Pregnancy is not a merely physiological process. It is a great responsibility given by nature to us. Both, the father and the mother, should be aware of this responsibility and hence they should be prepared, physically and psychologically, to carry it. But, still, as the mother has to carry the baby in her womb, nourish it, and most importantly, give birth to the baby, more responsibility rests upon her shoulders. Ayurvedic theories recommend easily digestible and pure foods that provide nourishments to the tissues of the child and the mother. Diet The food she eats should be delicious to her. Much of the diet should be in a liquid or semi-liquid form, moist, nourishing, enriched with all the tastes and supplemented with digestive promoting plant medicines and spices which are known to increase appetite and digestive power. Ayurveda specifically mentions the following foods as healthy during all trimesters of pregnancy: rice, milk, wheat, amalaki fruit, raisins, grapes, mango, butter, ghee, and small quantities of raw sugar. Do's • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, especially water. • Cabbage, Cauliflower & all long green vegetables such as Tondali, Turai, Louki, Parwal, Spinach, and Govari should be used alternately. You must keep balance, rather than eating same vegetable all the time. • Black grapes, banana, ripe mango, dates, cashew nuts, apricot are very beneficial. • Butter, clarified butter, milk, honey, fennel seeds, sweets made from jaggery rather than white sugar can be taken in limited quantity.
• Rice, Murmure, pulao, Bhakari, Khichri, Chapati, Paratha, Gujarati thepla are the items made from wheat and rice, so they are quite beneficial.
• Eat healthy, fiber-rich foods with lots of vegetables and fruits. Drink sufficient low-fat milk, yogurt to get your calcium
• During pregnancy, mother must focus on supplemental nutrients while maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. They must get a list of healthy Indian foods and meal planning tips from doctor to eat well during a pregnancy.
• Indian women try to carry out fasts during pregnancy which is not good for health.
• Do not eat left over, frozen & deep-frozen food.
• Avoid cold drinks, mutton, cocoa, chicken, eggs, alcohol.
• Tea, coffee & ice-creams can be taken in limited quantity.
• Items such as sandwich, bakery bread, bun, dhokla, pizza, pancake, khaman, steamed rice cake, curd, tomato, tamarind, kadhi usually increase the swellings and acidity. So, try to avoid such item but if such problems do not exist, you can take in small quantity.
• Remember, the baby inside depends on you for proper nutrition. So, if you will take healthy & balanced diet your child will become healthy.
• Alcohol should be avoided strictly.
• Reduce brinjal, suran/yam, papaya, celery, onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, pepper, asfoetida, mustard, bajara, carom seeds, jaggery from your diet. You must remember that those who have previous history of abortion better they must avoid these.
• Those who suffer from constipation, gas, bloating must avoid peas and other `heavy to digest' cereals, potato. They must take green gram as it is easy to digest and gives protein.
• Sleep (seven to nine hours every night) - Aches, pains, anxiety and bathroom runs keep many pregnant women awake at night. To get some sleep, try getting your spouse to eat any large meals at least three hours before going to bed, get some easy exercise (like walking) and avoid long naps during the day. Make sure she sleeps on her left side and uses pillows between her legs and under her belly to help her get comfortable.
• Take sufficient rest and keep stress at bay supply.
• Get into regular simple physical activities like walks, Walking is highly recommended for at least the first two trimesters, as it can help your body withstand the rigors of labor and delivery more easily.
• Application of oil on all over the body before taking the bath.
• Attend your prenatal check-ups regularly.
• Wear your seatbelt whenever in cars, vans or trucks
• Try to maintain a cheerful mood
• Be clean, neat and well dressed
• Dress in simple clothes and ornaments
• Engage in peaceful and benedictory activities
• Sleep under a roof in a clean environment
• Smoking to be strictly avoided. It has been linked to a low birth weight, miscarriage and premature birth in many different studies. Second hand smoke poses the same dangers during pregnancy, and should be avoided at all costs.
• Stress - If she can, your spouse should control the stress in her life. When it comes to work and family, she should figure out what she can really do. She should set limits with herself and others. Tell your spouse that she should not be afraid to say no to requests for her time and energy.
• Excessive sex particularly during early and late pregnancy
• Overeating or fasting
• Speaking in a loud voice
• Sleeping during the day time and staying up late at night
• Tight clothes and tight belts
• Words or sights which give rise to feelings of sorrow, anger, fear or pain
• Traveling in a vehicle on rough roads
• Squatting for a long time or sitting in an uncomfortable position or on a hard surface
• Lifting heavy things or remaining in a bending position for a long time
• Oleation massage etc. unless positively indicated
• Beholding natural urges unless in an emergency
• Dry, stale, fermented, heavy, hot or strong food, alcohol and meat.
• Visiting abandoned and remote places
• Leaning into a deep well
• Avoid exposure to toxic substances and chemicals, such as cleaning solvents, lead and mercury, some insecticides, and paint.
• Protect yourself and your baby from food-borne illness, which can cause serious health problems and even death. Handle, clean, cook, eat, and store food properly.
• Don't use illegal drugs or over the counter drugs.
• Don't take very hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.
• Don't use scented feminine hygiene products.
• Don't douche. It can irritate the vagina
• Avoid x-rays.
• Not touch deformed persons
• Avoid long walks.
• Not indulge in anger, fright, or other agitating emotions
• Refrain from the use of cosmetics and constant cleaning of the body.
Monthly Regimen in Pregnancy
• During the first trimester, stress is laid on stabilizing the pregnancy and nurturing the uterine bed through rasa and rakta dhatus. The embryo gets nourishment directly by percolation. Hence more liquid substances such as juicy fruits, coconut water, milk, and so on are advocated.
• In the first month: Sipping cold milk along with meals and eating only in the morning and evening (i.e breakfast and dinner). Tandulodaka (lit.water from rice washing; e.g. modern equivalent: rice milk).
• During the second month: The intake of warm milk decoctions medicated with sweet herbs like Vidari, Sarkara (Cane juice), Shatavari, Yasthimadhu, Brahmi, all of which are life-supporting and helping maintain implantation. Honey and ghee are also recommended.
• During the third month: Ayurveda recommends warm milk with added honey and ghee. Also, the ground rind of amalaki fruits with coldwater.
• During the fourth month: The head, torso and extremities start to become differentiated, the motor and sensory nervous tissues start to develop, the heart takes its place, and the foetus makes known its needs and desires via the mother's physiology. This is the period when the woman craves for certain foods and tastes. Normally, the needs of both the foetus and the mother are the same. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends that the mother´s cravings be fulfilled as far as possible, as long as they are not absolutely unreasonable (i.e. a diabetic mother craving excessive ice cream a hypertensive mother craving excessive salt, etc.). Shankhpushpi, gulkand, and brahmi help in calming the nerves and are also good maintainers of pregnancy.
• From the fifth to the seventh months: plant preparations which give strength to the uterine muscles and nourishment to the embryo, are advised. Ashwagandha and Guduchi are particularly good in this regard. They help to ensure optimal condition of the placenta and uterine tissues as well as of the umbilical cord. The diet should be one of rice, milk, butter and ghee. Fruits which are orange or yellow in color are advocated such as mangoes, apples, carrots, amalaki etc. Leafy vegetables are also advised. During the seventh month, hairs form on the fetus and the abdominal skin begins to become stretched giving rise to itching and striations. This can be treated by taking sips of the infusion of jujube berries or butter medicated with manjistha, the application of the pulp of sandalwood and lotus or of a paste made of neem, turmeric and manjistha, or oil medicated with tulsi leaves or jasmine.
• From the eighth month: forward, there should be less fat, less salt and less water in the diet. Ayurveda recommends rice kanji cooked in milk with a little ghee. After the completion of the eighth month, herbs which are mild diuretics and urinary antiseptics, such as punarnava, gokshuru and sariva, are advised. Fennel seed powder in small quantities is also recommended for its mild carminative and anti-spasmodic actions.
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