PRE-CONCEPTIONAL AND CARE DURING FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY IN AYURVEDA
Pregnancy is the most important phase in any woman’s life. Proper care should be exercised for the health of the lady, as it has got direct influence on the health of the baby. Ayurveda emphasises upon special care to be taken regarding the diet, lifestyle and mental factors for healthy progeny. The care starts even before pregnancy during pre-conceptional period, considered under the Garbhadana Vidhi. Further, extends to antenatal period known as Garbhini Paricharya and postnatal care known as Sutika Paricharya.
In Ayurveda the care starts even before the conceptional period i. e. pre-conceptional care
Different kinds of rituals for health promotion have been described. The Garbhadana Vidhi (conception method) emphasises on the care to be taken during the conception. Pumsavana Sanskara for best progeny is also advocated.
- Drink made of flour of white barley with honey and ghee churned with cow’s milk
- Eat breakfast made of rice, barley along with curd, honey, ghee and milk.
- Her mind should be in pleasant condition. One should always be compassionate with her and exhibit gentle behaviour and good conduct as it influences the characters of the foetus.
ANTENATAL CARE IN AYURVEDA (MASANUMASIKA GARBHINI PARICHARYA)
In Ayurveda during the pregnancy utmost care is given regarding the diet (Ahara), lifestyle (Vihara) and pleasant state of mind (Vichara). Because, health of the mother directly affects health of the child. Even modern scientific researches have already proved this fact. These have been mentioned in Ayurvedic scriptures thousands of years back.
Vital points to be considered during antenatal care
- Ahara or diet is considered as Medicine or Aushadha in Ayurveda.
- Pregnancy is a physiological condition requiring additional nutrition to fulfill the needs of mother and fetus.
- Taking medicine during this time should be avoided as they may produce some adverse effect on the fetus.
- Hence, the food during pregnancy should supplement the additional nutritional requirement and also act as a medicine for the physiological changes during pregnancy.
- Medicines can be avoided or minimized emphasizing much upon diet, which is most important as per Ayurveda.
Advantages of following Antenatal care in Ayurveda (Cha. Sha.8/32)
- यदिदंकर्म प्रथमं मासं समुपादायोपदिष्टमानवमान्मासात्तेन गर्भिण्या गर्भसमये गर्भ
The following of Masanumasika Garbhinicharya from first to ninth month during the pregnancy brings about following changes
- धारिणीकुक्षिकटीपार्श्वपृष्ठंमृदूभवति– Brings about laxity in abdomen, flanks and lumbar region
- वातश्चानुलोमःसम्पद्यते–Alleviates Vata
- मूत्रपुरीषेच प्रकृतिभूते सुखेन मार्गमनुपद्येते- Proper evacuation of urine, faeces in natural way
- चर्मनखानिच मार्दवमुपयान्ति- skin, nails become soft
- बलवर्णौचोपचीयेते- strength promotion
- पुत्रंचेष्टं सम्पदुपेतं सुखिनं सुखेनैषा काले प्रजायत इति II=Birth of healthy progeny without any difficulty
Main feature of diet during pregnancy
- Nourishing- Predominant in sweet taste
- Conducive to the physiological changes occurring during pregnancy- Medicated dietary preparation that aids the conditions
- Diet that brings in positive changes for the requirement after delivery
- Balanced diet
- Taking food after digestion of previously taken food
- Taking food as per one’s capacity – one part with solid foods, one with liquids and one part is left empty for action of doshas required for digestion
- Timely food
- Avoid incompatible combination of food
- Foods to be regularly taken in the diet
- Viruddhahara should be avoided
- Nityasevaniya Aharas as advocated in Charaka Samhita like rice, barley, green gram, Indian gooseberries, rock salt, milk, ghee should be consumed regularly as per Agni, in diet for health promotion and disease prevention.
- Intake of fruits like grapes is good for health
प्रथमे मासे शङ्किता चेद्गर्भमापन्ना क्षीरमनुपस्कृतं मात्रावच्छीतं काले काले पिबेत्, सात्म्यमेव च भोजनं सायं प्रातश्च भुञ्जीत;II Cha. Sha. 8/32 II
विशेषतस्तु गर्भिणी प्रथमद्वितीयतृतीयमासेषु मधुरशीतद्रवप्रायमाहारमुपसेवेत; IISu. Sha 10/4 II
- Milk according to one’s desire
- Congenial diet in morning and evening. (Charaka)
- Sweet cold liquid diet (Sushruta)
- Timely food intake
- Acharya Harita advocates intake of Yashtimadhu (Glycerrhiza glabra), Parushaka, Madhupushpa, Navanita (Butter), milk, with madhu (honey) and sweet substances.
- Laja (Puffed rice) and ginger for pregnancy induced vomiting
- Cumin seed powder 2mg, ginger juice 1 tsp, laja (Puffed rice or rice poncorn) 1 bowl are mixed with 300ml of water and boiled well and made into drink or peya. They can be used throughout the pregnancy.
- द्वितीयेमासे क्षीरमेव च मधुरौषधसिद्धं; II Cha. Sha 8/32II
Milk medicated with Madhuragana dravyas (Charaka and Vagbhata)
- विशेषतस्तुगर्भिणी प्रथमद्वितीयतृतीयमासेषु मधुरशीतद्रवप्रायमाहारमुपसेवेत; IISu.Sha 10/4 II
Sweet cold liquid diet (Sushruta)
- तृतीयेमासे क्षीरं मधुसर्पिर्भ्यामुपसंसृज्य;IICha. Sha.8/32II
Milk with honey and ghrita (Charaka and Vagbhata)
- तृतीयेषष्टिकौदनं पयसा भोजयेत्Sha.10/4 II
Sweet cold liquid diet, specially cooked shashtika rice with milk (Sushruta)
- Krishara (Semisolid gruel made of rice and green gram) is the best.
Multiple Choice Questions
- Which of the following diet/ combination/ preparation should not be practiced?
- Taking curd at night
- Adding honey to the hot water
- Intake of cold water after taking ghee and oily food
- All of the above should not use
- Which of the following is advisable during pregnancy?
- Amalaki fruits
- Milk shake
- Spicy food
- Excessively pungent food
- As per Acharya Charaka which of the following is the best Rasayana
- Madhu and ghee
- Milk and ghee
- Curd and ghee
- Takra and ghee
- Identify the false statement Amalaki
- Causes Amlapitta
- Good source of vitamin C
- Is an Antioxidant
- Good for eyes
- Which of the following should be contraindicated during pregnancy
- Katu, Ushna diet
- Both a & c
- Madhura, Sheeta, liquid diet
- Choose the false statement regarding first month of pregnancy
- Milk according to one’s desire
- Congenial diet in morning and evening
- Timely food intake
- Excessive travelling is advocated
- Which of the following is preferable diet for second month of pregnancy
- Milk medicated with Madhuragana Dravyas
- Hot milk
- Honey and milk
- According to Acharya Hareet, which of the following diet is best for third month of pregnancy
- According to Ayurveda, which activity is not recommended during pregnancy
- Night awakening
- Excessive hard massage
- All the above
- Acharya Sushruta advocates ……………during fourth month to a pregnant lady
- Ksheera with Navaneeta (butter)
- Shashthikodana with Payas
- Madhu with ghrita
Links for further reading
- https://www.florajournal.com/archives/2018/vol6issue2/PartA/6-6-45-448.pdf (Concept of pathya in preconceptional care: A review)
- https://www.ijournalhs.org/article.asp?issn=2542-6214;year=2017;volume=10;issue=1;spage=74;epage=79;aulast=Suprabha (A clinical trial to evaluate the effect of Rasayana Avalehaduring pregnancy W.S.R. to the fetal outcome)
- https://ayurlog.com/Archive/january_march/ssac/201502S023.pdf (Garbini Paricharya: An ayurvedic approach)
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316825491_Garbhini_Paricharya_-_View_of_Harita_Samhita (Garbhini Paricharya – View of Harita Samhita)
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1585950/ (Occupational hazards and pregnancy outcomes)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4427833/ (Dhatrilauha:Right choice for iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy
- https://nutrition.org/new-research-on-diet-and-supplements-during-pregnancy-and-beyond/ (New research on diet and supplements during pregnancy and beyond)
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312200023_Role_of_Diet_and_Nutrition_in_Pregnancy_-_An_Ayurvedic_Perspective#:~:text=Ayurveda%20lays%20great%20emphasis%20on%20ensuring%20holistic%20nutrition.,comprises%20the%20most%20important%20component%20of%20Garbhini%20Paricharya. (Role of Diet and Nutrition in Pregnancy – An Ayurvedic Perspective)
- https://www.mjdrdypu.org/article.asp?issn=0975-2870;year=2016;volume=9;issue=3;spage=354;epage=362;aulast=Patel (A study on knowledge and practices of antenatal care among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at a Tertiary Care Hospital of Pune, Maharashtra)
- https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12978-018-0498-3 (Exploring perceptions of group antenatal Care in Urban India: results of a feasibility study)