AYURVEDIC ANTENATAL CARE
Pregnancy is not merely a 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 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.
Antenatal care means the care to be taken during pregnancy. In Ayurveda, there is specific medicinal treatment for each month of pregnancy. It is called as Masanumasiki Chikitsa. Thus, there are 9 different groups of medicines, i.e., herbs, for each month of pregnancy.
As per Ayurvedic concepts, in each month of pregnancy, a new Dhahtu (body building substance) is developed in the baby. To help the normal growth of the Dhatu, specific diet and medication is advised. E.g. in the second month, Rakta Dhatu (blood tissue) is formed. Hence medicines like Yashtimadhu, Manjishtha, etc are given. Also, food items like figs, pomegranate, ghee, gooseberry etc are advised.
The growth of the baby does not depend only on mother’s diet and medication. The Vihar, i.e. behavior of mother also plays an important part in it. In Ayurveda, some acts are considered as garbhopaghatakar bhaav. (garbhopaghatakar means harmful to the fetus). Therefore, certain instructions regarding behavior are given to every mother. According to Ayurveda, some of these things should be avoided:
2. Lifting heavy things.
3. Sitting on hard surfaces for long period of time.
4. Negative emotions like anger, grief, repulsion, etc.
5. Neglecting nature calls of defecation, urination, and suppression of hunger, thirst, vomiting, etc.
6. Eating heavy, spicy, unhealthy, food items.