Home Ayurveda Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle during the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle during the First Trimester of Pregnancy

by Pooja Saini
Pregnancy 1st trimester

If you are trying to conceive or newly pregnant, this article is exclusively for you. This article will help you to be a smarter mom and prepare you for a better diet and lifestyle during pregnancy. We will cover ayurvedic aspects of diet and lifestyle that should be followed when you start trying to conceive and for the first trimester of pregnancy.

In the first month of pregnancy, most women don’t know that they are pregnant. So, it becomes necessary to start following the changes discussed in this article from the day when you start trying for being pregnant.

Medical science takes the first month of pregnancy since your last menstrual period. So, you are not pregnant for about the first two weeks. This is just for making the calculation simpler and rememberable. After these two weeks, ovulation takes place. This is the time when your egg meets your partner’s sperm and starts developing into your baby.

Ayurvedic Dietary Guidelines

Charaka Samhita, an ancient ayurvedic text, recommends drinking Milk and eating a healthy diet.

According to Sushruta Samhita, pregnant women should consume foods, which have a naturally sweet taste and cold potency. He further suggested that water-rich food or liquid diet is better for pregnant women. Please note here, he doesn’t suggest eating sweets. Naturally sweet taste means foods bear sweet taste in terms of ayurvedic properties. For example, fruits and whole grains. Fruits should be more in your diet.

Milk

Milk Products

Milk is the first recommendation for pregnant women, according to ancient scholar Charak. According to him, milk is full of nutrients and provides strength to the pregnant women. He believes that milk has growth-promoting properties, which ensures a healthy baby.

Modern science and latest research studies are also in favor of Charaka’s concept. The studies reported that maternal milk consumption is directly related to the growth of developing a fetus in terms of weight and length at the time of birth. Mothers who drink milk during pregnancy, their children have more weight and length as compared to mothers who do not drink milk during pregnancy.

Facts:

  1. Maternal milk consumption benefits children in terms of a healthy weight and makes them taller during their teenage.
  2. Children have fewer chances of developing diabetes mellitus later in their life.
  3. Research shows maternal milk intake benefits last well into early adulthood in terms of growth and development.

As we all know milk is considered as a complete food in modern science as well because it provides huge nourishment to the body. It helps to promote the growth of the fetus and maintains the health of a pregnant woman.

Benefits of drinking milk during pregnancy

  1. Milk is rich in natural calcium, which has good tolerance. So, it helps to fulfill the calcium requirement, makes bone stronger and protects calcium loss during and after pregnancy.
  2. Milk also fulfills general nutrition requirements and strengthen the uterus.
  3. It also provides a little amount of vitamin D, which helps to prevent low birth weight and rickets in the baby.
  4. If a pregnant woman has a problem of hyperacidity. It also helps to balance the acid and reduces the symptoms of hyperacidity and heartburn.

How much milk should you drink during pregnancy?

Most of dietician suggest – 2 servings of milk per day. Ayurveda has no precise answer for this. Ayurveda suggests you can drink milk as per your tolerance and digestibility. So, if your body can digest more than 2 serving of milk in a day, you are free to drink more milk.

Which type of milk should you drink during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman should drink after boiling it. So, all harmful bacteria and infectious pathogens are killed by heating the milk. In terms of ayurveda, you can drink cow’s milk. If cow’s milk is not available, then you can go for goat’s milk and buffalo milk. Goat’s milk is the healthiest in terms of increasing immunity. Cow’s milk improves mental clarity and intelligence. Buffalo’s milk improves physical strength. Overall, milk from cow, goat, and buffalo are best during pregnancy.

You should not drink raw milk during pregnancy. Raw milk offer carries a variety of disease-causing bacteria or infectious pathogens. These can be Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. It may result in foodborne diseases including typhoid fever, listeriosis, and brucellosis. The bacteria Listeria may also cause miscarriage. Therefore, a pregnant woman should avoid drinking raw milk.

Food Naturally Sweet Taste

Fruits and Vegetables

Sweet taste does not mean that you should eat candies and other sweets. The sweet taste is naturally present in many food items including – fruits, cereals and grains. Fruits are best in providing several nutrients. So, you should choose at least three fruits from different fruit categories.

  1. Tropical fruits like banana.
  2. Berries like strawberry.
  3. Pome fruits like pears.
  4. Stone fruit like apricot.

Eating different categories of fruits help to get almost all types of nutrients except Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Fruits also helps to have optimum gut health, which may indirectly help gut bacteria to produce Vitamin B12 naturally in the body.

Avoid food with warming potency

In ayurveda, we also consider food potency, which is divided into 2 categories – hot and cool. Some foods cause heat production in the body. So, they are warming foods. These foods consist of hot spices and chilies. Foods with pungent taste are mostly hot. So, you should avoid hot spices, chilies and peppers in excess during pregnancy.

Lifestyle Guidelines

The 1st trimester of pregnancy brings a lot of changes in physical and emotional health. So, it is more important to correct the lifestyle before thinking about pregnancy and during pregnancy. If you have any lifestyle issues, you can discuss with an ayurvedic doctor for proper management.

What to Avoid

Here are some important things, which you should avoid during pregnancy:

  1. Smoking.
  2. Alcohol.
  3. Unhealthy foods.
  4. Sex.
  5. Heavy exercise.

Note: However, modern science may feel no problem recommending sex during pregnancy. But Ayurveda states sex during pregnancy should be avoided. Smoking and alcohol intake during pregnancy is also not wise. These may have adverse effects on developing baby. Heavy exercise may lead to miscarriage. So, you should consult a doctor for the suitable exercises for you.

What to Do

  1. Remain Physical Active.
  2. Do exercise – but under professional supervision.
  3. Eat Sattvic Diet.
  4. Do meditation.
  5. Go for ayurvedic pregnancy massage.
  6. Try Shirodhara during pregnancy.

Let’s discuss a few important points as per ayurveda.

Ayurvedic Pregnancy Massage

Ayurvedic pregnancy massage is a gentle massage. It never hurt your body and your developing baby. We use a special oil in ayurvedic pregnancy massage, which helps to strengthen muscles and bones and improves the overall health of the skin. It helps to nourish the mind, body and soul. It is relaxing, calming and warming. It reduces stress and fatigue. The regular ayurvedic pregnancy massage provides stability to your body and prepare you for a natural delivery and reduces complications during delivery. It further helps to diminish pregnancy marks, improves skin’s elasticity and gives relief in belly itching.

Shirodhara & Meditation

Your mind also affects the health of your baby. Your stress, anxiety and depression can have huge effects on a baby’s mental health too. According to research studies, stress during pregnancy may lead to low self-esteem and depression in babies in their later life.

Shirodhara and meditation are very important to reduce stress and stay blissful. If you cannot do regular meditation, you must go for Shirodhara. It helps you to reduce mental fatigue and stress. It also calming, perfectly natural and non-invasive therapy for stress disorders.

References

  1. Brantsæter, 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, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505908/
  2. 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
  3. Jang, W., Kim, H., Lee, B. E., & Chang, N. (2018). Maternal fruit and vegetable or vitamin C consumption during pregnancy is associated with fetal growth and infant growth up to 6 months: results from the Korean Mothers and Children’s Environmental Health (MOCEH) cohort study. Nutrition Journal, 17(1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6231254/
  4. Field T1, Hernandez-Reif M, Hart S, Theakston H, Schanberg S, Kuhn C., Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy, J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Mar;20(1):31-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10212885
  5. Mund, M., Louwen, F., Klingelhoefer, D., & Gerber, A. (2013). Smoking and pregnancy–a review on the first major environmental risk factor of the unborn. International journal of environmental research and public health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3881126/

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