A healthy dietary regime is one of the most essential aspects in pregnancy and the growth of the fetus. According to the Vedic texts of Ayurveda, nutrition or energy obtained from the mother’s diet serves three important functions, such as:
- nourishment of the mother herself,
- nourishment and growth of the baby, and
- lastly preparation for formation of stanya, i.e.breast milk.
During pregnancy and delivery, every cell of the mother’s body is being transformed, so there is an increased need of balanced diet with good nutritional value. Here are a few Ayurveda dietary recommendations and rules to be followed to keep the mother and the baby healthy.
1. Dairy Products:
- Milk: Make sure to drink a cup of boiled, warm, cow milk once or twice a day to boost immunity, complexion and ojas of the baby. Also, it is important to take enough calcium during this period.
- Buttermilk: Drink a small glass of fresh, homemade buttermilk after lunch. It increases appetite, improves digestion, reduces gastric problems, swelling and prevents constipation.
- Ghee: Take homemade ghee made of cow's milk everyday. It increases stamina of the mother and mental abilities of the mother and the baby.
- Butter: Having butter with little 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.
2. Foods to Avoid:
There are a few foods to be avoided or at least reduced during pregnancy such as artificial flavors, preservatives and chemical additives, hot and spicy foods, undercooked beans and lentils, aloe vera, frequent intake of bakery products, frozen or canned foods, junk foods like pizza, burgers, noodles, chinese food, fermented foods, stale food, cold drinks, aerated drinks and chips.
Consume good natural sources of iron including black currants, lemon, amla, green leafy vegetables, beet, dates, dry or fresh figs, pomegranates or jaggery. These not only help you in avoiding adverse side effects of taking western medicines like constipation which usually accompanies iron tablets.
Pulses, sprouts, dal, eggs, lentils, rotis made of wheat or jowar flour are good source of protein. Avoid uncooked sprouts.
5. Water and Fresh Juices:
Drink a lot of water than usual. Make sure to drink boiled water. Also, coconut water is a good rejuvenating drink. It not only quenches thirst but also takes care of the water levels and amniotic fluid during gravidity. Freshly prepared juices of lime, pomegranate, amla, kokam sharbat can be consumed for its nutritional benefits, maintaining mother & baby’s fluid levels and controlling acidity.
It is a common and essential herb consumed by mothers across the globe. It enhances skin color and texture, and strengthens heart of the fetus. Take it with warm milk for best results.
7. Fruits & Dry Fruits:
Make it a habit to consume at least one fruit and dry fruits such as almonds, figs, dates, cashews and walnuts daily. Strictly avoid papaya, pineapple, kiwi and milkshakes.