Ayurveda being one of the ancient and traditional medications to maintain good health had always proved the saying “Food is our medicine and medicine is our food.”
Mother, everyday listening to tiny heartbeats and getting kicked playfully from the womb, always thinks she had already fallen in love with a human whom she hasn't still met. How will she not treat such a loving creature with healthy and tasty meal? Right from time of conception to infinitely counted days she feels contented only if her kid is fed with healthy meal.
Baby's main source of nourishment is gained from the meal what mother takes. This is one of the most important prenatal care. The gestation period in humans is about 9 months and is divided into three trimester stages accordingly. During the early stages of pregnancy the hormones like progestrone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) and estrogen will increase decreasing the fluidity of blood which in turn gives the effects of nausea and fatigue.
Ayurveda plays a vital role in dietary during gestation to maintain the vata, pitta and kapha balance. There are some strategies to be used that support the well-being of the mother and the foetus.
- In the first trimester:
Ayurveda impacts the rasa and rakta dhatu (blood and blood plasma). This makes more emphasis on nourishment from foods that are rich in liquid content like juicy fruits, tender coconut, herbal infusions and drinking good quality of organic cow's milk. Sweet foods that tend to cool the body should be emphasized with the inclusion of ghee. The herbal infusion may include raspberry leaves, oatmeal and nettle etc.. Vata being the energy of the nervous system has to be balanced. To avoid nausea, milk flavoured with elaichi, ginger powder and almonds is consumed. Shatavari kalpa is also a good source of nourishment that can be added to milk.
-In the second trimester:
Butter along with sugar can be replaced for ghee . The dairy products referred are preferably cow's dairy products. The regime is said to be continued till the end of gestation. Slight oil massage followed by lukewarm water bath is suggested. Intake of sweet herbs like Liquorice and Shatavari is to be done every early morning in empty stomach.
-In the third trimester:
Following the regimen, it is beneficiary to have sweet gruel prepared of milk and should be taken once a day. Anuvasana basti with medicated oil should be administered in the last month to enable the baby in correct position and attain favourable conditions for normal labour.
The Main Risk Factor:
The main risk factor during the gestation period is the 'Gestational diabetes'. During pregnancy, the placenta secretes excessive hormone that increases the sugar levels of blood. Usually, the pancreas secretes insulin to handle the increased sugar levels but it may also fail and result in increased blood sugar level that causes gestational diabetes.
Ayurveda helps in limiting the maternal and fetal complications. Herbs like Tinospora cordifolia, Holarrhena antidysenterica, Rubia cordifolia, Emblica officinale, Boerhavia diffusa, Withania somnifera, Tribulis terrestris, Hemidesmus indica, etc are helpful for the treatment under supervision.
The following can be included in the diet:
-Vegetables like Bitter gourd, fenugreek leaves, tomatoes, bell pepper, spinach, cucumber, radish, sponge gourd, drumstick leaves & fruits, broccoli, kale, lettuce, cauliflower and cabbage can be consumed.
-Pulses like green gram, bengal gram, black eyed pea, garbanzo beans and chick pea are suggested to be consumed.
-Spices like Turmeric, cinnamon, garlic and fenugreek seeds are suggested to get added upon to your meal.
-Cereals like Wheat, barley, pearl millet and oats can be used to make gruels which enrich the fibre content of the body.
-Fruits like Plums, kiwi, lime, oranges, guava, java plum / black plum, apple, peaches and gooseberry can be consumed which increases the water content of the body.
-Dry Fruits like Almond, apricot and walnut can be used to decrease the calorie absorption and increase the gut health.
-Three times of meal and two times of snack a day can reduce prolonged fasting.
-8-10 glasses of water is suggested for maintaining water content in our body.
-Physical activities during the gestational period is highly recommended to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
-Pranayama and yogasana are beneficiary to maintain mental and physical health respectively.
Some other essential inclusions are:
- Panchamrut, which is a combination of five components such as ghee, curd, honey, milk and sugar and acts as a brain booster for the mother and foetus. It also serves as a good brain tonic.
-Saffron is suggested with warm milk and ghee which enhances the skin complexion and strengthens the heart of the foetus.
-Honey aids to build up the intellect, skin complexion and texture. It is also good for eyes. It helps to maintain equilibrium of doshas , sharpens memory and reduces morning sickness.
“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.” says Pablo Picasso.
Hearty regards to live a healthy and happy life! “The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.”