Enhance Your Pregnancy - The Ayurvedic Way

My inspiration came from Ayurveda, an ancient science of healthcare that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Ayurveda focuses on wholeness—using herbs, diet, exercise, massage, and lifestyle enhancements to achieve balance—and offers this advice for your pregnancy.

Keep your growing baby calm. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, there are three major energy types—or doshas—that correspond to constitutional forces or characteristics in the body, mind, and emotions. Vata energy controls the nervous system and bodily functions associated with movement, such as blood circulation and heartbeat. Pregnant women should strive to keep their vata dosha calm and balanced for a healthier pregnancy and an easier delivery. If vata becomes imbalanced (through stress, diet, or another contributing factor), you can feel nervous, agitated, and anxious. Be sure to ground your vata energy by eating nourishing foods, keeping a consistent schedule, getting adequate sleep, practicing deep breathing, and getting gentle exercise.

 Feed your vata dosha oil. Incorporate ghee (clarified butter) in your

diet. When used for cooking, it does not oxidize. It can also be taken with a glass of warm milk for gentle laxative action. This doesn’t need to be cow’s milk. It can be milk made from almonds, rice, hazelnuts, oats, or coconut as well. However it’s consumed, ghee boosts vitality for you and your baby. It also soothes dry and stretched skin, calms nerves, and nourishes tissues.

An oil enema, or basti, prevents constipation and is another way to use oil to pacify vata. Unlike a water enema, the Ayurvedic tradition uses medicated oils and liquid herbal preparations. Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or a book on Ayurveda

Exercise. Swollen feet are caused primarily by the pressure the enlarging uterus puts on the pelvic veins. Gentle exercise, like walking and swimming, helps to move organs around and improves circulation. Try walking every day for 20 to 30 minutes. The kapha dosha (which controls growth in the body) especially benefits from exercise, because people with a kapha-dominant constitution tend to have a more sluggish system. A tea of equal parts cumin, coriander, and fennel (N to K teaspoon each per cup of water) is helpful for swelling, as it is mildly diuretic. You can have this tea two to three times daily.

Rest. Adjust work schedules and activities to promote a regular sleep rhythm. Warm milk with ghee before bed is helpful to many who have a hard time falling asleep. Ghee is almost completely free of lactose so it should be okay for those who are lactose intolerant if mixed with nut or rice milk. Taking calcium with magnesium in the evening may help with aching or cramping legs that disrupt sleep.

Soothe the bladder. Frequent urination commonly occurs in pregnancy because of pressure on the bladder. Try taking white sesame seeds with Kteaspoon jaggery (whole sugar) or raw sucanat (whole cane sugar) once or twice a day to reduce spasms. Make a mixture of six parts sesame seeds to one part raw sugar, then consume a tablespoon at a time or sprinkle it on cereal.

Cool the pitta dosha. The pitta dosha governs transformation and is full of fire or heat. When pitta dominates, hormones may rage, anger may flare, and body temperature may rise. Morning sickness (common in the first trimester) is usually caused by a pitta dosha imbalance. Relieve nausea and heartburn by eating frequent, small meals made up of foods that avoid excessive acidity, saltiness, and spice.

Almonds and almond milk are highly revered for pregnancy in Ayurveda. Place 10 raw almonds in water in the refrigerator overnight to soak. Remove the skins and snack on the nuts for protein and calcium and to help settle the stomach.

Shatavari is a pitta-cooling herb, touted for balancing the female reproductive system. Try mixing the powder with one cup of warm milk, ghee, and a touch of raw sugar. It can help with hyperacidity and even ulcers. In Ayurveda, it is used during pregnancy, but check with your healthcare practitioner for your own individual situation. It is also used to improve the quantity and quality of your milk postpartum.

Massage yourself. Self massage with oil, called abhyanga, is an excellent way to balance the doshas and lessen aggravation throughout pregnancy. Self care is of the utmost importance in pregnancy, teaching you to take good care of yourself so that you are in shape to care for your infant when the time comes.

" Enhance your pregnancy - the ayurvedic way  "


©Copyright 2012,  By Amber Lynn Vitse  -  tasteforlife ,  february  2012

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