Concept of Safe Motherhood in Ayurveda -2

by Dr.(Mrs.) Kumud Nagral*

Garbhini Parichaya

The development of the foetus in the uterus is described under Garbhavakranti, and special regimens are prescribed for each month under Garbhini Paricharya. The general rule is to take greater care during the first three months of pregnancy and after the completion of the seventh month.

During the first trimester, stress is laid on stabilizing the pregnancy and nurturing the uterine bed through rasa and rakta dhatus. The embryo gets nourishment directly by percolation (upsnehan). Hence more jaleeya (liquid) substances such as juicy fruits, coconut water, milk, and so on are advocated.

In the first month, sipping cold milk and maintaining a light diet, and during the next two months, the intake of milk medicated with herbs like Vidari, Shatavari, Yasthimadhu, Brahmi and so on, which are jeevaneeya (life-building) and garbhasthapak (helping nidation) are advocated. Honey and ghee are also recommended.

By the end of the third month, the body parts of the foetus become differentiated, sensory perceptions and motor reactions start developing, the heart starts beating, and is said to express its desires through the mother's blood. This is the period when the woman craves for certain foods/flavours. The needs of both the foetus and the mother are identical. Hence, Ayurved recommends that her cravings be fulfilled as far as possible, if not contraindicated. Brahmi helps in calming the nerves and is also a good prajasthapan (sustainer of pregnancy).

From the fourth to the seventh month, drugs, which give strength to the uterine muscles and nourishment to the embryo, are advised e.g. Ashwagandha, Kraunch beej and Guduchi. They help to prevent intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). Nourishment starts through the umbilical. cord by the kedar kulya method. The diet should be one of rice, milk, butter and gee. Fruits which are orange or yellow in color are advocated such as mangoes, apples, carrots, amalaki etc. Leafy vegetables are also advised. During the seventh month, the abdominal skin gets stretched giving rise to itching and striations, which are, called kikkis. This should be treated by taking sips of the infusion of berries or butter medicated with Manjistha, the application of the pulp of sandalwood and lotus or of a paste made of Neem, basil and Manjistha, or oil medicated with Karveer leaves or jasmine.

From the seventh month onwards, there should be less fat, less salt and less water in the diet rice kanji with a little ghee is advocated. After the completion of the seventh month, herbs, which are mild diuretics and urinary antiseptics such as Gokshuru and Sariva, are advocated. Basil in small quantities is advised; it is also anti-spasmodic.

As soon as the pregnant woman enters the ninth month, she is supposed to move to the Sootikagar (delivery area) which is specially prepared for delivery. After an asthapan basti (simple enema), she should undergo anuvasan basti (retention enema of oil boiled with some herbs) which may be repeated. Tampons soaked in the same oil are kept in the vagina to make the pelvis soft and elastic, and enhance the excretory functions of apan, vayu (urination, defecation) and expulsion of the foetus. The skin and nails become soft, and her strength and complexion are rejuvenated.

Spotting of blood during any month of pregnancy is considered to be serious and should be dealt with as advocated under Masanumasik Chikitsa, which describes the treatment month wise.

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This Ebook , by Dr. Sunanda Ranade B.A.M&S; PhD, has got one complete section on pregnancy, month wise regimen for pregnant women, diet exercise and diseases in pregnancy.

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