Ayurveda tips for pregnancy and postpartum care for mothers
Pregnancy is a critical time in a woman’s life. From the first month of conception to the later stages of pregnancy the mother and child must be taken utmost care of. According to Ayurveda, pregnancy and childbirth can be rejuvenating experiences and a high point in a woman’s life. Stri Roga and Prasuti Tantra (Gynaecology and Obstetrics), one of the ayurvedic science’s branches, is a separate division devoted to women’s and children’s health, including pregnancy care and postpartum care for newly lactating mothers. The Kerala tradition of Ayurveda has documented the proper care of the mother to ensure that both mother and baby are happy and healthy.
CARE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
The diet during pregnancy has to be rich in calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals and completely balanced. All activities require increased energy and nutrient support to produce a positive health outcome. Garbhini Vigyan is the branch of ayurvedic science that deals with the complete knowledge of conception and childbirth. Child health is closely related to maternal health. The most crucial phase for pregnant women is Antenatal care or Garbhini paricharya as mentioned in Ayurvedic classics.
Garbhini paricharya is divided into three categories. Care for each month or Masanu Masika paricharya, things to forbid or Garbha upaghatakara bhava and finally medications to establish the wellness of the foetus.
Diet to consume
The diet during pregnancy is key to sustaining the vitality of both the growing foetus and the carrying mother.
- Including more Ghrita: All Acharyas have the same opinion about including Ghee in the diet of pregnant women. Ghee has the potential to normalise all three bodily entities and thus maintain the equilibrium of the body. It also helps to kindle the digestive fire and is said to facilitate childbirth.
- Fruits for rescue: Considering natural sources of sweetness, the fruits in the diet are a great option. Fruits like bananas, grapes, dates, Indian gooseberry, and other mild fruits help maintain the mother’s nutritional quality without compromising the foetus’s health.
- Milk: Ksheera is one essential component for pregnant women. Milk is a complete source of nutrition and rich in all essential amino acids. Consumption of milk will also help to enhance breast milk production in pregnant women.
- Desires of the pregnant women: Ayurveda encourages the importance of fulfilling the cravings of pregnant women. The cravings experienced by the women during pregnancy are understood as the desires of the foetus, and they must be fulfilled at all times.
Although the critical factors have been mentioned, it is equally essential to remember to have food at the right time in the correct quantity, which is not incompatible.
Alongside the diet, the regimen is equally important to establish the health of pregnant women.
- Avoid day sleep: Ayurveda strictly avoids day sleep as it takes a surge in the Kapha entity and may cause deformity to the growing foetus.
- Mild calming exercises: Throughout the phase of pregnancy, mild calming exercises must be undertaken.
- Yoga and meditation: Simple yogic asana that does not affect the foetus’ life and position can be done throughout the phase of pregnancy.
- Avoid violent physical activities: Ayurveda strictly forbids violent physical activities, including sexual activities, as they may cause deformity to the foetus.
- Keep your mind in check: The mental health factor is extremely important while keeping the body and diet in check. Pregnant women must be calm with no sadness, gloominess, anger, or anything else bothering their minds.
- Oil massages: A daily oil massage or Abhyanga with herbal oils like Dhanwantharam Thailam, nourishes and relaxes the body and eases stress during the prenatal and postnatal periods in women. It helps strengthen abdominal muscles to facilitate easy childbirth. It improves skin elasticity, relieves itchiness, and may even prevent stretch marks by moisturising the skin.
- Digestion care: Pregnant and new mothers often experience bloating and heartburn. Dhanwantharam pills, named after the Lord of medicine – Dhanwanthari, are an excellent classical formulation for bloating, flatulence, and stomach upset. It is a perfect blend of pachana-deepana or digestive and carminative herbs like Chitretta or Kirathatiktha, Creat plant or Bhoonimba, Ultrasum bead tree or Rudraksha, Camphor or Karpoora in Cumin decoction or Jeeraka Kwath, and Rosewater. It is safe to be consumed by expectant and new mothers under medical supervision to relieve bloating and indigestion.
CARE FOR POSTPARTUM WOMEN
The care for postpartum women is also vital in the Prasuthi tantra. The special care for postpartum women is understood under the title of Sutika Paricharya in Ayurveda. Suthika is the one who has delivered both the foetus and the placenta.
According to Acharya Kashyapa, Suthika is the timespan of 6 months after delivery. As all bodily entities are diminished during this time, the proper method to establish the health and well-being of the women while enhancing lactation is essential.
According to Acharya Caraka
- The woman should consume meals that are wholesome and fulfilling when she feels hungry.
- She should be given medicated ghee and milk to restore body vitality.
- Externally the abdomen is anointed with medicated oils like Dhanwantharam Thailam and the bath is indicated in warm water infused with herbal goodness.
- Sathavari and Vidari supplements like Sathavarigulam, Gestatone, Mathrukalpam help improve the quality of breast milk and aid in faster recovery.
Following these simple yet authentic techniques are great tips to enhance the health of pregnant women and lactating mothers using the goodness