Module on ‘Holistic lifestyle for Pregnant Ladies’ by -Dr. Mangalagowri V Rao

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HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE FOR PREGNANT LADIES

 

Lifestyle to prevent stress, nourish the baby and mother, to promote healthy and pleasant mental state, facilitate labour and good healthy progeny. Women are more likely to report having stress, and almost 50% of all women in the survey, compared to 39% of the men, reported that their stress had increased over the past 5 years. Stress also has unique effects on women. A recent NICHD study found that stress might reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant.

The daily regimen techniques mentioned in Ayurveda like Abhyanga (body massage with oil), Shirobhyanga (Head massage with oil), Padabhyanga (Foot massage with oil), Kashaya (gargles) along with integrated yogic practices including preparatory joint movement exercises, Asanas, Pranayama and meditation form an ideal lifestyle module for pregnant lady. Further, avoidance of physical and mental stress help in physical and mental health promotion of pregnant lady and easy delivery in the future.

Abhyanga or oil massage

  • Massage done by using oils
  • It may be simple sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil
  • Medicated oil like Bala taila, Ksheerabala taila, Narayana taila, karpuradi taila etc.
  • Postpones ageing, long life, cures pain, numbness, joint pains, arthritis etc. Vata problems, improves vision, complexion, relaxes body, brings proper sleep, strength

Foot massage

Benefits of foot massage

  • Stiffness and pain in foot, roughness
  • Cracking of feet, Numbness of foot
  • Improves vision, pain in back
  • Brings about relaxation, good sleep

Head massage

  • Regular practice prevents headache, balding, greying of hair, hair fall
  • It promotes hair growth with strong roots
  • Sense organs remain healthy, enhances complexion, induces proper sleep

Gandusha (Gargling)

  • Method: Gingelly oil/sesame oil is put inside the mouth and retained till mouth becomes full to maximum extent
  • Benefits: Teeth become strong, good voice, face nourishes, tastes improve, prevents cracking of lips, decay of teeth, cures pain tinging sensation of teeth

Yogic practices during pregnancy

            During pregnancy the hip openers should be done. They help to bring about elasticity in perineal muscles, thus facilitating easy labour. The hip openers include Asanas like Bhadrasana, Tittili Asanas, Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana I, Upavishthakonasana, Malasana. They can be practiced throughout pregnancy.

 

 

 

I Trimester

  • Joint movement exercises: Ankle rotation, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, Shoulder rotation, Neck rotation
  • Asana: Virabhadrasana I, Hastautthanasana, Tadasana, Katichakrasana, Trikonasana, Vajrasana, Padmasana, Badhrasana, Tittili asana, Malasana, Marjari asana, Malasana, Shavasana,
  • Pranayama: Nadishodhana/Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Shitkari pranayama
  • Dhyana: Omkara dhyana

II Trimester

The abdominal girth increases, so the postures should be practiced with caution or with modifications.

  • Joint movement exercises: Ankle rotation, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, Shoulder rotation, Neck rotation
  • Asanas: Virabhadrasana I, Hastautthanasana, Tadasana, Katichakrasana (with prop), Trikonasana (with prop), Vajrasana, Padmasana, Badhrasana, Tittili asana, Malasana, Marjari asana, Malasana, Matsya Kridasana,
  • Pranayama: Nadishodhana/Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Shitkari pranayama
  • Dhyana: Omkara dhyana

III trimester

The abdominal girth increases in the III trimester, so the asanas having sideward twist and bend should be better avoided or even if practiced it should be with the aid of props like brick, chair. If the practitioner feels any difficulty immediately it should be discontinued.

The standing postures should be practiced with the heels near to the wall. The postures should not be held for long duration. However, Pranayama, and Dhyana can be continued till the last day, without any problem.

  • Joint movement exercises: Ankle rotation, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, Shoulder rotation, Neck rotation
  • Asana: Virabhadrasana I, Hastautthanasana, Vajrasana, Badhrasana, Tittili asana, Malasana, Malasana, Matsya Kridasan,
  • Pranayama: Nadishodhana/Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Shitkari pranayama
  • Dhyana: Omkara dhyana

Meditation

Rejuvenation and nourishment during pregnancy

  • Bala (Sida Cardifolia)
  • Guduchi (Tinospora Cardifolia)
  • Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
  • Yashtimadhu (Glycerrhiza glabra)

Avoiding the diet and lifestyle harming the foetus (Cha. Sha. 4/18 and Cha. Sha. 8/21)

Lifestyle- Physical factors

  • तद्यथासर्वमतिगुरूष्णतीक्ष्णं दारुणाश्च चेष्टाः- Excessive, heavy, piercing, intense activities
  • मदकराणि मद्यान्यभ्यवहरेन्न – Intoxicating and alcoholic substances
  • यानमधिरोहेन्न – Riding over vehicles
  • त्सर्वेन्द्रियप्रतिकूलांश्च भावान् दूरतः परिवर्जयेत् –Avoid factors contradictory to senses
  • उत्कटविषमकठिनासनसेविन्या- Sitting in uncomfortable, uneven, hard seat regularly
  • वातमूत्रपुरीषवेगानुपरुन्धत्या- With holding the natural urges of flatus, urine and faeces
  • दारुणानुचितव्यायामसेविन्या- performing intense and inappropriate exercises

Lifestyle- Psychological factors

Diet

  • स्तीक्ष्णोष्णातिमात्रसेविन्याः – Excessive intake of piercing and hot substances
  • प्रमिताशनसेविन्या – Taking food in very less quantity
  • मांसमश्नीयात् – Intake of flesh

 

Effects on the pregnancy

  • गर्भो म्रियतेऽन्तः कुक्षेः, अकाले वा स्रंसते,शोषी वा भवति- results in death foetus or early onset of labour or under developed foetus.

Answer Keys

  1. Which of the following Asanas are known as hip openers
  2. Bhadrasana, Tittili Asana, Virabhadrasana, Malasana
  3. Vajrasana, Pavana muktasana, Padahastasna, Pashchimotthanasana
  4. Padotthasana, Ardhachakrasana, Gomukhasana
  5. All the above
  6. The following Asanas can be performed during 1st trimester of pregnancy
  7. Tadasana
  8. Katichakrasana
  9. Bhadrasana
  10. All
  11. …………… Pranayama is contra-indicated during pregnancy?
  12. Nadishodhana
  13. Bhramari
  14. Bhastrika
  15. Shitkari
  16. Identify the false statement
  17. Nadishodhana Pranayama should be practiced during entire period of pregnancy
  18. Yogasanas should be practiced with caution during pregnancy
  19. Kapalabhati cannot be done during pregnancy
  20. None of the above
  21. Choose the right statement
  22. Tittili Asana helps to bring about elasticity in perineal muscles
  23. During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy forward bending Asanas should be done compulsorily
  24. Kapalabhati should be practiced during pregnancy
  25. Bhujangasana is a hip opener
  26. Which of the drug can be advised during pregnancy for nourishment
  27. Chitraka (Plumbago zeylaica)
  28. Shatavari (Asparagus racimosa)
  29. Haritki (Terminalia chebula)
  30. Langali (Gloriosa superba)
  31. Following rejuvenator should be administered during pregnancy
  32. Pippali Rasayana
  33. Yoashtimadhu
  34. Bhallataka Rasayana
  35. Haritaki
  36. Following are harmful for foetus as per Acharya Charaka
  37. Utkata Vishamasana
  38. Pramitashana
  39. Vegadharana
  40. All the above
  41. Following are advocated in Ayurveda for stress during pregnancy
  42. Abhyanga, Shirobhyanga, Sukhanidra
  43. Lekhana Basti
  44. Shatkarma
  45. Dantadhavana
  46. Following Yogic practices are indicated during III trimester of pregnancy
  47. Pashchimotthanasan
  48. Naukasana
  49. Marjari Asana
  50. Dhanurasana

Answer Keys

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. d
  5. a
  6. b
  7. b
  8. d
  9. a
  10. c

Links for further reading

  1. https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.9_Issue.12_Dec2019/36.pdf (Clinical Understanding of Garbhini and Sootika Paricharya)
  2. http://www.ijaar.in/issue/images/upload/VOL_II_ISSUE_8_JUL___AUG_1036_1038.pdf (Role of Garbhini paricharya in sukha prasava a conceptual study)
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18396254/ (Yoga during pregnancy: effects on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes)
  4. https://www.ym-kdham.in/article.asp?issn=0044-0507;year=2018;volume=50;issue=2;spage=49;epage=52;aulast=Vasundhara (Immediate effect of Sukha Pranayama: A slow and deep breathing technique on maternal and fetal cardiovascular parameters)
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27152528/ (Yoga in Pregnancy)
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424788/ (Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions)
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28173769/ (Effects of an antenatal mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting programme on the postpartum experiences of mothers: a qualitative interview study)
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27190795/ (Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Perceived Stress Scores and Autonomic Function Tests of Pregnant Indian Women)
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30294083/ Knowledge and Skills of Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Practitioners to Provide Skilled Birth Attendance in India: An Observational Study
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25846841/ (Maternal lifestyle during pregnancy and child psychomotor development – Polish Mother and Child Cohort study)

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