Ayurveda and Pregnancy.

 

 

To the specialty treatments, we gives an ancient gynecological treatment. .Now a day’s about 90% of the delivery is by cesarean operation. In the words of noted physician cum writer Dr.Punathil Kunjabdullah, recent days the medical facility has improved much, so that the ladies have been refused normal delivery. In his words, pregnancy is now considered as a sickness and not as a natural phenomenon. There are many ladies who wish to have normal delivery but alas! They are forced for caesarian operation by canny hospital authorities.

 

General Concepts

 

People all over the world are living with Stress and Strain for many reasons. Crime, Terrorism and Criminal attitude has reached sky levels. Majority of the world population live without any sense of satisfaction or mental peace, finding it difficult to cope up with the day-to-day stress of modern living. “AYURVEDA” the science of life, has always recognized this, even as far back as the Vedic period, and recommended specific, medications and diet regimes to boost IQ and mental stability. This treatments need to start early on, even before conception. According to basic Ayurvedic principles, it is vital to prepare the body and mind before they are involved in the divine process of ‘giving birth’. In olden days, for a variety of reasons, these recommendations were received only to the higher classes of society, like the ruling caste and priests.

 

 

Ayurveda strongly believes in the mental and physical well being of the child. To attain this, the physical and mental purity of partners are essential. If the couple is not in a state of mental stability and calmness, even if they are physically fit, they cannot give birth to a healthy child. This mental calmness and stability (“Sathwa Guna”) of mind is closely related to ones food habits and many other factors.

 

CHARAK SAMHITA SAYS:

 

‘Evam kurvati hi arogya-bala-varna-samvahana-sampadam

upetam jnatinam shreshtam apatyam janayati’

“When a pregnant women is given proper ayurvedic care she will get a healthy ,vibrant and well built baby”

In this context Ayurveda recommends certain herbal medicines and diet regimes before pregnency, immediately after conception and during pregnancy.

 

Before Pregnancy

 

According to Aurveda, the ideal age for the couples to give birth is between 16 and 25years of age. The recommended minimum age for girls is 16 and for boys 20. (In India, according to the law, 18 is the minimum age for marriage.) Before conceiving the couples must prepare mentally and physically to become parents.

 
The male has to undergo general detoxification (panchkarma purification) and has to consume certain aphrodisiac medicines. These panchakarma techniques eliminate all the toxins in the body and are also rejuvenating. Women too, have to undergo the same kind of treatment. This can enhance the spermatogenesis and oogenesis (sperm production and egg production), both qualitatively and quantitatively in males and females respectively. It also leads to improved vigor and vitality in couples. Aphrodisiacs includes food like Phseolus mungo, Sesame seeds prepared with ghee and herbs like Mucuna pruriens, Withania somniferra etc. In women married after the age of 25, this kind of preparatory procedure is most useful and effective. Couples should rest and relax during this period. They have to do regular prayers, listen to music or practice some yoga exercises to relax the mind.

 

Diet is very important during this period. Food should not be spicy. The basic taste must be sweet. Soup like nourishment will be ideal. They must eat more pulses like Green gram, different kinds of dals [Bengalgram, Black gram], drink fruit juices and plenty of warm milk.

 

Immediately after conceiving.

 

Ayurveda recommends some special poojas (offerings) before sexual coitus for a child. Those who are interested can practice this. In order to bear a male or female child certain dates for sexual intercourse is recommended in many basic texts, and experience bears this out. Counting from the first day of menstrual cycle, intercourse during days 10, 12,14 and 16 are likely to produce a male child days 9, 11, 13 and 15 are recommended for female child. Many couples do practice this method in southIndia. Chinese herbal medicine has a similar concept.

 

Indian herbal system prescribes certain types of herbal treatments immediately after conception, i.e. in the first month of pregnancy to produce a male or female child depending on our wish! (Surely sex is already determined on conception)
This includes drinking of herbal concoctions with milk as well as using herbal medicines to drip into the nose. This practice exists even today and will be interesting to conduct a study on the effectiveness of this. These particular therapies are included as “Pumsavana” in Ayurveda. Common drugs used are Achyranthus aspera, Ipomea sepiaria, Solanum melongena, Ficus bengalensis etc.

 

During Pregnancy.

 

Herbal concoctions of 3 to 4 herbs are recommended in every month of pregnancy however the particular combination will be different in each month. The herbal concoctions have to be taken every day. They are excellent for the periodic development of the foetus. These herbs target not only the physical development but also the development of mental faculties. For those who cannot follow all these, one single drug, Sida retusa is recommended through out pregnancy. Fifteen grammes of Sida retusa roots are chopped and boiled together with 50 ml of milk and 100 ml of drinking water. This should be reduced to 50 ml by boiling, then filtered and, fortified with sugar and drunk every morning.

 

 

Two herbal Ghees (Medicated ghee – Base is Cow’s ghee) are recommended in the 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th months of pregnancy. This ghee is to be taken every day during this period and the dose is one tablespoon. This treatment is widely practised southern states of Indiaespecially in Kerala. The herbal preparation Kalyanakam Ghee is used in the 4th & 5th months. It is supposed to be effective in the development of mental faculties of the growing foetus. It also helps in the development of all bodily systems in the foetal baby. More over it prevents congenital abnormalities. This ghee prevents anemia in mother. Thanka sree Ghee is used in the last months of pregnancy. This aids the complete developments in the foetal life and can bring good fortunes to the child. This ghee also helps to a full term normal delivery.

 
After seven months of pregnancy, gentle massage all over the body, in particular to lower back and legs is recommended. Herbal massage oils like Dhanwantharam oil and Pindathailam are used widely for this. Hardly any women in Kerala go with out using these oils before and after delivery. Pastes made of certain herbs are used during the last trimester of pregnancy to avoid itchiness and striae (stretch marks) over the lower abdomen and on the breasts. This herbal paste can considerably reduce these striations. Common herbs used are Sandal, Vettivera roots, Thriphala (Terminalia chebula,Terminalia bellerica, Emblica officinalis-using part is dried seeds), Neamleaves Basil leaves with butter.

 
Chyavan Prash a general herbal tonic in the form of jam is advised every day during pregnancy. The recommended dose is 15 Gms daily at bedtime followed by a cup of boiled milk. This is an excellent natural supplement of Vit C and iron during pregnancy. The main ingredient of this herbal preparation is gooseberry (Amla).

 

Dos and Don’ts during Pregnancy.

 

• Exercise moderately every day.
• Avoid excessive sexual activity.
• Avoid strenuous exercises.
• Do not sleep during the day.
• Always use soft mattress and cushioned sofa.
• Try to keep mentally calm.
• Do not hold the urge to pass urine/motion etc.
• Avoid giving in cravings for alcohol, red meat etc.
• Do not wear brightly colored (red etc.) clothes.
• Do not lie on the back for long periods of time;
. try to turn to the left while sleeping.

 

Post Natal Care.

 

A period after delivery to the commencement of next menstruation is considered as postnatal period. Postnatal care in Ayurveda is very famous inIndiaand Kerala style is the most popular. This includes internal medication and external massages.

 

External Therapies: Herbal oil massage for 5-7 days from the 5th day of delivery, if it is normal and from 15th day if it is a caesarian. Herbal oils mentioned above (Dhanwantharam and Pindatailam) are being used commonly. During this massage emphasis is being given to abdominal and lower back area. Well-trained masseurs will be doing the job. After this massage a paste of sandal and turmeric or simply turmeric is being applied all over the body. For bathing, water boiled with leaves of Tamarind, Castor plant and Neem is commonly used. All these herbs have anti-microbial, anti-viral properties. A special bandaging is being done after the shower around the tummy.

 

After this first session of oil massage, 7 to 9 days of herbal leaf bolus (poultice) massage is advised. Main ingredients of this leaf bolus are leaves of castor plant, tamarind, Vitex nigundo, lime and rock salt. This massage can reduce the body aches and improve muscle tone. After this massage the same type of bandage is applied

 

Internal medicines: Many herbal preparations for internal consumption are prescribed in Ayurvedic texts during this period. These medications are for the benefit of the health of both mother and child. These medicines can increase lactation and improve the quality of breast milk. They vary according to the body type. Internal medication starts 4 days after a normal delivery and 14 days after Caesarian. A practical prescription  suit everyone is included health

 

• Herbal wine preparations. Ashokarishatm + Dasamoolarishtam – 30ml with 10ml of any brandy twice daily before food.ÞDay 7-14
•  Herbal concoction named Dhanwantharam Kwath 90ml with one pinch of rock salt, early in the morning and at 6pm.ÞDay 15- 30
•  Herbal wine Dasamoolarishtam + Jeerakarishtam 30ml with 10ml brandy twice daily before food.ÞDay 15- 30
• after 30 or 40 days, broth made out of goat is been used for another one month.

 

Conclusion.

 

Ayurveda targets the well being of both mother and child. All these methods explained were being practiced for thousands of years inIndia. It can be the reason why workingwomen inIndiaremain healthy even after repeated deliveries amidst their hard work. It will be interesting to conduct a comparative study of IQs of children of the same age, comparing those whose mothers took these herbs during their pregnancy with others who did not

 

And because of the operation side effects, it is seen that the total hormone system of a female body is imbalanced and as a result women become permanent visitors of many specialist doctors.

 

To avoid this to certain extent, we are promoting natural delivery. An operation theatre is added to meet with any eventuality. We are giving a complete post delivery treatment for the mother and child for 28/56 days in the ancient traditional ayurvedic method. This includes the body shapening therapy also.