Pregnancy is one of the major health challenges that both mother and father will face before having a family. The mother, however, will carry more weight in this endeavour as she must take excellent care of not just herself but of the baby in her womb as well. Several health concerns will inevitably come in her way due to hormonal changes which the mother should watch out for.
How can Ayurveda take care of pregnant women?
Fats and oils may sound unhealthy but consuming these two is important for both the mother and her baby. These will allow the mother to gain weight so the baby can have a steady supply of nutrients and, simultaneously, develop the baby’s brain. Fortunately, healthy fats and oils exist, i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts, cashews, organic whole milk, etc. Moreover, daily intake of one teaspoon each of warm milk and grass-fed oil will boost the baby’s immunity. To improve digestion and induce deeper sleep, dissolve half teaspoon of turmeric powder and half teaspoon of cardamom powder in one cup of hot milk with honey.
Incorporate a sattvic diet. The word “sattvic” means fresh in Ayurveda, which means no leftovers or processed foods should enter the pregnant woman’s body. Only freshly cooked foods are allowed for an easier digestion. Examples of these are: whole grains, organic dairy, fruits, and vegetables that will develop prana (cosmic life force) and ojas (vitality) for the mother and child. Maintaining a sattvic diet during pregnancy gives clarity in the mother’s mind.
Abhyangam is an Ayurvedic treatment that massages the body with herbal oils. This type of body massage will drive stress away and replace it with a much needed relaxation. With the belief that the baby feels what her mother feels, Abhyangam is a perfect way to send motherly affection to her unborn child.
Ayurvedic Postnatal Treatments
Postnatal Abyangham is also effective even after giving birth. It can reinvigorate the nerves, remove stress, fatigue, and relieve muscle pains in the core and in the upper extremities like shoulders, back, and arms. Abyangham also increases circulation and cures insomnia.
For lactation, it is highly advised to go vegetarian and avoid eating foods with preservatives and spicy because these foods may decrease the secretion. Do not expose the body to pollution because the dirt might be transferred to the baby. Ghee and oils should be taken in adequate amounts to improve digestion, facilitate the evacuation of bowels, nourish the traumatized tissues, and subdue the vitiated Vata Dosha, which gets aggravated during the process of childbirth. After four months of delivery, the infant must be fed with well-cooked rice. Medications should be monitored as well because drugs may have serious side-effects to the baby.
Kotakkal Ayurveda - Mother land of modern ayurveda