, add it in warm milk & ghee to enhance the colour of the skin and its texture.

7 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy:

  • Feta Cheese: This is prone to causing foodborne illness like Listeriosis which might result in severe illness, miscarriage and premature labour.
  • Caffeinated Coffee: Doctors suggest that you shouldn’t consume more than 200mg of caffeine/day as it might affect the baby’s heart rate by crossing the placenta.
  • Deli Meats: Can cause indigestion and food borne diseases that may eventually result in miscarriage and even stillbirths.
  • Liver:This is rich source of vitamin A – too much of this vitamin is linked to causing birth defects in unborn babies, particularly in the first trimester.
  • Uncooked Eggs: Massive risk for salmonella poisoning, which can have a negative impact on labour and baby’s health.
  • Swordfish: Known to contain dangerous mercury levels, which could damage the developing nervous system of your baby.
  • Blue Cheese: As it is made from unpasteurized milk, it is prone to foodborne diseases like Listeriosis.

5. Post-Delivery Pampering

After the birth of your baby, using circular and light movements, massage the child’s stomach and legs with warm sesame oil. You could also give them a waterfall-kind of massage strokes to calm the child. In an effort to coordinate both your breathing and the child’s breathing pattern, put your baby on your belly and take deep breaths smoothly and slowly. This will help quieten the baby and keep them happy and well satisfied.

Reference Links:

http://www.activebeat.com/sexual-health/10-dangerous-foods-all-pregnant-...

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/04/ten-ayurvedic-pregnancy-tips/

Source Links: http://www.lifespa.com/ten-ayurvedic-pregnancy-tips/

http://www.ayurvedalive.in/ayurvedic-diet-in-pregnancy

http://www.asianhealthsecrets.com/ayurvedic-pregnancy-and-baby-care/

 

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