The middle three months of pregnancy is known as 2nd trimester of pregnancy. In this period, you may not have symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue and anxiety. However, some women may continue to experience these symptoms. In your developing baby, the formation of vital organs starts from 4th month. According to ayurveda, you should honor your cravings but stay within a limit. Your physical, mental and emotional condition also affects the developing baby. So, you need to be more calm, happy and stress-free. In this article, we will discuss dietary and lifestyle guidelines during the second trimester of pregnancy according to ayurvedic perspectives.
Ayurvedic Dietary Guidelines
During the second trimester of pregnancy, you require more energy due to the formation and development of vital organs in the baby. You require foods, which provides energy as well as strength to your body.
Charak Samhita recommends increasing intake of milk and butter from 4th month of pregnancy. Sushruta Samhita recommends rice with milk, butter and meat soup of terrestrial animals.
From the 5th month of pregnancy, you should also take Desi Ghee. From 6th month of pregnancy, you should also include Yavagu (gruel made of barley or rice).
So, ayurveda recommends the following foods:
- Meat Soup of terrestrial animals.
- Desi Ghee.
- Yavagu (Gruel).
You should include these foods in your daily diet. It does not mean that you should only eat these foods. You should also eat fruits, vegetables, salad and other foodstuffs in an appropriate quantity.
The quantity is not described in ayurveda except butter. Acharya Vagbhata recommends 12 grams of butter along with milk in 4th month of pregnancy. So, you can take 12 grams butter if you can digest it properly and without experience any trouble with digestion. You can decrease the quantity as per your digestive capacity. Let’s have a look at why these foods are important in the second trimester of pregnancy.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, you require more energy and strength. Milk provides almost all nutrients with a few exceptions. Therefore, it is considered as the best and complete food for pregnant women. Ayurveda recommends increasing milk intake throughout the pregnancy. In the second trimester, fetal cells increase in number and size. So, your body requires more energy and nutrients to fulfill the energy requirement. Milk provides optimum nourishment to the developing fetus as well as to your body.
According to a research study, women drinking milk during 1st and 2nd trimesters of pregnancy give birth to healthy babies with optimum birth weight. Milk intake by pregnant women improves fetal growth. Milk consumption during pregnancy will help you to have a healthy baby with optimum birth weight. Therefore, milk should be an essential part of your daily diet during pregnancy.
Ayurveda recommends 12 grams of butter from the 4th month of pregnancy. However, you should limit it according to your digestion. You can take it along with milk as recommended by Acharya Vagbhata. If it causes nausea or discomfort, you can eat it along with food.
How much butter can I eat daily?
Ayurveda recommends 12 grams of butter every day. So, you can eat 12 grams of butter on a daily basis during pregnancy. However, you should not increase its amount so that you feel a loss of appetite. Other foods like fruits and vegetables are also very important for getting other important nutrients.
Why should you eat butter during pregnancy?
Butter is a good source of energy. It also has Vitamin K, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. It provides energy and strength to your body, which helps you to have a healthy pregnancy and fulfill your energy requirements. It also facilitates absorption of some elements and fat-soluble nutrients.
Butter helps in the development of muscles in developing a baby. The most vital organs like heart, kidney and brain are made of elementary fat in which butter helps to improve growth and development.
Note: Ayurveda recommends eating natural and unprocessed butter. So, you should prepare butter at home for the best results whenever possible. If you cannot prepare butter at home, you should opt unsalted butter. You should also consume it within limits. Ayurveda recommends a maximum of 12 grams of butter per day.
Sushruta Samhita also recommends meat soup of terrestrial animals. These animals include all the animals living on land, which are naturally raised in forests or jungles. It does not include farm-raised animals, according to ayurveda. Nowadays, most animal foods come farms, which is processed with several medicines. You should avoid processed animal food during pregnancy.
Meat soups are more digestible for pregnant women than whole animal foods.
Note: Meat soup is only recommended by Sushruta Samhita. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can skip it. You can follow other guidelines as given in this article. Other classical texts do not comment on this. They just advise other foods.
Desi Ghee is also called clarified butter. It is only fat, which can be reheated without losing its properties. According to ayurveda, ghee helps in promoting the growth and development of the baby. It strengthens the uterus. It provides optimum nourishment to developing baby as well as a pregnant woman.
If you eat ghee during your pregnancy, it helps to prevent bone disorders, malnutrition and low birth weight in the newborn baby. It also reduces edema in the 6th month of pregnancy.
Ghee also improves food flavor and assists in healthy metabolism in the body. According to Ayurveda, Ghee is strengthening, Vata alleviating and Pitta pacifying. Therefore, it helps in preserving the strength of pregnant women. It reduces fatigue and relieves mental stress too. It is sattvic food, which calms the mind and induces Sattvic Guna in the developing baby.
Note: When ayurveda talks about ghee. It refers to ghee made from milk procured from grass-fed cows.
Yavagu refers to gruel prepared according to ayurvedic principles. Yavagu is healthy and strengthening food. It is highly digestible. Because of its good digestibility, it is a common recommendation in ayurveda for people with poor digestion.
What is Yavagu?
Yavagu is a thin preparation of rice or barley and water. It is prepared boiling grains in 6 times of water.
|Barley or Rice||1 Part (1 cup)|
|Water||6 Parts (6 cups)|
There are several types of Yavagu preparations in ayurveda. However, barley and rice Yavagu are the most recommended for pregnant women.
How to Prepare Yavagu
- Take 1 cup of barley or rice in 6 cups of water.
- Boil the water with barley or rice.
- Now, simmer the mixture until barley or rice become soft to eat.
This is the best method. However, Yavagu preparations differ in liquid quantity. For pregnant women, preparing Yavagu with this method is considered appropriate.
Why does ayurveda recommend Yavagu?
Yavagu is easy to digest, improves digestive fire and strengthens the body. Due to its easy to digest nature, other foods like butter and milk become well-tolerated and digestible during pregnancy.
Lifestyle guidelines remain the same as recommended in the previous article here. We will discuss the most important things that you should also follow in the second trimester of pregnancy in addition to the previous recommendation.
- You should not suppress natural urges for urination and defecation. Stopping natural urges can increase Vata Dosha in your body, which may lead to Vata diseases after pregnancy.
- Avoid long travel and heavy exercise.
- For exercise, consult your physician for the best suitable exercises for you and discuss their safety.
- Avoid loud sounds and stay calm and happy.
Ayurvedic Pregnancy Massage
Like the first trimester of pregnancy, you should also get ayurvedic pregnancy massage from an expert ayurvedic therapist. The massage should be calming, relaxing and stress-reducing. Ayurvedic pregnancy massage helps in providing stability to your body and prepare you for a natural delivery. It may also reduce complication during delivery. It also protects the skin from pregnancy mark and improves skin elasticity.
Deep breathing and anulom vilom pranayama are highly beneficial during pregnancy. It helps to improve blood circulation to the developing baby, which improves nutrient supply to the fetus and may boost fetal growth and development. It also helps to improve sleep and reduces emotional disturbances.
You can also opt for Shirodhara and Prenatal Yoga. Shirodhara is highly beneficial for reducing mental fatigue, emotional disturbance, and help you to stay blissful and happy. Consult ayurvedic practitioner for more information about Shirodhara or read article on Shirodhara here.
- Brantsater, A. L., Olafsdottir, A. S., Forsum, E., Olsen, S. F., & Thorsdottir, I. (2012). Does milk and dairy consumption during pregnancy influence fetal growth and infant birthweight? A systematic literature review. Food & nutrition research, 56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505908/
- Olsen SF1, Halldorsson TI, Willett WC, Knudsen VK, Gillman MW, Mikkelsen TB, Olsen J; NUTRIX Consortium, Milk consumption during pregnancy is associated with increased infant size at birth: a prospective cohort study, Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;86(4):1104-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921389
- Calvani M, Alessandri C, Sopo SM, Panetta V, Pingitore G, Tripodi S, Zappalà D, Zicari AM. Consumption of fish, butter and margarine during pregnancy and development of allergic sensitizations in the offspring: role of maternal atopy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2006 Mar. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16618358/