Concept of Pregnancy Care in Ayurveda
Giving birth is an incredibly intense experience! Ayurveda focuses a strong emphasis on caring for the mother before, during, and after pregnancy. It is the woman who bears children and spreads the human species. Pregnancy and childbirth, according to Ayurveda, can be a rejuvenating event and a good highlight in a woman’s life. Streeroga – Prasuthi Tantra (Gynaecology and Obstetrics) is a separate section of ayurveda devoted to women’s and children’s health, including prenatal care.
Conception is the uniting of male and female seeds that results in the formation of an embryo. Human conception is compared to the germination and sprouting of plant seeds, which eventually grow into a seedling. The quality of seeds is really important. The condition of the mother’s uterus, like the soil in which the seed grows, is also vital in the growth and development of a healthy kid. Pregnant women can employ Ayurvedic principles to care for themselves during pregnancy and to aid in their recovery after their baby is delivered. Ayurvedic advice focuses on diet, behaviour, hobbies, medicines, and remedies.
Indeed, garbhini paricharya (care to be taken during pregnancy) is critical for safe motherhood and healthy offspring. Garbhini Paricharya refers to prenatal treatment that includes Ahara (a specific nutritional regimen) and Vihara (activity for physical, mental and emotional well-being). Garbhini paricharya is classified into three types in Ayurveda:
- Masanumasika Pathya ahara and Vihara (monthly dietary regimen and lifestyle)
- Garbhasthapaka karma (diet and activities for maintenance of pregnancy and better progeny)
- Garbhopaghatakara Bhavas should be avoided (diet and activities which are harmful to foetus)
Pregnant women can benefit immensely from Ayurvedic principles both throughout pregnancy and after their kid is delivered. Ayurvedic advice focuses on diet, behaviour, hobbies, medicines, and remedies.
AYURVEDIC PRENATAL CARE
Ayurveda classifies nine pregnancy-related disorders as garbhopadravas: nausea, anorexia, vomiting, dry mouth, fever, oedema, anaemia, diarrhoea, and fluid retention. Following ayurvedic food and lifestyle guidelines can help to avoid these issues and keep the pregnancy healthy.
FAVOUR YOUR CRAVINGS
Keep in mind that you are feeding two bodies and two body kinds. Respect your cravings, especially after four months of pregnancy, when cravings are most likely. The most crucial piece of advise is to eat whenever you want and to consume enough amounts of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables.
BALANCE YOUR VATA
Because it affects the nerve system, the vata dosha requires extra attention during pregnancy. A diet rich in fresh, plant-based meals, whole or sprouted grains, and unprocessed foods is advised. Warm, freshly prepared dishes with healthy oils such as ghee and coconut are ideal. Sweet, sour, and salty are the three tastes that balance vata.
The sweet taste should be emphasised throughout pregnancy because it is the most sattvic or nutritious for the baby. Warm, unhomogenized cow’s milk with ghee. One cup of warm milk with a spoonful of ghee twice a day is supposed to enhance the baby’s immunity and vitality (ojas).
Abhyanga (ayurvedic therapeutic massage) followed by a bath in lukewarm water is a great treatment for both the mother and the baby during pregnancy. Regular abhyanga beginning in the sixth month is also said to promote smooth labour. Other therapies for relaxing the nervous system include head massage, belly massage, foot massage, and Shirodhara. Other important internal and external therapies necessitate the expertise of a physician.
WHAT NOT TO DO DURING PREGNANCY – CARE DURING PREGNANCY
- Fasting or overeating
- Food that is dry, stale, fermented, heavy, heated, or strong, alcohol, and meat
- Getting enough sleep throughout the day and staying up late at night
- Witnessing or hearing things that cause sentiments of grief, rage, horror, or anguish
- Long-distance travel in an aircraft or vehicle, or on uneven/rough roads
- Sitting for an extended period of time, sitting in awkward positions, or Squatting for a long time or sitting in an uncomfortable position or on a hard surface
- Moving heavy objects or lifting objects from a position that puts strain on your back and abdomen
- Natural desires should not be suppressed (things like sleep, hunger, yawning, crying, urination, excrement expulsion etc)
- Excessive sex particularly during early and late pregnancy
- Speaking in a loud voice
- Wearing the tight clothes and tight belts
AYURVEDA POST PREGNANCY CARE
Immediate postpartum care – Postpartum is a transforming and reinforcing time in which the social environment changes dramatically as a result of becoming a mother. The postnatal phase begins shortly after childbirth and lasts approximately 6 weeks. Some women may experience a delayed postpartum period. Varied cultures offer different post-partum support measures for mother and baby. Ayurveda recommends
soothika (woman after delivery) 45-90 days after delivery or till the start of the next menstrual cycle. Massage, baths, and food are essential components of soothika care. After delivery care for mother is done to improve physical and mental wellness, overall stamina, muscle strengthening and toning, muscle and joint pain relief, blood circulation, and milk production.
The first few months following delivery are critical for a mother because the uterus shrinks back to its usual size after swelling due to delivery. Furthermore, the uterine tendons, ligaments, and muscles begin to restore the power and strength lost during childbirth. Ayurveda places a strong emphasis on postnatal care. Depending on your symptoms and condition, an Ayurveda physician may normally prescribe a mix of several medicines.
The main motive of post-natal care in Ayurveda include Agni deepana, Yoni shodhana, Vata shamana, Vatanulomana, and Stanyajanana. The diet of mother soon after the delivery should be very light and easy to digest. Prepare the room for fumigation before returning home from the hospital after childbirth. Maintain a warm, orderly, and clean environment that is naturally light and free of noise and wetness. Bed and cradle should be maintained clean and warm at all times. Visitors should be limited, particularly in the first several days. Ayurveda recommends Rakshoghna (protective) medications for the mother and new born. Herbs such as Neem, Acorus, and others are ground into a powder and used for fumigation.
Postpartum belly care – Tummy care can be achieved by wearing a wide belt around the waist, which also helps to minimise the size of the uterus. Tummy should be tied tightly with herbal abdominal cloth bands. This aids in getting back into shape as well as uterine involution. To guarantee complete healing of the sutures, C-section women should wait at least 2 weeks before abdominal binding.
After 90 days of pregnancy body care, specialised massages using oily or pottali swedas (herbs knotted in a fabric and formed into a pouch) are permitted. If you have an imbalance in your system that is producing major problems during this period, you can use vasti (enema) made from medicinal oils for detoxification. Shirodhara (applying a thin stream of oil to the mother’s forehead) relieves tension and relaxes her mind, so combating postnatal depression.
All treatments, nutrition, and lifestyle changes should be aimed towards calming Vata and strengthening Agni (metabolism). The regimen will aid in minimising the baby’s discomfort as well as the mother’s postpartum difficulties. For the first two weeks, utilise Vata-calming decoctions, herbal powders, and pills. Arishtas (fermented herbal preparation) and lehyas follow (rejuvenating herbal jams). Yavakshara (a medication) can be used efficiently for pain relief when combined with ghee or hot water. Bleeding after delivery can linger anywhere from a few days to a month.
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