At over 5000 years old, Ayurveda is perhaps one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world. It places great emphasis on the promotion of health by achieving balance in body, mind and spirit. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda translates to mean “the science of life,” which is telling, as it places tremendous importance on the wellbeing of expecting mothers by promoting physiological as well as emotional care.
Here are our 6 top Ayurvedic tips for self-care during pregnancy:
Vata governs body changes through pregnancy, but it is easily thrown out of balance. Restore balance by:
- Consuming a diet of non-processed foods with a special emphasis on plants, sprouted grains, and healthy fats including ghee, butter, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts and full-fat dairy
- Consuming warm, freshly cooked foods
- Limiting leftovers
- Limiting hot, spicy foods
- Limiting uncooked leafy greens and undercooked beans and lentils (always soak beans and lentils before cooking)
- Avoiding artificial flavors, preservatives and chemicals
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
Boost “Ojas” of the baby:
If you are tolerant of dairy, non-homogenized, gently-pasteurized warm milk from grass-fed, pastured cows is known in Ayurveda to boost the immunity or “ojas” of the mom and baby. Ideally, drink 1 warm glass a day with 1 teaspoon of grass-fed ghee mixed in.
Practice oil-massage daily:
Massage with oil is a timeless Ayurvedic ritual that is highly recommended to combat stress and fatigue - conditions that push Vata out of balance. The word sneha, which means both oil and love in Sanskrit, points towards the inherent connection between enveloping your body with oil and enveloping yourself with love. Both create a sense of groundedness, calm the senses, and promote a deep-sense of fulfillment and happiness.
While we do not recommend Abhyanga, a type of deep-tissue Ayurvedic massage, during pregnancy, you can certainly benefit from a gentle self-massage using a high-quality Ayurvedic oil, from the second-trimester onwards. The key is to use gentle strokes. (*Please consult with your medical practitioner regarding suitability before undertaking any activity while pregnant” .)
To practice, take a couple of tablespoons of a sesame seed-based oil and pour into a glass container . Place this container in a bowl of warm water to warm the oil up. Apply the oil with open palms using long gentle strokes on limbs and circular strokes on joints, working from your extremities towards the center of the body. Massage the chest in a broad circular motion. Avoid massaging the abdomen during pregnancy, a light oil application will work wonders instead and help combat itchy skin, stretch-marks, and loss of elasticity and tone. Spend up to 20 minutes gently working the oil into the skin, to benefit from:
- Improved circulation
- Increased skin elasticity and pregnant belly suppleness
- A sense of grounded-ness and nourishment
- Decreased stress
- Enhanced rejuvenation
- Better sleep
- oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better Ojas
Wake and sleep at regular times:
According to Ayurveda, in order for sleep to be optimally rejuvenating and restful, it is important to go to sleep during the Kapha time of day, which lies between 6pm and 10pm, and wakeup before the Kapha time of day, which lies between 6am and 10 am. We give you a bit of leeway here though, as we all know, waking up before 6 am is a herculean task! However, if you can do it, you will benefit from more energy, vitality and alertness according to Ayurveda.
Find your village:
We’ve all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. But it also takes a village to mentally nourish a pregnant mama. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, who lift your spirits and envelop you with positivity. Find a group of expecting mamas in your city, and make it a point to meet with them once a week to swap stories, share your ups & downs, your fears, your research and your milestones, and we promise you that you will leave rejuvenated and refreshed, knowing that you are all together in a journey that can feel scary and overwhelming at times.
Stay happy: According to Ayurvedic belief, the most important aspect of a child’s emotional and physical wellbeing is the mother’s attitude, and it starts in the womb. We know it is easier said than done, but like everything else, happiness can be learned. Following the above tips will put you on to the right path, and you can also do the following to enhance the happiness-chemicals in your brains:
Meditate on waking and before sleeping. Just 5 minutes each a day will work wonders
Spend time in nature, and soak up some vitamin D
Get some exercise – yoga and swimming are both highly recommended during pregnancy
Make rest a priority
What tips do you follow to take care of yourself during pregnancy?
Disclaimer:The statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the products of this company are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The statements made on this website are for educational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider.