By Dr Raghuram Y. S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B. A. M. S
Comprehensive care of pregnant woman with respect to food, lifestyle, behaviour, medicines and treatments were carried out with utmost care. Monthly regimen for pregnant women explained in ancient Ayurvedic texts point towards wisdom of these authors and precision with which protocol for pregnancy care was drafted in olden days.
Read – Diet And Lifestyle For Women In Ayurveda
As there is graduated growth and development of fetus in mother’s womb every month, requirement of different kinds of food and modulations which need to be brought in protocol seems sensible and mandatory.
Anupasamskruta dugdha – After confirmation of pregnancy, pregnant woman should take anupasamskruta dugdha i. e. non-medicated or unprocessed milk. This should be taken repeatedly in desired quantity. Milk shall be taken according to digestive power and strength of woman.
Satmya Bhojana – congenial diet should be taken in morning and evening.
Madhura sheeta drava praya ahara – foods which are , cold and liquid diet should be consumed by pregnant woman in first three months.
opinion (A. Sam. Shaa. 3/3)
Upasamskruta ksheera – medicated milk should be consumed once in morning and evening. Quantity should be such that it gets easily digested and doesn’t produce indigestion.
Ksheerodbhava Sarpi – During first 12 days of pregnancy ghee which has been extracted from milk i. e. prepared from clarified butter extracted from milk should be consumed. Same ghee extracted from milk shall be cooked and medicated with Desmodium gangeticum and Butea monosperma before consumption. Water boiled with gold, silver and subsequently cooled should be used as after-drink for above mentioned medicated ghee.
Madhura sheeta drava ahara – foods which are sweet in taste, cold and liquid should be consumed at morning and evening.
Atreya gives a similar
opinion that by consuming mentioned gruel woman is going to give birth to a
child who would become tawny in complexion. He also tells that benefits of this
gruel cannot be ignored. On consuming this gruel, pregnant woman remains
disease free and delivers a child possessing best health, energy, complexion, voice,
compactness of body and much superior in virtues in comparison to other family
Chakrapani opines that in comparison
to side effects of this gruel which are negligible, since benefits are much
more it shall be used by pregnant woman.
opinion (Su. Shaa. 10/4)
Asthapana Vasti – In eighth month of pregnancy, in order to clear retained feces from intestines, and to bring about downward movement of vata, evacuative enema should be given. Asthapana vasti should be given with decoction of jujube fruit mixed with Sida cordifolia, Abutilon indicum, Anethum sowa, pestled sesame seeds, milk, curds, sour butter, oil, salt, Randia dumetorum, honey and ghee.
Anuvasana Vasti – After giving asthapana vasti, anuvasana vasti i. e. unctuous enema should be given with oil medicated with milk and decoction of herbs of sweet tasting group of herbs.
After administering asthapana and anuvasana vastis, vata moves in downward direction which is its normal course. Due to normal movement of vata, lady delivers without difficulty and will also be free from complications.
Snigdha yavagu and jangala rasa – after enema, pregnant woman should be fed with unctuous gruels and meat soup of wild animals. These foods should be given until delivery.
Vagbhata has combined opinions of both Charaka and Sushruta. He tells that in 8th month of pregnancy, rice gruel prepared with milk and mixed with ghee should be served.
Instead of Bhadrakapya, Vagbhata has mentioned that Khandakapya has mentioned not to give yavagu in 8th month for same reasons mentioned by Charaka as said by Bhadrakapya.
Vagbhata also has included vitality as one of virtues with which child would be born among many virtues mentioned by Atreya (as said in Charaka’s version).
From list of herbs used for asthapana vasti mentioned by Sushruta, Vagbhata has deleted 3 herbs i. e. shatapushpa, bala and atibala, rest of formulation would be same as explained by Sushruta.
Vagbhata has advised that enema should be given to woman in nyubja sthiti i. e. in bent or humpbacked position because in this position, passage becomes dilated and medicines given through enema would enter colon properly.
Sa ghrita ksheera peya – liquid diet prepared with ghee and milk
Ghrita anuvasanam – unctuous enema prepared with ghee and herbs of sweet tasting group of herbs for cleansing collected feces
Niruha vasti – after administering pregnant woman with anuvasana vasti, niruha vasti i. e. decoction enema should be given with decoction of dry radish, jujube, and sour substances mixed with pestled Anethum sowa, ghee, oil and rock salt.
opinion (Haa. Sam. Tr. Stha. 49/3)
Ghruta Puraka – Harita advices that a kind of sweet preparation called Ghruta puraka prepared in ghee should be given to pregnant woman in 8th month of her pregnancy.
Unctuous enema with oil prepared using sweet tasting group of herbs (Cha. Shaa. 8/32, A. Sam. Shaa. 3/12)
Vaginal tampons should be given with same oil for lubrication of uterus and vaginal canal and perineum. (Cha. Shaa. 8/32, A. Sam. Shaa. 3/12)
Unctuous gruels and meat soup of wild animals (Su. Shaa. 10/4)
Meat soup with cooked rice and ghee or rice gruel mixed with good quantity of fat (A. Hr. Shaa. 1)
Daily bath with cold decoction prepared from vata alleviating leaves (A. Hr. Shaa. 1)
Different varieties of cereals (Haa. Sam. Tr. Sthaa. 49/3)
Unctuous enema with Kadambamasha oil By use of this, accumulated feces go in lower passage. Thus, delivery of child becomes normal. After use of this vasti, yavagu or rice gruel should be given. (Bhe. Sam. Shaa. 8/7)
Benefits of monthly dietetic regimen used for pyregnant women
Woman remains healthy after consuming
diet advised in monthly dietetic regimen for pregnant woman. She delivers a
child possessing good health, energy, voice, compactness and would be superior
to other family members. (Charaka)
When a pregnant woman consumes this
dietetic regimen from first to ninth month,
Her fetal membranes, vaginal canal, abdomen, sacral region, flanks and back become soft,
Her vata moves into its right direction (vata anulomana), feces, urine and placenta are excreted or expelled easily by their respective passages,
Her skin and nail become soft,
Gains strength and complexion,
She delivers child easily at proper time, a desired, excellent, healthy child possessing all qualities and long life (Charaka and Vagbhata)
dietetic regimen of pregnant woman – analysis
three months of pregnancy –
Most pregnant women would experience vomiting. They will not be able to take food properly. Therefore use of cold and sweet liquid diet and also milk will prevent dehydration, supply required nourishment and will check vomiting and nausea. Sweet tasting group of herbs is anabolic in nature. They will help in maintenance of proper health of mother and fetus.
Read – How To Balance Vata Dosha? Line Of Treatment And Reasoning
of pregnancy onwards –
There will be good muscular development of fetus. This will put in need of more proteins. Use of meat soup will serve this purpose, to supplement proteins to fetus and also enable its proper growth.
By end of
second trimester (6 months of pregnancy) –
Most women will have edema of feet and other complications caused due to fluid accumulation in body. Tribulus terrestris is a good diuretic. Use of this herb in 6th month will prevent retention of water and also other complications.
Read – Lifestyle Tips, Yoga And Home Remedies For Pedal Edema
month of pregnancy, use of vidarigandhadi group of herbs –
This group of herbs is diuretic, anabolic,
relieves emaciation and suppresses pitta and kapha. Their regular use in 7th
month of pregnancy helps in maintaining optimum health of mother and fetus.
Vaginal tampons may destroy pathogenic bacteria of vaginal canal and thus prevent puerperal sepsis. Tampon may also soften vaginal passage. This would help in normal labour. It will also help in softening perineum and help in its relaxation during delivery of child.
Milk and Sweet tasting group of herbs –
Milk and sweet tasting group of herbs have been advised to be taken by pregnant women during entire pregnancy period. Milk is a wholesome diet and a whole diet also. It is rasayana i. e. rejuvenator. Sweet tasting group of herbs is anabolic in nature. Use of these herbs during pregnancy will help in maintenance of proper health of mother and also will enable proper growth and development of fetus.
Read – Human Breast Milk Benefits, Ways To Increase Production
Garbhini Paricharya – Ayurvedic Antenatal Care
Samanya Ahara Vihara – Normal diet and mode of life for pregnant woman
Charaka’s advices (Ch. Shaa. 8/21)
Pregnant woman desirous of begetting a healthy and good looking child should –
Give up ahita ahara and vihara i. e. non-congenial diet and mode of life
Protect self by good conduct and using congenial diet and mode of life
Diet caution – Whatever food and drink pregnant woman consumes become congenial to fetus. Therefore diet should be taken cautiously taking into consideration the place of living and eating, time, season and digestive capacity. These things should never be neglected.
Water processed with sarvagandha i. e. all fragrant herbs
Cold decoction of pounded leaves of vata suppressing herbs
Mani dharana – amulet for pregnant woman According to Kshyapa, pregnant woman should wear amulet made of Trivrit (Operculina turpethum) in her waist (Ref – Ka. Sam. Khi. 10).
Masanumasika Pathya Prayoga – Month wise dietary regimen for pregnant woman Ayurveda has specified use of different forms of diet in different months of pregnancy by pregnant woman.
Garbhini Varjya Ahara Vihara – Diet and mode of life contraindicated during pregnancy Some types of foods and life activities are not suited during pregnancy. They may pose threat to life of expectant mother as well as fetus. They are called as factors likely to harm fetus.