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Pregnancy and childbirth are exclusive privileges of feminine gender and are the most precious period in a woman’s life. It is the stage of physiology yet requires extra care as the mother bears a new life in her womb. Pregnancy care in Ayurveda is known as Garbhini Paricharya and includes Aahara/diet, Vihara/lifestyle and activities and Chikitsa/therapies and medicines. Month wise pregnancy care is described in Ayurveda to manage the nutritional requirements, physiological changes in the body, mental status of the expectant mother and the things to be avoided.

Month wise dietary regimen in Pregnancy

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1st Month:

Take regularly practicing diet. Include Sheetaksheera-cold milk flavored with saffron, that has sweet, cold, liquid qualities, milk medicated with Yashtimadhu (Glycerrhiza glabra) or parusaka (Grewia asiatica) and butter in diet. Use Balamoolaksheerapaka-special medicated milk with roots of Kurunthoti-Sida cordifolia.

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2nd Month:

Reduce sour and spicy food. Include milk medicated with sweet potency drugs like Vidari-Ipomea, Ksheera Kakoli (Roscoe aprocera), sweet cold liquid food, Use Lakshmana ksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Thiruthali-Ipomoea obscura.

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3rd Month:

Use food that is soft and well cooked. Increase quantity and frequency of food. Drink more water and fruit juices. Include milk with honey, sweet, liquid food and avoid spices. Use Brihatiksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Cheruvazhuthina-Solanum indicum.

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4th Month:

Use food that is chewable and well-cooked lean meat dishes. Include milk with butter, Shastika dadhi odana seasoned red rice cooked soft and mixed with sweet curd, Dugdhanavneeta sidhhajangalamamsayuktahridyaanna-rice cooked with lean meat, milk and butter, Ksheeranavaneetasanskritaodana-rice cooked and mixed with butter and milk. Use Kantakariksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Orilaveru-root of Desmodium gangeticum.

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5th Month:

Use cow ghee, and milk. IncludeKsheeraghritaShastikaodana-rice with milk and ghee, Ksheerasarpiyuktajangalmansayuktahridyaanna-well-cooked seasoned rice with milk, ghee and lean meat, KsheeraghritaPaayasa-sweet porridge with milk and ghee in diet. Use Kantakariksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Chittamrutha-Tinospora cordifolia

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6th Month:

Use more semi solid food. Include sweet, flavoured milk, Ghrithashwadanshtrasidhhaoryavagu-Tribulus terestris and ghee treated rice and Madhuradadhi- sweet curd or lassi in diet. Use Kantakariksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Putharichunda-Solanum xanthocarpum

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7th Month:

Increase frequency of food, use milk porridges, ghee and fruits in food. Include Medicated ghee Vidarigandhadisidhhasarpi, milk with sugar and ghee and Ghritakhanda-ghee halwas and laddoos. Use Yavaksheerapaka-special medicated milk with barley-Hordeum vulgare

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8th Month:

Use Ksheerayavagu-milk and lentil porridges with ghee. Include Ghritapuraka-ghee filled or smeared rotis in diet. Do therapies like Aasthapanavasti and Anuvasanavasti-medicated enemas. Use Murvaksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Perumkurumba-Marsdenia tenacissima

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9th Month:

Do therapies like Madhuraaushadhisidhhataila anuvasana-oil enema and yonipichu-insertion of medicated tampoon in vagina. Use as food Snigdhayavagu-medicated soup andjangala mamsarasa-lean meat soup tilldelivery. Include different varieties of rice preparations, wheat preparations, sweet, cold, light, easily digestible, nutritious liquid food. Include Agnideepaka-appetizers like ginger. Drink lots of warm water to prevent dehydration and to maintain optimum amniotic fluid. Use Shatavariksheerapaka-special medicated milk with Shatavari-Asparagus racemosa.

Importance of Milk in Pregnancy Diet

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Milk is shamaka and anabolic in nature which helps in maintenance of proper health of mother and growth and development of the fetus. Milk provides nourishment and stability to the fetus and also prevents abortion. Milk is also congenial, increases intellectual level (medhya), strength (bala) and lactogenic. Milk is a natural source of folic acid and it is also a good source of carbohydrate, fat, proteins (almost all amino acids), iodine, calcium, minerals and enzymes which is essential for fetal and mother nourishment.

Importance of Cow Ghee in Pregnancy Diet

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Ghee pacifies body heat and provides essential lipids and lubrication. Ghee is a rich source of LDL Cholesterol. The placenta can utilize cholesterol as a precursor derived from the mother for the production of pregnenolone which is converted to progesterone. Honey and Ghee in combination act as a potent Immuno-modulator

Importance of Meat Soup in Pregnancy Diet

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Lean meat soup or Mamsarasa provides nourishment to mother and baby apart from meeting the water, protein and calcium requirements. Jangalamamsa or lean meat is a source of proteins, vitamins, fat, minerals (iron and other minerals) and endogenous antioxidants.

Carbohydrates and Pulses indicated in Pregnancy

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Purana Shali-seasoned rice and Shashtika Shali- seasoned red rice, , Godhooma-wheat, Sakthu-flour of parched rice, Mudga- green gram etc. Fruits indicated in Pregnancy: Local fully ripe fruits which are slightly sour and predominantly sweet, fibrous and easily digestible are to be preferred. Kadali-banana, Amalaki-Indian Gooseberry or other berries, Draksha-grapes, etc.

Other food items in Pregnancy

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Sesame seed oil, Gokshura (Tribulus terestris), Prithakparnyadi (Vidarigandhadi) group of drugs, Snigdha Yavagu-buttered soup, Ushnodaka-luke warm water, etc.

Pregnancy Lifestyle/Vihara

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  • From the start to delivery woman should live happily, avoid stress and control negative emotions.
  • Spirituality, personal hygiene, good company, dressing up with light coloured, soft, comfortable clothes and ornaments, religious rites, charitable deeds etc. help the woman maintain good mental health.
  • She should use soft clean cushions and mattress that is neither too high or too low to sit, rest and sleep
  • Pillows should not be very high. Use semi-soft pillows
  • Husband and family should take extra care of the food, lifestyle and mental health of the pregnant woman. She should be engaged in positive activities that keep her happy and contented
  • The house and room should be fumigated daily
  • Listen to calming soft smooth music

Avoidances during Pregnancy/Garbhopaghathakara bhavas

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  • High potency spicy drugs and food
  • Heavy exercise
  • Intense Sexual Activity especially during first and third trimesters
  • Excessive food intake
  • Starving and skipping food
  • Dehydration
  • Day sleep and irregular sleep pattern
  • Staying awake at night
  • Grief, anger and negative emotions
  • Travel, especially bumpy roads, long journeys, etc.
  • Panchakarma and other medical procedures
  • Indigestion
  • Suppression of natural urges
  • Negative audio-visual exposure
  • Use of heavy duvet or body covers
  • Intake of alcohol, red meat and narcotics
  • Sleeping in supine position
  • Same posture for long periods
  • Excessive display of emotions

Suggested Yoga during Pregnancy

(Samwarthika strictly recommends to take personal advice from your Doctor and a qualified Yoga Practitioner before practicing Yoga)

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1st Trimester

  • Kantha and Skandha Sanchalana (Gentle Neck and Shoulder Rolls)
  • Ardha Baddha Konasana (Half Butterfly)
  • Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bends)
  • Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
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2nd Trimester

  • Baddha Konasana (Full Butterfly)
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt or Hero’s Pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Shishu asana or Balasana (Child’s Pose)
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3rd Trimester

  • Poorna Skandh Sanchalana (Full Shoulder Rotation)
  • Urdhva Hastasana (Standing Upward Stretch or Hand Raising Pose)
  • Konasana (Side Angle Pose)
  • Savasana, Yoga Nidra