Dietary regimen in pregnancy is one of the most essential aspect which should be taken care of; as the growth of the fetus solely depends upon the health and nutrition of the mother. According to Ayurveda the Ahara- rasa i.e. nutrition or energy obtained from the mother’s diet serves three important functions, firstly nourishment of the mother herself, nourishment and growth of the baby, and lastly preparation for formation of stanya, i.e. breast milk.
Ayurveda recommends including few things in diet corresponding to month of pregnancy which adds to the healthier development of the fetus.
1st month – A pregnant woman should have atleast 2 glasses of milk everyday throughout the pregnancy, but particularly in first month milk should be consumed necessarily. If complaints like nausea, vomiting is present milk can be flavored with Elaichi, Shatavari kalpa, or milk masala containing almonds, cardamom, dry ginger, etc.
2nd month – It is suggested to take milk medicated with sweet herbs like shatavari, bala, etc. Adding 2 tsps of Shatavari kalpa to glass of milk will serve the purpose.
3rd month – The third month regimen explains adding honey and ghee to milk. Honey should never be subjected to heat hence milk should be of room temp or lukewarm. Another fact is honey and ghee together should always be taken in unequal quantity. You can mix 2tsps of ghee + 1tsp of honey to a cup of lukewarm milk.
4th month – The fourth month regimen recommends intake of fresh unsalted butter with crystal sugar.
5th month – Increased intake of ghee alone or along with food. Minimum of 7-8 tsps of ghee should be consumed. Where ever ghee is mentioned it means preferably cow’s ghee.
6th & 7th month – Ghee medicated with sweet herbs like Liquorice, Shatavari, should be taken early morning at empty stomach.
8th month – Sweet gruel prepared in milk proves beneficial if eaten in this month. You can have gruel made of rice, sooji, wheat vermicell, etc. Gruel should be taken once a day.
9th month – Anuvasan Basti with medicated oil should be administered in the last month. It enables the foetus to acquire its normal position and helps in attaining favourable conditions for normal labor.
The food recommendations according to Ayurveda are as follows:
- a) Milk – Pasteurized milk should be taken at least twice a day with Shatavari kalpa, this not only provides energy and calcium but also is a good source of vitamin A & B, promotes foetal growth and helps to generate ample amount of breast milk post labor.
b) Buttermilk – A small bowl of freshly prepared buttermilk can be taken after lunch, it increases appetite, improves digestion and reduces complains of gases and swelling and prevents constipation.
c) Butter – 1-2 spoons of butter alone or with crystal sugar provides strength, increases appetite, adds glow to mother & baby’s skin texture, prevents constipation and keeps complains of piles and fissures at bay.
d) Ghee – Ghee is the best internal oleating agent, it provides internal lubrication to the body along with softness. Ghee builds up strength and stamina of the mother, developes mental abilities like increased concentration, quick grasping , memory recalling, etc of the mother and the baby.
2. Maintain a well-balanced diet that is rich in fiber, vitamins, proteins, and all the required nutrients and eat various types of foods as desired. Ensure that your diet is rich in sprouts, vegetables, whole grains, fresh food, fruits, and rice. Include coconut oil and olive oil in it, and starch-rich foods like carrots, quinoa, beets, and sweet potatoes.
3. Avoid the consumption of hot and spicy food, raw leafy vegetables, undercooked and overcooked food, artificial preservatives, flavors, and additives. Avoid the consumption of leftovers and focus on homemade, fresh food items.