Pregnancy is a god-given boon. It is the godly power of mysterious creation of life. Human pregnancy is much valued in all medical systems. Ayurveda has given great importance to pregnancy. It has prescribed certain healthy diets to be taken during and after the pregnancy period. It gives in detail various practices to protect pregnancy physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, gives the greatest importance to the process of human procreation. Pregnancy and childbirth are viewed and treated holistically in Ayurveda. This ancient medical system prescribes special norms for diet, daily activities, behavior, and other vedic rituals both for father and mother, to be practiced during pregnancy for a healthy and safe childbirth. Ayurveda gives in detail various practices to protect pregnancy physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Pregnancy in Ayurvedic texts
The most famous Ayurvedic texts Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita describe the way of treating pregnancy in separate chapters called “Garbhini Vyakarana”. There are guidelines for the pregnant woman regarding diet(ahar), daily activities(achar), and emotional behavior(vihar). Ayurveda is much concerned about the pregnant mother as well as the growing fetus.
Ayurvedic yoga treatment for pregnancy
Ayurvedic treatment of pregnancy begins much before the actual conception. It insists about the time of conception through yoga practices for a successful conception.
Pregnancy, according to Ayurvedic yoga, is a divine process of uniting body and mind. Ayurveda treats union of couples as a divine yoga practice. It prescribes particular diet, dress, and state of mind which the couple should have for a successful union.
Ayurvedic diet during pregnancy
Ayurveda recommends easily digestible foods that nourish the mother and the fetus. Vegetables and fruits are given more preference to help digestion and elimination. Ayurvedic system insists on balancing the three humors(dosha), vata, pitta and kapha. For example, if the pregnant woman takes much hot and spicy foods the pitta humor will be aggravated. This may affect pregnancy very much.
Ayurvedic yoga practices during pregnancy
Ayurveda strongly recommends practicing certain yoga poses during pregnancy.
1) Practicing Pranayama is the most important exercise.
2) Yoga poses involving more standing posture are recommended for the first three months of pregnancy. They promote circulation, strengthen legs, and build up immunization.
3) Yoga poses such as fish pose, cat pose and corpse pose are recommended for the next three months. They give more rest to the body and mind.
4) During the last three months of pregnancy, yoga poses such as butterfly poses(sitting with outstretched legs) and abdominal stretch poses are suggested. They help easy delivery.
5) Ayurveda also suggests that these poses should be practiced only after consulting the Ayurvedic physician.
Pregnancy is called a re-birth. Ayurveda guides with detailed instructions for the health of the mother and the child and also for a safe delivery.