The Ayurvedic Approach to Pregnancy Care
Pregnancy care consists of prenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) healthcare for expectant mothers. It involves therapies and trainings to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery for mom and baby.
Ayurveda has always given importance to care the female at every phase of her life in respect of menstrual care, antenatal care and post natal care.
Antenatal care is the systemic supervision of women during pregnancy. Its aim is to preserve the physiological aspect of pregnancy and labour. According to Ayurvedic perspective, Garbhini Paricharya refers to ante natal care with recommendations of Aahara (specific diatery regimen), Vihara (normal daily activities and therapeutic procedure) & modifications in psychological behaviour. Acharyas have outlined a monthly dietary regimen to meet an increase of caloric intake of pregnant women, behavioural alterations to enhance spiritual & mental status, and herbal medication & procedure to treat complications during pregnancy. Garbhini paricharya provides the needs of the growing foetus, the maintenance of maternal health, and the strength and vitality required during labour and for successful lactation. Inadequate care during this time breaks a critical link and affects both women and babies.
Ayurveda believes that the birth of a child triggers an imbalance in the body’s doshas, as a large gap is created in the womb that was once occupied by the fetus and placenta. The process of childbirth, which is physically demanding and rigorous, excites Vata dosha. Once Vata is aggravated, it is in its nature to rush in and occupy empty spaces and childbirth gives Vata a large empty space to occupy. Traditional post natal practices therefore centre around nourishing, oil and ghee based warm food and regimens like abhyanga to remove fatigue, provide strength back to the body and reduce the likelihood of vata rushing in and upsetting the body’s dosha balance.
There are different opinions about the duration of this period, which ranges from six weeks to six months and some believe that it lasts until the restoration of menstrual cycle. A special diet plan for the prasuta (the lady who has just delivered) is recommended for this period to make good the loss of the reproductive fluids and blood during the pregnancy and delivery. The prasuta should consume light, yet nourishing food during the sutika kaal (period between delivery and first menstrual cycle thereafter).
Ayurveda says that after delivery, the mother’s digestive fire (agni) will be low and vata is vitiated immediately after delivery & the aims of postnatal care is to restore the agni, balance the vata, and optimize the quality of breast milk. Thus, to calm the vata which is vitiated, oil massages are recommended. After delivery, the woman becomes weak due to labour pains & loss of blood. Mithyaachar (inappropriate physical and mental behavior) in this period definitely results in incurable diseases or diseases whichare difficult to cure. At Sevayu, a special life style is recomminded, as suggested by Ayurveda, called Sutika Paricharya, which is reviewed in detail to maintain the health of the client.
The initial 42 days after giving birth are an important time for healing and transition, physically and emotionally. While there is a temptation to jump back into “normal life”, honoring your body’s needs to heal and slow down will actually speed up your recovery. Ayurveda has supported this approach for thousands of years with a beautiful tradition of postpartum care. It includes foods and rituals that are incredibly grounding, nurturing, and nourishing,
At Sevayu, our Vaidyas can assist by outlining a plan that best supports your needs. This includes Abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage), preparation of a post-massage herbal bath that helps relieve pain and stiffness, easy to digest and nourishing Ayurvedic meals, dietary guidance, self-care guidance, ayurvedic herbal formulas to aid your recovery process and support lactation.
During pregancy, Ayurvedic protocols encourage the mother the follow right living, including dietary and lifestyle considerations. Accompanying therapies to offer in pre-natal cases include:
- Head and foot massage: Shiroabhyangha & Padabhyangha
- 3rd eye treatment: Shirodhara
- Facial Massage
- Pregnancy care massage
In post-natal cases, due attention is given to restoration, detoxification, and rejuvenation. In addition to this, dietary and herbal recommendations are give to assist the lactation process. Accompanying therapies include:
- Full body massage: Sarva Abhyangha
- Steam and fomentation: Svedana
- Nasal administration herbs and herbal oil medications: Nasya Karma
- Herbal paste therapy for stretch marks: Lepana
- Rejuvenation therapy: Rasayana Chikitsa
Based on your constitution, wellness needs and pregnancy planning, an Ayurvedic specialist will recommend a specific therapeutic protocol.
Please call us today at 289-621-3050 to book a consultation with an Ayurvedic specialist today!