Pregnancy is the time in a woman’s life, when all that she tastes, hears or smells should appear pleasant both to the child and the mother. Ayurveda has specific recommendations for bringing about a balance to the mind, body, behavior and environment of the pregnant woman.
Ayurvedic theories recommend sattvic, easily digestible and pure foods that provide nourishments to the tissues of the child and the mother. These include foods such as wheat, ghee, fresh vegetables, rice, grains and fruits. Such foods do not lead to indigestion or constipation, and are believed to create a more balanced state of mind, as such foods help the mother in attaining vitality and good health.
Researches have proved that depression, sorrow or grief could have negative impact on the growth of the body. This could contribute to babies with low birth-weight and such babies are prone to more sleep problems and colic. Also in cases of Vata imbalances, the child develops hyperactivity, dry skin or musculo-skeletal problems while growing. Hence such imbalances should be nipped in the bud.
Practicing Transcendental Meditation has proven beneficial effects during pregnancy. It reduces stress and brings about balance of all doshas. When the nervous system is balanced, the mother tends to be healthy and happy.
Diet should also be of prime importance during and after pregnancy. The mother’s digestion is usually weak, after child birth. Hence foods that are easily digestible and nourishing, such as vegetable soups, ghee and milk should be part of the diet. Ayurveda believes that certain diets that aggravate vata dosha, when consumed during pregnancy, will show up as colic in the baby, and hence such foods should be avoided.
A regular oil massage (Abhyanga) is a powerful rejuvenator for the mother. However, such massages should be done only by experts in the field. The rejuvenating effect of the massage could last for as long as a week. Apart from this, there are herbal teas that are specifically recommended during pregnancy for revitalization. These massages and drinks are excellent for relaxation and a feeling of wellness.
The mother and the child share a strong bond. Hence, the mood, emotions and diet of the mother is very important for giving her baby a happy and healthy start in life.