Pregnancy is the happiest & excited period in a family, yet full of worries. Keeping both the mother & baby healthy & safe needs a lot of care & attention. Due to hormonal and physical changes happening during pregnancy, there are a lot of discomforts that happen very common. Some of them are normal & harmless while some are serious and can be fatal. Close observation is needed till delivery for the health of baby and mother.
Signs & symptoms
- Muscle cramps.
- Increased frequency of urine – needing to pass urine often.
- Urinary stress incontinence – leaking urine.
- Heartburn and indigestion.
- Blocked/stuffed nose.
- Varicose veins – Distended veins, especially in legs.
- Varicose veins in the genital area.
- Constipation and haemorrhoids.
- Swelling in feet, face or other body parts
- Disturbed sleep
Physical changes and hormonal changes during pregnancy
Blood and urine analysis
Symptomatic management without harming the foetus/baby
Most of the discomforts during pregnancy will be relieved after delivery, but constant care and attention is needed.
Most of these discomforts will get relieved after delivery without causing any serious complications. But any abnormal pathology during pregnancy can lead to serious complications like pre-e-eclampsia, premature delivery, stillbirth or maternal death.
Disease & Ayurveda
Ayurveda considers having a healthy baby as the aim of janma(birth), like it is said as sacred as a yajna(ritual). Ayurveda focuses on the importance of pregnancy care for the mother (and of course baby) before, during and after pregnancy. Among them, antenatal care is considered very important to avoid complications during delivery and for begetting a healthy baby. Ancient Ayurvedic classics elaborately explains the details of regimen to be followed by a pregnant woman that is called garbhinicharya. Both physical and mental well-being of the mother is very important. Ayurveda prescribes a particular daily regimen for the pregnant woman. It includes healthy daily & seasonal regimen, well-nourished & easily digestible food with enough hydration, comforting by loving & experienced ladies and proper movements of the body needed for pregnant woman. Month wise care including diet with different milk preparations are explained. Along with the prescription for diet, Yoga and routine body care, instructions are also given for topics of reading & discussion, and music to be listened to etc. Thoughts and feelings of the parents affect the baby. According to ancient Indian philosophers, even before the thought is expressed, it remains in an unexpressed form in the deeper levels of consciousness. From this moment onwards thoughts of mother can reach the baby.
Not mentioned separately.
A pregnant woman may have different health problems. Ayurveda describes nine diseases, which are caused because of the pregnant status of the woman. These diseases are called garbhopadravas, disorders happening due to pregnancy. They are hrullasa(nausea), arochaka(anorexia), chardi(vomiting) mukhasosha(dryness of mouth), jwara(fever), sotha(edema), pandu(anemia), atisaara(diarrhea) and mootrarodha(retention of urine).
Saadhya in uncomplicated cases.
Yaapya in complicated cases
Ayurveda considers management of the pregnant woman to walking with an open vessel filled with oil in the hand without spilling a drop of it. Many medicines and treatments including Panchakarma are contraindicated for garbhini especially in first months of pregnancy. So, it is always better to prevent possible diseases during pregnancy with following good diet & regimen. Any discomfort should be considered accordingly, safe medicines & diet change should be advised according to the dosha vitiation
Proper advice is given to the couple and relatives to provide and sustain a healthy and calm environment.
Procedures and advices are given for keeping mother and foetus healthy.
Any disease occurring in a pregnant woman should be treated with drugs that are mild, compatible and safe to the foetus. Pancha karma (detoxifying procedures) is contraindicated, other than vasthi (enema) in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy.
Oil application and gentle massage followed by a bath with lukewarm water is recommended from fifth month of normal pregnancy. Continue this till delivery. Local applications are advised for any skin problems like itching on the abdomen.
A pregnant woman should have only positive and constructive thoughts. Watching films depicting scenes of horror, murder, and violence can produce negative effect on the baby’s character in future. During pregnancy she should keep company only with people who have a favourable influence over her. She should read fine literature, look at the beautiful works of art, listen to soft music, and contemplate pleasant landscapes.
Visiting lonely places and going to places like riverbanks alone, are banned. Thoughts and disputes which provoke anger can harm both mother and the baby and should always be avoided. Looking at the setting sun, stars, solar and lunar eclipses are contraindicated during pregnancy.
It is better to avoid spicy foods, sexual intercourse, heavy exercises, fall or trauma, weight loss programmes, negative feelings, difficult postures like balancing on one leg or squatting and exposure to unhappy or violent events.
Commonly used medicines
Milk decoctions or water decoctions are advised to take from first month to nineth month.
Commonly used herbs- ( Please consult a qualified Ayurveda Doctor before the intake of the listed herbs)
Black Haw (Viburnm prunifolium)
Blessed milk-thistle (Cnicus benedicuts)
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Chammomile (Maricaria chamomilla)
Crampbark (Viburnm opulus)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
Lemon balm (Mellisa officinalis)
Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica)
Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Slippery Elm Bark (Ulms rubra)
Squaw vine (Mitchella repens)
Straberry (Fragaria vesica)
- To be avoided
Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.
Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine
Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion
Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)
- To be added
Light meals and easily digestible foods, consumed in small meals every three hours
Ensure enough hydration with water and other liquids
Milk, ghee and other milk products
Green gram, nuts, veg soups, fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, meat soup, leafy vegetables, small fish in curry form, egg
Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc
Protect yourself from extreme climate changes.
Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.
Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.
Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle. Be active.
Avoid sitting or squatting for long
Avoid lying on the back. Sleep in side position.
Physical activities in pregnancy are to be monitored by a professional.
Regular stretching, mild cardio exercises and Yoga are recommended in those who already practise it, considering the general health status.
Regular exercise helps improve bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.
Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.
All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.
Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.
Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.
Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.
Dr. Nair is a regular speaker at Ayurveda-related conferences and has visited Germany to propagate Ayurveda. You can write directly to him-
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