Ayurveda is the holistic science that perceives man as not a mere mortal of physical existence but a being with a body, mind and soul.  Thus, ayurveda applies a very holistic approach to pregnancy and its related ailments.

The efforts, for a healthy progeny, do begin before its conception. It includes stabilizing the mother's menstrual cycle, the health of the ovum as well as measures to improve the health of the father.

Ayurveda and Foetal Development 

Disclaimer: the regimens recommended should be followed only upon the advise of your Ayurvedic Doctor.

The first trimester (i.e the first month of pregnancy to third month of pregnancy) is regarded as the most important phase. This phase is crucial in stabilising the pregnancy. The Ayurvedic texts state the following:

During the First Month

In the first month, the foetus does not appear to be distinct.

Hence, the mother maybe prescribed milk decoctions with Jeevaniya gana medication.

What are Jeevaniya medication? These are water-soluble elements that may cross the placenta and influence the foetus. These medications relieve the body of its weakness and aids digestion as well as lessens palpitations.

Physicians also recommend a few other preparation for the development of the foetus.

Milk decoctions made with Sida cordifolia

Bala kurunthotti or Sida cordifolia, is a pregnancy preparation that is used to prepare a milk decoction.  The mixture is a nervine tonic. It helps to reduce the stomach irritations associated with pregnancy. It also helps in developing the brain of the foetus.

Sida cordifolla helps to improve the immunity levels of the mother and foetus.  This also helps the mother and child during parturition. Further, according to Ayurveda  such medicines also help to improve the chances of a normal vaginal delivery.

During the Second Month

During this stage, the foetus attains a certain form.

The mother is likely to develop a craving for certain types of food. This is called Dauhrida. Experts state that the craving is a result of the baby’s desire to consume food with certain elements.

At this point in time, she should consume the food that she craves for, after consulting her physician.

Milk decoctions from the bark of Banyan Tree

An Ayurvedic phyisician, may prescribe for the mother a milk decoction made from the bark or the fruit Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis). This can help prevent abortions and reduce morning sickness.

Lakshmana moola or the root of Ipomea marginata also has a similar effect and and is also widely used.

During Third Month

Certain parts of the foetus become more distinct and can be sexually differentiated. The foetus feels pain and achieves consciousness. The sense organs have subtle manifestations while the mind manifests stronger.

Hence, the craving or Dauhrida becomes stronger. Her moods also begin to fluctuate more often than before.

Milk decoctions and Poison Berry

Mothers could also consume Poison Berry (Solanum indicum) as a milk decoction during third month of pregnancy. It controls the blood glucose and cholesterol level. Thus, reducing the incidents of gestational diabetes.

Posion Berry also has anti-oxidant properties and can ease the delivery of the child.

A tale of the past

Many years ago, pregnant mothers were advised to pray to a certain deity once the foetus had attained consciousness. This implied that the mind of the foetus had begun to develop as well. Some believed that the chanting of a specific verse could have a positive impact on the foetus.

A few quick facts

Pregnant mothers should be given food along with ghee, butter and milk. Fat is necessary for the development of the child's brain. However, she could play it safe and go-easy on:

  • Intense exercise routines
  • Using heavy blankets
  • Working late-into-the-night
  • Sitting on hard and uneven surface
  • Negative emotions – i.e being sad, angry, frightened,
  • Fasting, spicy and heavy eatables
  • Alcohol, meat and overthinking

 

The author, Dr. Dhanya Dilip, is an Ayurveda doctor based in Bengaluru, India. She graduated from the Government Ayurveda Medical College, Kochi, Kerala, India.