Thursday, June 2, 2016

Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child

1. Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

2. Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.

3. Breastfeeding requires an average of 500 extra calories per day and breastfeeding mothers who eat a normal diet lose the extra weight they gained during pregnancy faster than moms who choose to bottle feed. In one study, mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their pre-pregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.

4. Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)

Crohn's Disease is a chronic intestinal disorder. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation extending into the deeper layers of the intestinal wall. It is difficult to treat, but several studies have shown that breastfeeding may help babies avoid developing the disease in later life.

5. Formula feeding increases risk of children developing diabetes

There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.

6. Breastfeeding baby helps decrease insulin requirements in diabetic mothers

Reduction in insulin dose postpartum was significantly greater in those who were breastfeeding than those who were bottle feeding

7. Breastfeeding may help stabilize progress of maternal endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disease in which the endometrial tissue in a woman's body begins to form in places other than her uterus, such as on her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer surface of the uterus. This tissue continues to function like uterine tissue would in the uterus, and sheds once a month during the woman's menstrual cycle. Since there is no vaginal outlet for this blood and tissue, painful complications, including sterility, may result. There is much clinical research showing that pregnancy temporarily stops the progress of this disease. Many women say that the disease also seems to be alleviated by breastfeeding. It certainly makes sense that the delay in the return of a woman's menstrual cycle would be desirable in preventing the endometriosis from starting up again. Some women even claim a permanent cure

8.Baby's suckling helps prevent post-partum hemorrhage in mother

Nursing her baby causes the mother's body to release oxytocin, which stimulates contractions which help shrink the uterus back to pre-pregnancy size while expelling the placenta. These contractions also shut off the maternal blood vessels that formerly fed the baby and discourage excessive bleeding. Women who choose not to breastfeed must be given synthetic oxytocin to insure against hemorrhaging.

9. Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing endometrial cancer

A World Health Organization study has shown that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the less likely she is to get endometrial cancer.

10.Formula feeding increases chances of baby developing allergies

"Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than artificially fed babies. This is especially important if your family has a history of allergies. Many babies are allergic to cow's milk formulas. Some babies are even allergic to soy formulas. Breastfeeding protects against other allergies, such as atopic eczema, food allergies, and respiratory allergies."

11. Breast milk lowers risk of baby developing asthma
A number of studies have linked lack of breastfeeding to asthma. According to one study, six year old children were more likely to have asthma if they had not been exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months.

12. Formula feeding increases baby's risk of otitis media (ear infections)

Research has shown that ear infections are up to 3-4 times more prevalent in formula-fed infants.

13. Breastfeeding protects baby against diarrheal infections

Numerous studies have shown that diarrheal infections are much more common in formula-fed babies. This is true throughout the world, despite a common misconception that only people living in areas with contaminated water need be concerned with this issue. Such infections are more likely to be fatal in developing nations, but all formula-fed infants are at greater risk than their breastfed peers.

14. Breastfeeding protects baby against bacterial meningitis

Meningitis is an infection which causes the inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by a type of bacteria called Hemophilus influenzae type b (HiB). Breastfeeding is protective against infections caused by this bacteria, and the meningitis which may result.

15. Breastfeeding protects baby against respiratory infections

Breastfeeding effectively protects nurslings from many life-threatening respiratory infection including those caused by rotaviruses. Studies have shown breastfed babies are less than half as likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia or bronchiolitis, and have one-fifth the number of lower respiratory tract infections compared to formula-fed infants. According to a recent meta-analysis of studies from developed countries, the risk of severe respiratory tract illness resulting in hospitalization is more than tripled among infants who are not breastfed, compared with those who are exclusively breastfed for four months.

16. Formula fed babies have a higher risk of developing certain childhood cancers

In a study done by researchers at the University of Minnesota it was found that babies who were breast fed for at least one month had a 21% less chance of getting leukemia than formula fed babies. The risk was 30% for children breast fed for 6 months.

17. Breastfeeding decreases chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis

Recent results from a Swedish study indicate that breastfed babies were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as adults. An earlier University of North Carolina/Duke University study had indicated breastfed children were only 40% as likely to develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

18. Breastfeeding decreases child's chances of contracting Hodgkins disease

Hodgkins disease is a type of lymphoma, or cancer of the lymph system. It can develop in children, although it is less likely to do so in children who were breastfed as infants.

19. Breastfeeding protects baby against some vision defects
In a study in Bangladesh, breastfeeding was a protective factor for night blindness among preschool-aged children in both rural and urban areas. Breast milk is generally the main, if not the only source, of vitamin A during a child's first 24 months of life (or for the duration of breastfeeding).

20. Breastfeeding decreases chances of osteoporosis

According to many studies, both breastfeeding mothers and their children will be less at risk for development of this disease. One study found that the odds that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was 4 times higher than for a control woman. In another study, Dr. Alan Lucas, MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Center of London, found that 8-year-olds who were fed formula rather than breast fed as infants, had less developed bone mineralization than those fed breast milk. "Bone mineral density decreases during lactation, but after weaning showed higher bone mineral density than those who did not breastfeed."

20. Breast milk aids in proper intestinal development

The gastrointestinal system of a newborn baby is not yet mature. It is still permeable, allowing bacteria, viruses and toxins to pass through. This intestinal permeability decreases more slowly in formula-fed babies. According to Dr. Jack Newman "...certain hormones in milk (such as cortisol) and smaller proteins (including epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and somatomedin C) act to close up the leaky mucosal lining of the newborn, making it relatively impermeable to unwanted pathogens and other potentially harmful agents. Indeed, animal studies have demonstrated that postnatal development of the intestine occurs faster in animals fed their mother's milk. And animals that also receive colostrum, containing the highest concentrations of epidermal growth factor, mature even more rapidly."

21. Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life

A study of 32200 Scottish 3 year old children found that the incidence of obesity was significantly lower among those who had been breastfed, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, birthweight and gender. Another study, this one of Czech children, found that the even older children (6 -14) who had been breastfed were less at risk for overweight/obesity. Additionally, a German study found that 4.5% of formula fed children are obese, while only 0.8% of breastfed children have this condition.

22. Breastfed babies have less chance of cardiopulmonary distress while feeding.

Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed respiratory breaths due to repeated swallowing. According to one study, infants can experience oxygen saturation below 90% when bottle feeding. Nine of 50 healthy term infants in one study experienced bradycardia during bottle feeding. Six of these episodes were preceded by apnea, three showed hypopnea (marked reduction in ventilation) and one had certral apnea (no respiratory efforts)

23. Breastfed babies have less chance of developing ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulceration and inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and rectum. A number of studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to develop this disease.

24. Breast milk protects against hemophilus b. bacteria

Hemophilus influenzae type b is a bacteria which can grow in the respiratory tract with no symptoms, but may spread into the throat, ears or blood and cause grave illness. Breastfed babies are much less vulnerable to such an overgrowth. . Interestingly, a 1999 Swedish study found that even 5 - 10 years later, children who had been breastfed were much less likely to contract hemophilus b.

25. Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness

Breastfed infants showed better serum and secretory responses to oral and parenteral vaccines than those formula-fed.

26. Breastfed babies have less chance of developing necrotizing enterocolitis

This disease occurs most commonly in premature or sick newborns. In NEC the lining of the intestinal wall dies and sloughs off. Premature infants fed their own mother's milk or banked human milk are one sixth to one tenth as likely to develop NEC. One Australian study has estimated that 83% of NEC cases may be attributed to lack of breastfeeding.

27. Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein

Formula companies are constantly adjusting these proportions looking for the best composition. The reality is that a mother's milk composition changes from feeding to feeding depending on the needs of her child. No formula can do that! According to the American Dietetic Association "human milk provides optimal nutrition to the infant with its dynamic composition and the appropriate balance of nutrients provided in easily digestible and bioavailable forms."

28. Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer for baby

Mother's milk contains chemicals that seem to work like "knock-out drops" for tired babies. Even if baby doesn't fall asleep, he/she will certainly calm down and become more agreeable. If you choose to breastfeed into toddlerhood, you may find that the "terrible twos" never materialize

29. Breastfeeding may lower the risk of developing high cholesterol

A recent British study found that breastfeeding seems to be associated with lower levels of damaging cholesterol in adulthood. The authors concluded that breastfeeding may have long-term benefits for cardiovascular health.

30. Breast milk aids in the proper development of a baby's gastrointestinal tract
"The cells of the mature intestinal lining are tightly packed together so that potential allergens cannot seep through into the bloodstream. But in the early months, the lining of a baby's immature intestines is more like a sieve, allowing potential allergens to get through, which sets the infant…up for allergies and infections. Breast milk contains a special protein called imunoglobulin A (IgA), which acts like a protective sealant in the digestive tract…Breast milk also contains a special substance called epidermal growth factor (EGF), which promotes the growth of the cells lining baby's intestines as well as other surface cells, such as the cells of the skin."

31. Breast milk provides natural pain relief for baby

Breast milk actually contains chemicals that suppress pain (endorphins). Aside from this, the comfort a baby derives from being held close and suckling is remarkable. Many a bruise or scrape has been soothed away almost instantly by a few moments of nursing. If you choose to have your child vaccinated, it is a good idea to nurse immediately after he/she receives a vaccination. This soothes the hurt, as well as enhancing the vaccine's effectiveness.

32. A breastfeeding Mom gets more sleep

Especially if she sleeps with baby, but even if she doesn't. No bottles to prepare and warm. Less time comforting a crying baby suffering from gas and allergies.

33. Fresh breast milk is never contaminated with bacteria

In fact, it has antibacterial properties.

34. Facilitates proper dental and jaw development

Nursing is good for a baby's tooth and jaw development. Babies drinking from the human breast have to use as much as 60 times more energy to get food than do those drinking from a bottle. Obviously, a nursing baby's jaws are receiving much more exercise as she pulls her mother's milk into her mouth. Apparently, this constant gentle pulling assists the growth of well-formed jaws and straight, healthy teeth. Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing, the less chance of dental malocclusion.

35. Breastfed babies have less tooth decay

Breast milk contains bacteria fighting cells that may help kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Furthermore, bottle-fed babies "are at increased risk for baby bottle caries, a destructive dental condition which occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk, juice or other fluids high in carbohydrates." Furthermore, breast milk contains bacteria fighting cells that may help kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

36. Better speech development

Tongue thrust problems often develop among bottle-fed babies as they try to slow down the flow of milk coming from an artificial nipple. This can lead to speech problems later on. "Early weaning may lead to the interruption of proper oral motor development provoking alterations to the posture and strength of the speech organs and harming the functions of chewing, swallowing, breathing, and articulation of speech sounds. The lack of physiological sucking on the breast may interfere in the oral motor development, possibly causing malocclusion, oral respiration and oral motor disorders."

37. Less chance of baby getting eczema

A number of studies have indicated that breastfed babies are
less likely to develop eczema - an itchy skin rash

38.  Breastfed babies have great skin

You don't have to refer to the many studies showing that breastfed babies have less eczema and fewer rashes. Check out the skin of a breastfed baby and see what you think.

39. Decreased risk of baby developing urinary tract infections

Breastfed babies have fewer urinary tract infections than their bottle fed peers. According to one study, infants who were exclusively bottle fed were more than five times as likely to develop urinary tract infections compared with those that were breastfed.

40. Breastfeeding protects mothers against anemia (iron deficiency)

Since many exclusively breastfeeding mothers do not begin to menstruate for a year or longer their iron stores are not depleted by monthly bleeding during this time.

41. Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs and increases bonding between mother and baby

All babies need to be held. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. In fact, studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin in the mother's body. "It is now well established that oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and offspring.

42. Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer

Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Planned Parenthood : Prepare the ‘Womb Room’

Planned Parenthood

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~ Elizabeth Stone.

For many, the time to have a child is thrust upon them rather than consciously chosen. Some say there’s never a perfect time to have a child but that fate schedules it, along with the moment of birth and death. Couples ambivalent about having children rather than following a calling may be called up to parental duty by destiny. Others can eagerly prepare for a child who never appears. Ayurveda sees children as a precious gift from the gods to be welcomed whether invited or not. They are gurus who can prompt parents to cultivate qualities that may have otherwise lay dormant, virtues like unconditional love. In many ancient cultures becoming a parent is considered an enriching rite of passage, a momentous milestone presenting an opportunity for spiritual growth and deeper relationships. As Peter De Vries appreciated “The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.” Though the prospect of parenting may seem overwhelming many couples say that once they arose to meet the challenge and accepted the lifestyle adjustment the blessings far outweighed the sacrifices.

Preparing psychologically and physically for the little angel’s arrival optimises the mother and child’s state through the childbearing process. Just as a healthy seed bears healthy fruit, if the parent’s sperm and ovum are pure then the child is more likely to inherit a strong constitution and immunity. Conversely if parents conceive when mentally or physically weak this may impact negatively on the child’s condition. With the intention of giving their child the happiest and healthiest genetic inheritance ayurveda suggests parents observe a preconception regime called vajikaranam. The ancient text Charaka Samhita explains- "The aim of vajikaranam is to enable a couple to produce healthy progeny who can assist them to perform their life's mission (dharma)." About six months before conception an ayurvedic physician prescribes a personalised purification and rejuvenation regime for the couple to ensure optimal ovum and sperm quality and quantity.

This may include lifestyle changes, a nutrition plan, herbs, cleanses, yoga and meditation. The couple avoids chemicals such as in food or personal care products and wean off pharmaceutical medicine when possible. Energising exercises also increase fertility and virility but must be done in moderation. To prepare the ‘womb room’ for the special guest women can balance their menstrual cycle and take cleansing and fortifying herbs and supplements. Essential fatty acids, Calcium, Magnesium, Folic acid, Iron, B12, B6 and Zinc are particularly vital to prevent birth defects. General female tonics include Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashoka (Saraca indica). Men are advised to take virilizing herbs such as Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Sariba (Hemidesmus indicus) and Kapi Kachu (Mucuna pruriens).  There are also many compound formulations for optimum fertility. General reproductive tonic foods recommended include warm unhomogenised milk, ghee, yoghurt, black sesame seeds, urad dal, mung dal, honey, dates, almonds, ginger, garlic, onions and saffron. Hot spices should be avoided. Daily self massage and sufficient rest is observed to charge the body with positive hormones.

Couples who share their expectations, excitement and fears about having a child will forge deeper bonds of understanding to sustain them through the experience. Couples who attune their desires for parenthood are more mentally ready for the new phase of their life and are less likely to resent the sacrifices and compromises that may be demanded. Sharing the commitment to create a loving and supportive environment makes it a more positive experience for all. This is the time to iron out any relationship rifts by spending quality time together aligning hearts and future intentions realising that a happy couple are more likely to make happy parents, transmitting contented energy to their receptive baby. Spending time together around babies can reinforce the realities and joys of the decision for them both. Another way to build excitement is to think of their child’s character and envisage a fulfilling future for the family unit. Though this may not manifest precisely it builds a positive expectation that inspires couples to maintain faith and enthusiasm through any trials. This shared sankalpa or powerful intention for a beloved baby also generates a powerful magnetic attraction for the soul to enter the womb. Love is the best libido booster to set the mood according to ayurvedic sage Charaka who says “the best aphrodisiac for a man is a woman who loves him.”

Another Vedic belief is that one can connect with ancestors to invoke their blessings and support for the child. Annual rituals to appease forebears also help to clear detrimental familial karma.

Making a Miracle
A relationship ripe with mutual love and commitment may naturally grow into the co-creation of a child. This is why the Vedas calls the married phase expansion or garhastyam. The sacred ceremony for impregnation is known as Garbadhana samskara. Ideally the field is fertile to germinate the seed through the preparatory purification, rejuvenation and emotional practices.
The prime time for procreation is calculated by the woman’s ovulation phase. Women with regular menses and awareness of their cervical mucus changes and temperature shifts can often sense their most fertile time. Alternatively one can purchase a pharmacy ovulation test or seek guidance from a natural fertility consultant.

An Indian astrologer (Jyotish) can also advice the most auspicious time called rtu-samaagam for successful conception. Ayurvedic texts warn that it is detrimental to conceive at certain times including after a heavy meal, within 96 hrs of the menstrual period, during dawn or dusk, at midnight, on a full moon, new moon, fasting days and when the woman is bleeding. Days considered lucky for conception are on the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th days after the end of the menses. If you have a gender preference the Vedas states conceiving on an odd day will produce a daughter and an even day a son. To optimise the man’s sperm volume and motility it is best if he can conserve his sperm for three to seven days before the conception day. Because the couples’ consciousness partially determines the type of soul attracted to them and imbues the zygote with its first subtle influence it is recommended that they elevate their spirits and connect with divine grace by meditation, offerings or rituals. On this significant day they should feel contented and deeply connected. If either feels thirsty, hungry, fearful, sad or angry it is better to wait. After preparing the ‘love nest’, bathing, dressing in fresh white garments and applying essential oils and flower garlands they can recite the following prayer from Charaka Samhita in unison.

Aum ahirasi ayurasi sarvata  pratishthasi dhaata tvam, dadhaatu vidhaata tvam, dadhatu bramhavarcasa bhava
Brahama brhaspatir vishnu soma surya tatha asvinau
Bhagotha mitra varunau veeram daddaatu me sutaam            

This is translated as“O creator and the cosmic truth! Please bless us with a courageous/strong child with a long life and health, with the qualities of Brahma (power to create), Brhaspati (power to alter the future), Vishnu (power to maintain), Soma (power to flourish), Surya (power to be succeed), Mitra (power to love) and Varuna (power to nurture)”.

They can focus on welcoming the child to it’s new home and on tender feelings for each other. If the man then breathes through his right nostril and the woman through her left this is said to optimise conception chances. Alighting the bed with his right foot first the woman joins him by placing her left leg on the bed. Intimacy infused with blissful abandon will instil the child’s initial cells with the same essence of ecstasy, giving it a positive start to existence and a sound foundation for a satisfied spirit. First they enjoy leisurely foreplay to stimulate the juices of arousal and establish an energetic connection. During intercourse the woman should not lie on her side or kneel as disturbed vata (air and ether) will affect the genitals when lying on the right side and on the left side pitta (fire and water) can overheat the sperm and ovum. Lying on her back with her legs straddling her partner promotes the upward flow of sperm.

After making love the woman lies down for 30 minutes and for a comfortable duration she can rest her raised legs at a 45O angle to optimise chances of conception. To rejuvenate they may then have a bath and eat sweet rice, saffron and honey. The woman takes it easy for the next three weeks and an Indian custom is to keep the news of conception a secret until the first trimester is complete.

Source :  Dr Rama Prasad 

 Factors Involved in Creating a Healthy Child

What are the factors involved in creating a healthy child? According to Maharishi Ayurveda, conception takes place due to healthy sperm, a healthy ovum, and a healthy uterus. For both men and women, reproductive health depends on the health of the shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue. In women the shukra tissue creates the ovum as part of the monthly cycle, and in men the semen is formed due to sexual stimulation.

The shukra tissue itself is created as part of a long chain of metabolic transformations, starting with the digestion of food and including the transformation of food to nutrient fluid, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and finally, to shukra tissue.

Healthy shukra tissue, then, according to ayurveda, depends on the health of all the other tissues (dhatus) in the body.

Diet and Behaviors to Boost Fertility

There are two kinds of foods and herbs that help enhance shukra dhatu, and therefore help enhance fertility. One is called bringhana, and these foods enhance shukra by enhancing all the seven dhatus. Vrishya foods and herbs target shukra dhatu in particular.
Because the first six dhatus are the raw material for forming the reproductive dhatu, all of the dhatus must be completely healthy in order to form healthy reproductive tissue. That's why the bringhana diet, which nourishes all the seven dhatus, are so important if you wish to conceive.

Foods to Nourish All Seven Dhatus (Bringhana)

  • Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy proteins, including milk, lassi, and panir (a fresh cheese made of milk)
  • Mung dhal
  • Soaked almonds or soaked walnuts (you can grind them and add them to your vegetables)
  • Sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears
  • Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins
  • Stewed apple for breakfast
  • If your digestion is strong, eat urad dhal (available at Indian grocery stores) cooked with equal parts turmeric, cumin,coriander and fennel.
  • A banana cooked in ghee, cinnamon and cardamom is a tasty and wholesome dessert for people with strong digestion.
Foods to Enhance the Reproductive Tissue (Vrishya)
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Milk
  • Date milk shake
  • Mango milk shake
  • Rice pudding
  • Spices such as ajwain  powder, cumin (which purifies the uterus in women and the genitourinary tract in men), turmeric (to improve the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues), and black cumin.
In general, it's important to eat a wide variety of foods in order to receive all the essential nutrients. Keep trying new vegetables and fruits, and rotate your menus to make sure you're not eating the same thing day after day.

Source : Maharishi Ayurveda


1. Cleanse (Months 1–3)

Before any growth or progress, a cleansing of the things that do not serve you well must occur. This is an opportunity to start new, on a blank slate, so that you can offer your highest self to the passage of pregnancy and to parenthood. Anger, grief, toxins, emotional heaviness, and more all have a profound impact on your pregnancy. In fertility cleansing, there is a specific effort to remove toxins and excess doshas from the field, the nutrients and fluid, and the seed, which are deeper tissue layers and therefore require deeper cleansing.

“Following panchakarma [Ayurvedic cleansing], a person’s perception and understanding become clear and the ego becomes mellow as love, compassion, and clarity unfold in the mind. The mind returns to its home, which is conscious awareness.” — Dr. Vasant Lad 

Emotional Cleansing

Allow these three months to give space for cleansing any past hurt or resentment in your relationship with your partner. Together, commit to purging the relationship of dysfunctional habits and beliefs so that your child enters a healthier, more supportive atmosphere. As you go deeper into the cleanse, do not be surprised if many things that were once long forgotten begin to resurface. For women, the womb is a very strong emotional center. A few tools for this process include the following:
  • Marriage counseling. The preconception cleansing process needs support, and sometimes navigating through the emotions can be overwhelming. Having a neutral, yet compassionate, third party can help bring light to deep-seated pain or simply bring a perspective that is insightful and refreshing.
  • Daily sits. Spend a few minutes reflecting on your relationship every day. Practice gratefulness for all that your partner gives you, and practice the art of genuine apology for any wrongdoings, being completely vulnerable and transparent with each other. You will see sincerity, trust, and compassion grow in your relationship from this practice.

Spiritual Cleansing

This is also a time to cleanse yourself of any dysfunctionalities within—any anger, greed, attachment, or excess pride and ego. Release all expectations of life and of yourself and even any expectations that you may have of your future child.
  • Daily affirmation and prayer. During these three months, strengthen your resolve to cleanse by beginning your day with the following affirmation:
    I am free of any bondage from the past. I have the opportunity to be born new every moment, and I choose to release all forms of pain that keep me from being fully present. I forgive all those who have hurt me and ask for forgiveness from those whom I have hurt. Give me strength to cleanse and be free so that I may offer my highest self to the child that is to come.
  • Ashoka baths. Ashoka is known as the “remover of sorrow,” and thus the herb heals both physical and psychological pain, particularly in the female reproductive tract. Boil three tablespoons of herbal powder in two cups of water until one cup of water remains. Add the decoction to a hot bath and soak in it. While in the bath, try to suck in the perineum to draw the herbal water and its effects close to the uterus.
  • Solarized water. Men tend to hold pain in their heart center. It is said that the heart chakra vibrates at the same frequency as the color green, and thus drinking solarized green water with intention cleanses the heart chakra. Store filtered water in a green bottle and let the bottle sit in the sun for a day. As you drink the water, focus on your connection with all beings through the heart center.

Physical Cleansing

The cleanse serves to clear toxins (ama) and excess doshas so that channels flow freely and toxins do not inhibit the proper functioning of any tissue.  For the purpose of fertility, the same principles hold true. Traditional Ayurvedic cleansing for fertility lasts for several months in order to cleanse and revitalize the deepest tissue layers. Try your best to adhere to the following structure, allowing for flexibility and modifications as you need it:
  • Month 1: Gentle cleansing. Eat an easy-to-digest diet that is well cooked. Completely eliminate—or at least avoid as much as possible—gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Follow the  the routine of self massage abhyanga  and gentle yoga.
  • Month 2: More intense cleansing. If a panchkarma  center is accessible to you, then undergo panchakarma for a minimum of two weeks. Otherwise, two weeks to a month-long home cleanse with a monodiet of kitchari and cooked vegetables (to the best of your ability) will serve you well. 
  • Month 3: Gentle cleansing. Ease back into the routine of a more gentle cleanse, as in month 1.
Here are a few more tips for an effective fertility cleanse:
  • Minimize, or if possible abstain, from intercourse. Yup, you read that right. This is a time of cleansing, which requires a lot of energy and reserves. Abstinence is a yogic practice used to conserve physical energy, ojas, and mental energy so that a more introspective and clear mind-set is maintained.
  • Practice meditation and yoga  regularly. Be sure to practice more gently while cleansing, particularly during month 2. 

The Seed (Bija)

The seed, or bija, of fertility refers to the egg and sperm. According to Ayurveda, this reproductive tissue is the very last tissue in our bodies to be created. It is the most refined, most complete tissue after we digest and process all the food, thoughts, and emotions that we ingest. As such, its perfection requires the best of the best—the best food, the best thoughts, the best environment. This is especially true for men, since fully mature sperm are produced, on average, every two months. For women, maintaining a healthy environment protects the quality of the eggs that they were born with.
Source : Banayan Botanicals

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ayurveda and Breastfeeding

Ayurveda and Breastfeeding : The importance of breastfeeding

Breast milk is one source of complete nutrition for infants. Breast milk production is automatically stimulated in mothers due to secretion of specific hormones after pregnancy. Besides nutrition, a nursing mother also provides vitamin, minerals, digestive enzymes and other necessary ingredients that are required for the growing baby. Breast milk is known to contain valuable antibodies that can help the baby resist infections.
Listed are a few facts on why Ayurveda encourages breastfeeding:

Breast milk is known to contain valuable antibodies and is sterile, thus ensuring the baby us nit susceptible to infections.

The milk is available at the right temperature, suitable for the child. The various digestive enzymes present in the mother’s milk help the baby digest the feed easily.

The quantity of milk lactose present in the milk prevents the growth of E. coli, and poliovirus, ensuring complete heath protection for the baby.

Breastfeeding in Ayurveda
Ancient Ayurvedic tests state that the individual body constitution (Ayurvedic body type) of a mother can affect the quality of the milk. Normal breast milk can be easily and evenly mixed with water. It has a sweet taste and a slightly yellowish tinge.

Excess of Vata and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Vata dosha in the milk, the taste of the milk is bitter or becomes astringent. It will not mix evenly with water but stratifies when it comes in contact with water. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of vata, it can have constipation, cramps or abdominal pain, anxiety, and can suffer from sleep disorders.

Mothers who have an excess of Vata dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. Foods that can increase the Vata dosha should be excluded from the meals. Avoid eating cold, stale, dry foods or foods that are overcooked, bitter and those with a pungent taste. Eat at least 3-4 meals in day (7:30 am, noon, 3:30 pm and at 6:30pm). Drink enough liquid; avoid snacking between meals, exclude beans, peas, raw vegetables like cabbage in the meals.

Excess of Pitta and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Pitta dosha in the milk, it becomes pungent, sour or salty. If you let the milk settle for a while, you will notice yellow streaks appear in it. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of pitta, it can develop diarrhoea, stomach cramps, skin infections and delayed milestones.

Mothers who have an excess of Pitta dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. Foods that need to be avoided are all citrus foods, dairy products, pickles and pickled salads, foods that are marinated and very salty.

Excess of Kapha and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Kapha dosha in the milk, it becomes very sweet and is greasy and sticky to the touch and sinks in water. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of kapha, it can gain weight very quickly which is not good for its health. They can also have constipation, a runny nose and a constant discharge from the eyes and ears.

Mothers who have an excess of Kapha dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. There should be a reduction in the intake of sweets and excessive salty foods. Foods with high fat content and starch should be avoided. Light exercise routine is recommended.

Source : Om Ved
Image Courtesy: Wallpaperswala

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)


Friday, May 20, 2016


“A new mother should be treated with massage, warm baths, a specific diet, and herbal drinks that prevent infection, pro-mote vitality, and alleviate vata.” — Charaka Semite - sarira sthanam

India has a wonderful tradition wherein a pregnant woman stays with her parents three months before and after having the baby to ensure that she gets abundant rest, support, and nurturing. This enables a woman to recover from the extraordinary mental and physical stresses placed on her through childbearing, allowing her the relaxed time and assistance needed to bond with the baby.

The ninety days after delivery are considered a vital, cleansing, recuperative period during which the mother should take complete rest to regain the strength and health of her pre-pregnancy state. This will give her the mental, emotional, and spiritual resources to cope with the demands of motherhood. It will also protect her and her baby from common health disorders associated with this time such as colic, insomnia, irritability, and post-natal depression. Even modern medicine acknowledges that it takes a women’s body at least six weeks to re-turn to normal after childbirth, hence the standard six-week post-natal check up.

Mothers who are not able to recover properly run the risk of suffering long-term depletion and chronic childbearing- related weaknesses. Women are particularly vulnerable to post-natal depression if they lack proper rest and support at this time. The many challenges they face include fatigue, sleep deprivation, pain, anxiety, breastfeeding, worries about weight gain and feeling generally over-whelmed regarding the responsibilities of motherhood. Issues such as these contribute to the post-natal depression suffered by 80% of women.

Childbirth and new motherhood tends to unbalance the elements of air and ether (vata) due to mental and phys-ical strain, sleep deprivation, irregular eating and weak digestion after delivery. Vata is cold, dry, and active; hence the approach to rebalance it is with warm, unctuous, and restful therapies. If the mother is unhappy or unhealthy this affects the baby and the developing relationship between the mother and child. Conversely, a nurtured mother over-flowing with joy and health showers that energy onto her child.

Ways to Restore Balance and Reduce Stress

    The mother should rest as much as possible for at least one month. Having a baby may be the beginning of the greatest love affair, but the end of sufficient sleep. To guard against exhaustion she should try to go to bed by 9 p.m. (or earlier) and do minimal exercise. Practicing yoga nidra is also very rejuvenating.
    To promote a peaceful lifestyle and reduce stimulation she should restrict the number of visitors; reduce talking; remain in a warm, quite environment sheltered from the cold and wind; avoid travel; and delegate domestic and work duties to caring helpers. Soliciting someone else’s help with the shopping, laundry, cooking, and cleaning for at least a month will allow mum time to focus on her recovery and the baby’s needs, without feeling swamped and depleted.
    The mother’s digestion will reflect the baby’s digestion, so special care should be taken to provide food that is lovingly prepared, light to digest, and rich in nutrition. Meals should be regular, warm, cooked, organic, liquid, and gently spiced. Foods to favour include whole grains, stewed fruits, steamed vegetables, mung dhal, basmati rice, milk, ghee, almonds, raisins, dates, figs, palm sugar, and plenty of warm fluids such as chamomile or fennel tea.
    Digestive spices such as basil, bay leaf, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, hing, mustard seeds, pepper, and turmeric are good to stoke the digestive fire. Some foods disturb the mother’s digestion and make breast milk more gas-forming and should therefore be avoided. Examples of such foods include cold, raw or fermented food, leftovers, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, onions, green peas, potatoes, sprouts, and most legumes (except for mung dhal).
    It is good if the new mother is massaged daily with warm herbal oils and then left to sleep for an hour. She can then take a bath with the therapeutic leaves of tamarind, jackfruit, castor, and neem. All these have anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. An aromatherapy alternative employs an elixir of rose, rosemary, lavender, cypress, and geranium essential oils. Jasmine is also good to prevent post-natal depression. Her belly is then bound with a cotton cloth to support the abdomen and uterus’ return to normal. Post-natal massage helps the mother’s body to reorganize itself; relaxes; promotes circulation; boosts immunity; conditions skin; soothes the nervous system; and returns muscles, ligaments, and bones back to normal. Another special treatment given after the nor-mal daily massage for the first week is an herbal leaf poultice massage (ila kizhi). The poultice containing castor plant leaves, tamarind, Vitex nigun-do, lime, and rock salt reduces body aches and improves muscle tone.
    Herbal tonics given at this time to restore the mother’s energy, immunity, and promote quality breast milk include chyavanaprasham jam, Asparagus racemosus (shatavari), and Withania somnifera (ashwagandha). Other classical preparations given to ease vata and promote digestion include dhanwantaram decoction plus tablets, dasamoolarishtam or jeera-karishtam.
    Many women suffer from constipation after delivery for which castor oil may be taken before bed to lubricate the bowels and encourage complete evacuation.
    Intercourse should be avoided for at least three months to allow the reproductive system recovery time. Pelvic floor exercises and yogic moola bandha can assist vaginal elasticity. To shrink the size of the vagina a douche of gooseberry (amalaki) decoction or fig leaf paste is used.
    Ayurveda considers the milk from the breast best, custom-made for the baby’s specific needs. As soon as possible the baby should be put on the breast, as the initial colostrum, though heavy, is considered to be nectar. To increase milk production the mother can think of the baby with tender affection and take fenugreek, fennel, shatavari, milk, drumsticks, and ghee. If the baby is reluctant to drink breast milk, honey is put on the nipple for encouragement.
    For mastitis, warm cabbage leaves can be put in the bra and cracked nipples are eased with calendula and turmeric ointment.

The baby may be weaned off breast milk either after the teeth appear or continued according to the mother’s preference. To dry up milk the mother can apply neem or jasmine leaf paste externally to her breasts. Though it may seem unrealistically idyllic to follow these mother-care practices.

 Mother and Baby Program offered by me at my Hospital and  saw the benefits for hundreds of mothers, “I never saw an instance of post-partum depression in all of the years I worked with this program.... Mothers looked healthier, more supported, more rested. Their ongoing good health seemed to continue for years.” Research conducted &  supports the effectiveness of the Mother and Baby Program. I found that the mothers in the program had better overall health, more confidence and happiness in new motherhood, enriched family relationships, and better physical and emotional stability.

The initial six months of a baby’s life are considered a crucial phase, during which the foundation of mental and physical fortitude is established. The transition from the womb to the world should be as gentle and tender as possible. The situation babies have been in could be likened to spending nine months in dark solitary confinement; hence they need time to adapt to sensory input. Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.31 describes the discomfort suffered by the baby in the womb who, likened to a bird trapped in a cage, appeals to the Lord, “I, the pure soul, appearing now bound by my activities, am lying in the womb of my mother by the arrangement of maya (illusion). O my Lord, when shall I be released from this confinement?” To make the adjustment as easy as possible the newborn is protected from any intense sensory stimuli. This includes wind, strong sunlight, rain, loud or jarring noises, strong scents, hard surfaces, and sudden or excessive movement. Everything should be soft, warm, and nurturing. According to Vedic tradition the child does not even go outside until it is fourteen days old — a ritual known as niskramana samskara, where the father takes the child out under the sun and recites a mantra for its well-being. Also, at three-months-old the child may be placed briefly at the feet of the temple deity for divine protection while receiving the  blessings and a sprinkle of holy water.

Three practices that enhance bonding with the baby are breastfeeding, massage, and “baby wearing.” Modern medical research has established the benefits of breastfeeding over bottle-feeding. Scores of studies conclude that breast fed babies have a lower mortality rate than bottle fed babies, develop physical and mental milestones faster, and are less prone to dental decay and infections. Breast milk has seventy ingredients not found in bottled milk and is an important source of immune building antibodies. The baby is weaned onto solids once the first teeth appear. The first grains are given to the baby  in a ceremony called annaprasana. After 56 days the baby can eat semolina soup which is prepared by soaking semolina in water overnight, draining the water the next morning and cooking the semolina with palm sugar and milk. Dried, seeded, and powdered green banana is also given with buttermilk as a digestive aid for the stomach. Ragi or red millet water, rice, and cow or goats’ milk are also administered. Salt is withheld for the first six months.

Massage is integral to the mother/baby daily routine in India. It is partic-larly advantageous for premature babies. When premature babies are given daily massage they have gained more weight and left hospital stronger than those who were not massaged. Ayurveda advises that massage should take place in a warm, quiet room. Also, due to the delicate newborn’s skin, a small dough ball should be used for massage in the first month. This can be made from atta flour and water, then rolled in a little boiled organic coconut milk, or sesame oil and turmeric. Baby massage enhances circulation, expels toxins, sharpens reflexes, aids digestion, reduces colic, and gives the baby a deep sense of security. By the second month, massage with boiled organic coconut milk or lakshadi oil is used, applying gentle hand strokes and incorporating some sensory-motor coordination exercises. Use light long strokes on the long bones, circular motions on the joints and gentle pressure in a clockwise direction on the abdomen helps to expel gas. At two months, oil such as brahmi oil may be applied to the scalp, stopping the initial ghee pad placed on the crown fontanel from birth. This acts as a brain, neuromuscular, and hair tonic as well as preventing cradle cap. The massage can last from ten to twenty minutes and is best done at least thirty minutes away from feeding. If the baby suffers from colic a washer dipped in warm water and a pinch of hing can be placed over its abdomen for a few minutes at the end of the session. The massage may be followed by a bath and a sleep.

Massage should be avoided if there are signs of fever or cold. Babies thrive from this tender touch and relaxing time with the parent. The ancient pediatric text Kashyapa Semite says massage is very important for the baby’s neuromuscular and central nervous system development as well as for weight gain, pain relief, improving skin tone, sleep, vision, and digestion. Massage sessions also provide a mother or father with a unique opportunity for quality time with their baby.

 Learn good techniques of Ayurvedic baby massage from us which flows from love rather than method.

The expression “I slept like a baby” must have been coined by a parent fortunate enough to have mastered the art of “baby whispering.” Indians have always used hammocks to lull their babies into a deep, cocooned slumber. These hammocks, now available in Western designs, are simple constructions of a spring hanging from the ceiling attached to a strong triangular frame from which a folded cloth hangs. The hammock is very comforting for the baby as it is like the womb environment with the snugly secure shape and the range of movements similar to sensations in utero. The baby’s slightly slanted position also prevents reflux and colic. Conventional cribs being firm and flat don’t provide the same swaddling comfort and can also lead to the baby developing a flat head. Babies also wake more peacefully in a hammock as its own movements initiate a reassuring bouncing action.

Babies can also be soothed if carried close and moved. Rather than straining the carer’s arms and back a carrier can be positioned so it gives the mother good symmetrical back support and the baby is positioned diagonally or horizontally rather than vertically inside. The trend for vertical baby carriers is contrary to the Ayurvedic ideal that a baby should be kept horizontal or with its weight evenly supported along its spine whilst the backbones and muscles are developing. If the head is unsupported the sudden jerking position of the head whip-ping back when made to sit upright can cause neurological and muscular weakness, possibly linked to kyphosis (a weak back) and some osteopaths even suspect a connection with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Carriers that put pressure on the sacrum and force the baby’s legs apart create an unnatural, stressful posture and are detrimental to the infant’s musculoskeletal development. A baby sling holds the baby in a natural fetal position just as they were inside the womb. If comfortable, it is also the perfect position for breastfeeding and also allows the mother to carry out two-handed tasks while still com-forting the baby. Slings are also helpful for babies who are slow to gain weight as they have been shown to gain more rapidly if carried in a sling for several hours a day, the proximity of the mother encouraging more regular feeding. Carrying a baby also reduces restlessness and colic and promotes cognitive development, motor skills and speech and builds a solid sense of security and self-esteem. The idea that infants who are carried will become dependant and clingy later on is unfounded. Babies that are carried feel more confident to explore by themselves at a younger age, and as adults display less aggression and better relating skills. There are some good slings available, or you can make your own from a length of soft cotton approximately 5 meters long and 30 inches wide.

The Vedic culture has prescribed rituals and rites of passage at various phases of an infant’s development. When the child has lived for a full lunar phase (28 days) this is celebrated by tying a protective yantra or blessed charm (tali) around the child’s waist with a string (this may be changed to a gold chain after six months). Another auspicious item that may be used is an ornament which consists of five metals (pan-cha-loha). This is said to protect the child from malefic planetary influences. Also from the 28th to the 56th day after delivery a special ceremony called dasandhya uzhiyal is conducted for the child. At sunset the grandmother or mother offer a flame first to a lit lamp three times clockwise chanting “Hare Krishna”then to the baby three times. She then places the wick in turmeric and limewater, touching the water to the baby three times. Finally, the baby is fed a paste of calamus, triphala, gold, butter, rudrakasham, chandana, and brahmi water to boost physical and mental well-being.

The name giving ceremony, nama-karana, takes place some time after the baby’s birth. In some traditions, the formal name is given when the child reaches six months. In the meantime pet names such as, “little goddess” and “little jewel” are used. This gives the parents time to observe the child’s character in order to select a name that is really apt. In choosing the name an astrologer, poojari, or guru may be consulted to ensure it has a beneficial sound vibration. An auspicious sounding name which is constantly repeated over the person’s life then acts as a mantra, attracting positive energy into their life. The astrologer calculates the best first syllable and the family agrees on a name they like starting with that. Once the name is selected the uncle or father first whispers it into the child’s right ear if it is a boy and the left ear for a girl. Only then may the name be spoken aloud.

The ear-piercing ceremony called karna ve-dhana samskara is performed by some castes on the sixth, seventh, or eight month. A jeweler generally performs this nowadays. The first ear to be pierced is the right one for a boy and the left ear for a girl. This immediately induces a cell-mediated response to boost the child’s immunity, though the earrings may be taken out after a week if desired.

Because a baby’s hair is considered too fine it is generally shaved off be-fore six months to promote healthy thick re-growth. This ceremony called mundana may be conducted by a barber. After shaving the hair a soothing balm of sandalwood and saffron paste is smeared over the head. This protects against infection and adds to the world’s most sublime scent — a baby’s head!

May we all appreciate these precious souls and the loving parents who hold the future in their hands.

Source : Dr R. Prasad

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Garbh Sanskar Herbal Medicines (Made from herbal ingredients) Available For sell

Garbh Sanskar Herbal Medicines (In Capsule form ) are available for sell : Call +918758297445 for Order : Free delivery in India or Mail to :

1. First Month Of Pregnancy

It is recommended for female partner during 1st month of pregnancy. It improves the viscosity of uterine mucous membrane, nourishes ovum and imparts antioxidant effect to support fertilization. Recommended for healthy fertilization and toning the uterine physiology. It should be initiated as soon as the couple decides to conceive and to be continued till the confirmation of pregnancy. This period may vary from a month or two months or seldom more depending on the health history of the partners. First is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage : 2 - 2 tablets twice daily with a sip of milk, before meals, till confirmation of pregnancy.

Price : 2000/- For a Month

2. Second Month Of Pregnancy

Second Month is recommended for female partner during 2nd month of pregnancy. It provides Folic acid from natural source and prevents bleeding tendencies. Attains proper closure of Neural tube and uplifts the levels of Gonadotropic hormones resulting in healthy gestation. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage : 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a sip of milk, before meals. Recommended from 5th to 8th weeks of pregnancy.

Price : 2000/- For a Month

3. Third Month Of Pregnancy

Third Month  is recommended for female partner during 3rd month of pregnancy. Its a balanced composition of Vitamins A, B 1, B 2, C, E, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Calcium etc from natural herbal flora. Some excretory waste material is formed during the process of foetal metabolism. The diuretics in this formula help to eliminate them via maternal renal outflow. It keeps check on Gestational diabetes and symptoms of morning sickness leading to excellent foetal nutrition. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.
Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a sip of milk, before meals. Recommended from 9th to 12th weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

4. Forth Month of Pregnancy

Forth Month  is recommended for female partner during 4th month of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes and hypertension are very common in this phase. Owing to mild hypoglycemic, supreme antioxidant and the property of supporting stream of immunoglobulins, the composition benefits foetal nourishment and maternal care both. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a sip of milk, before meals. Recommended from 13th to 16th weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

5. Fifth Month of Pregnancy

Fifth Month is recommended for female partner during 5th month of pregnancy. The herbs prevent backache, helps treating pregnancy hemorrhoids, stimulate the hepatic and splenic function to activate the formation of blood cells. Presence of natural Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc impart added benefits. Protect from bacterial infections too. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a sip of milk, before meals. Recommended from 17th to 20th weeks of pregnancy.

 M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

6. Sixth Month of Pregnancy

Sixth Month is recommended for female partner during 6th month of pregnancy. Mild diuretics along with Calcium, Iron, Proteins, Copper in this formula drains the oedema of lower limbs, keeps check on blood pressure and thereby prevents the after effects on heart. Backache and lumbar pain is common due to the foetal weight gain which is managed by the herbs within this composition. The antioxidant herbs in this formula protect vital organs and systems in the body. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a sip of milk, before meals. Recommended from 21st to 24th weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

7. Seventh Month of Pregnancy

Seventh Month is recommended for female partner during 7th month of pregnancy. Ojas is unstable in forthcoming phase of pregnancy. Hence requirement of Progesterone is maximum at this stage. Kaseru, a prominent ingredient in this formula is the richest source of natural progesterone. It is further fortified with antioxidants like Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, B 1, B 6, C assures prevention of free radical onslaught achieving proper balance of endocrine glands. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a glass of milk, before meals. Recommended from 25th to 28th weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

8. Eight Month of Pregnancy

Eight Month is recommended for female partner during 8th month of pregnancy. The herbs in this formula posses various organic sugars like Maltose, Inositol etc. to nurture the foetus. They also contain several amino acids and clinically effective regimens to improve hepatic, renal, cardiac, lung and musculoskeletal function. AshtaMaah strengthens uterine musculature, improves lactation and has vital antioxidants. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a glassful of milk or processed with milk, before meals. Recommended from 29th to 32nd weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

9. Nine Month of Pregnancy

Nine Month is recommended for female partner during 9th month of pregnancy. This formula collectively strengthens the uterine musculature, improves wound healing mechanism, stimulates lactation profile and imparts soothing and lubricating property in the delivery passage. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a glassful of milk or processed with milk, before meals. Recommended from 33rd to 36th weeks of pregnancy.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

10. Ten Month of Pregnancy

Ten Month  is recommended for female partner during 10th month of pregnancy. This is the last phase in gestation. The composition has anti-adhesion, wound healing, antibacterial properties and helps to remove amniotic fluid from the respiratory passage of an infant. It also eliminates excess of Urea, Uric acid and Creatinine to keep mother's health at its best. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.
Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a glassful of milk or processed with milk, before meals. Recommended from 37th to 40th weeks of pregnancy or till the delivery.

 M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month 


 For The Betterment of Breast Milk

This is a well-balanced herbal composition for qualitative and quantitative betterment of the breast milk. It is recommended for mother immediately after the delivery. Except for air for breathing, the newborn is still dependent on mother. Hence it is equally important to continue maternal nutrition, which should benefit both mother and infant. It is safe, time tested and made exclusively from herbal ingredients.

Dosage: 2 - 2 tablets twice daily, with a glassful of milk, after meals. Recommended during postpartum period for minimum 6 months or till the mother continues breast feeding.

M.R.P. : Rs. 2000/- Per Month

Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Promoting the Health of Mother and Baby During Pregnancy Using Ayurveda

Pregnancy is a happy and joyous time of life for many women. It can also be a challenging time of life as tbe mother's body goes through numerous changes in order to create and support the development of a new life. Ayurveda is an excellent addition to the care provided by medical doctors and midwives. Ayurveda creates support for the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual bodies of the mother and her baby.

This paper is written for Ayurvedic practitioners, alternative care practitioners, mothers and fathers-to-be, and other people who already have some basic knowledge of Ayurveda and who want to apply and broaden that knowledge to include care during pregnancy.  Topics covered within the paper include modern references and classical texts.
Several of the books referenced include much more information on this topic than is covered in this paper and readers are encouraged to seek out those sources.

Promoting the Health of Mother and Baby During Pregnancy Using Ayurveda begins with a month by month description of developments during pregnancy. Itthen covers the topics of apana vata, nutrition, tbe daily routine, yoga asana, meditation, happiness, challenges, herbs as well as herb examples and herb research, treatments, classical month by month regimens, Indian herbal ghees, Sanskrit terms for pregnancy, and preparing for the baby.

Month by Month Description of Pregnancy using Classical Texts and Modem Research

Month 1: The embryo takes the form of ajelly.  A gelatinous substance is formed. The zygote begins to divide immediately after conception. Itthen travels down the fallopian tube and embeds in tbe thick lining of the womb where it links up with the mother's blood vessels.' Fertilization and implantation into the uterine wall occur. The baby's brain, heart and spinal cord begin to form. Baby is 1/25th of an inch long.

Month 2: The embryo takes the form of a knot (a male), an elongated muscle (a female), or a tumour (a eunuch).' The molecules of air, fire, earth, water and ether are acted upon by pitta, vata, and kapha - an elongated shape indicates a female, a lump-like appearance indicates a male and a tumour-like shape indicates an absence of sex. The embryo floats in a fluid-filled sac; it has a simple brain, spine and central nervous system. The digestive and respiratory systems are beginning to develop.  The baby's heart begins to beat, the neural tube along the baby's back closes, the umbilical cord appears, and the fingers and toes form. Baby is Y.inch long.

Month 3: All senses and limbs as well as their organs appear. Lumps appear that will form the hands, legs and head. The fetus has all the sense organs as well as completely formed limbs including fingers and toes. The heart starts beating and circulates blood.  Movement begins, neurons multiply, sex may be apparent, and fingernails and toenails appear. Baby is 3 inches long and weighs 4/5 of an ounce.

Month 4: The mother feels excess heaviness in her body due to the stabilization of the fetus. All limbs and organs become more distinct; viscus of the heart allows consciousness to form. Desires of the heart are thus made manifest to the mother and must be followed so that the baby is not born deformed.  The fetus has a neck as well as joints in the arms and legs. The hard bones begin to develop.  The baby flexes and kicks, hormone effects are apparent, skin begins to form and facial expressions are possible.  Baby is 4 to 5 inches long and weighs just less than 3 ounces.

Month 5: There is an increase in flesh and blood of the fetus; the mother may get thinner.   The fetus gains the mind (manah) and wakes up from its sleep of sub-conscious existence.1 The fetus is quite active, kicking and turning.  The sex organs are visible and there is a fine, hairy covering called a lanugo that has developed. Fat stores begin to develop, the baby begins to hear, movement begins to happen, urine is produced and eyebrows appear. Baby is 6 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces.

Month 6: There is an increase in strength and complexion of the fetus; the mother may lose her strength and complexion.Cognition (buddhz) enters the fetus. The fetus straightens out and becomes erect.  A grayish-white, cheesy coating called vernix covers the skin. Sweat glands form. Bone marrow begins producing blood cells, taste buds develop, practice breathing occurs as amniotic fluid moves into and out of the lungs, a regular sleeping and waking cycle appears, and foo1prints and fingerprints form. Baby weighs 1 2 pounds.

Month 7: There is an all around development in the fetus; the mother may become deficient in all aspects of her health. All limbs and members of the body are developed. Fat starts to accumulate under the skin and the brain develops dramatically. The baby can suck its thumb and respond with facial features to different tastes. Eyes can open and close, it's movements are forceful, and hiccups can be experienced.  Baby weighs 3 to 4 pounds.

Month 8: Ojas moves back and forth between mother and baby. The mother may experience a wavering feeling of sorrow and joy due to this movement. The unsteadiness of the ojas makes delivery during this month dangerous. Ojas does not remain stable and birth at this time isn't safe. The baby's head is now proportionate to the rest of the
body.  There should be at least 10 movements every 2 hours but they will be less forceful. Pupils can constrict, dilate, and detect light. Baby is 16 to 19 inches long and weighs 6 to 6 Y,pounds.

Month 9: Normal delivery takes place between the beginning of the 8"' month and before the end of the 10"' month (counting lunar months of 4 weeks).  Most of the lanugo hair and vernix have been lost  The skin will be flesh­ colored and plump.  The baby shifts to a head down position.  Fat continues to accumulate, organ function improves, and the placenta provides antibodies.  Baby is 19 to 21 inches and weighs 7 to 8 pounds.

Apana Vata

Apana  Vata must be kept in balance during pregnancy.   Itis the downward moving flow of energy in the body and must not be too strong or too weak.   Most ayurvedic recommendations will be to balance apana vata.  An emotional disturbance that can be caused by excess vata is anxiety.  Foods, rest, and oil massage will be prescribed in order to restore balance.36   ''The apana vata is key to maintaining the pregnancy as well as birthing the baby at the time of labor.'. 


Food needs to be fresh and wholesome. Fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and dairy products are the mainstay of the diet. Eat organic; avoid packaged foods, irradiated foods or genetically engineered foods. Food should be delicious and usually cooked because it is easier to digest. Vegetable intake is extremely important. Dark, leafy greens like collards, kale, broccoli and green lettuces as well as squashes, sweet potatoes, and carrots should be eaten at least daily. A broad range of vitamins and nutrients will be provided by these vegetables. "The mother should be given whatever she wants during this period except perhaps those that are harmful for the foetus.', Denial of desires can lead to aggravation of vata. Even things which are harmful can be used ifthey are processed or combined with things that are wholesome.  Gratifying her desires will result in a strong, long-lived, virtuous son. "A non-gratification of any sensual enjoyment by its mother during gestation tends to painfully affect the particular sense-organ of the child.

Eat all 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent), but emphasize sweet, sour, and salty. Examples include dairy (whole milk, butter and yogurt), sweeteners (honey and natural sugar), oils (olive oil and ghee), fruits,
vegetables, beans (mung beans or split mung dahl), spices (fennel, cumin and ginger), and nuts (blanched almonds).

How food is eaten is just as important as what food is eaten. The mother should feel light, happy and satisfied after her meal. She should not feel unconliortable, have gas or pain, or feel dull.  Rec=endations include eating the main meal at noon, waiting at least 3 hours between meals, and sitting down while eating. Also, she should taste the food, not have distractions, and avoid overeating.

Sattvic foods will build ojas.  These include many of the ones previously listed but most importantly include milk and ghee (clarified butter).   Milk should be taken warmed wiili cardamom or turmeric added for better digestion.   It is recommended to take it as a snack and not wiili a meal.  Ghee is a nourishing, unctuous food.  It promotes digestion and is digested quickly.  Sattvic food is especially good for building ojas during ilie gth monili.  Ghee, milk, dates, apricots, and sesame seeds are all recommended. Tamasic foods often produce ama instead of ojas.

These are hard to digest foods like meat, eggs, alcohol, aged cheese, leftovers, fermented foods, mushrooms, onions, gar1i.c, and peanuts.

It is important to keep the fetus nourished throughout pregnancy. Dr. David Bruker presented research ilia!shows low birth weight may be linked to disease later in life. The theory is that if nutrients are insufficient then they will be diverted from organ development to more important areas like brain development During the time an organ is developing it needs to receive ilie correct nutrition or it may never develop properly.

Weight gain is extremely individualized '"The most important factor seems to be a steady weight increase on healthy foods." If the diet is high-quality then there shouldn't be any worries about whether the weight gain is too high or too low. It is important to pay attention to the body's messages. Eating when hungry, even if in the middle of the night is important.

The greatest care is required during the first trimester and last trimester. During the first trimester, emphasis should be placed on nurturing the uterine bed by consuming foods that help the rasa and rakta: juicy fruits, coconut water, and milk. During the last trimester, there should be less fat, less salt and less water in the diet.

"Excellent nutrition includes pure water, controlled breath, abundant light, loving and respectful relationships, beauty and harmony in daily life, positive, joyous thoughts, and vital foodstuffs."

Ayurveda practitioners have a wide range of beliefs about what foods should be consumed for optimum health. Practitioners range from raw food vegetarians, vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters.

"If you do include meat, fish, poultry and eggs in your diet now, DO NOT attempt to drastically change your diet during pregnancy. This could trigger a release of toxins to your child, plus the body will need to use different enzymes and digestive juices to build and assimilate vegetable protein rather than animal protein." It is important for everyone but especially those who choose to eat meat to ensure that the elimination system is functioning properly.

The Cleveland Clinic says that vegetarians can have a healthy pregnancy and remain on their diet. Important facts to remember are that 200 to 300 more calories each day are needed, a variety of foods should be consumed and enough protein should be eaten. Three servings each day are recommended of protein. Nutrients to focus on include calcium, iron, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin Bl2. The body needs 15% more energy, Khalsa recommends 300-500 more calories each day. If there is any doubt about adequate nutrition, supplements should be taken. She also recommends extra calcium during the 2••half of pregnancy to ensure adequate jaw growth.

The work of Dr. Weston A. Price studied isolated non-industrialized  peoples and the relationship of diet to human health.   "Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.'"'8 The Foundation recommends pregnant women consume cod liver oil, raw milk, butter, eggs, fresh liver, seafood, beef and lamb, coconut oil, bone broths, soaked whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Foundation also provides resources for obtaining healthy foods and food preparation techniques that could be beneficial to anyone.

Daily Routine

Two of the main components of a daily routine are going to bed early and getting up early. It's important to go to bed during the kapha time of day (6pm to 1Opm).  It is easier to fall asleep and sleep will be more restful.  It is important to wake up before the kapha time of day (6am to 1Oam). Energy, vitality and alertness are greater if waking before 6am. Naps should be avoided except during the hot summer months.  Rest though should be frequent and before feeling tired  Rest is especially needed in the first two months of pregnancy as well as the last two months.

Abhyanga, a full-body self-massage, is important to perform each day. Stress and fatigue that may push vata dosha out of balance are relieved through abhyanga. Warm sesame oil by placing a container in warm water. Apply oil with an open palm using long strokes on the long bones and circular strokes on the joints.  Massage all parts of the body and very gently apply oilto the abdomen. A warm bath or shower after the abhyanga helps open the channels of circulation. Massage of the nipples is recommended after the 4"' month.

Foot massage can also be used to help balance vata. Energy will be kept flowing throughout the body and all systems will be stimulated. This would be an excellent activity for the partner to perform.  Use sesame or almond oil. Warm baths are also an option that can relax the muscles allowing better circulation and preventing stagnation of toxins.

A sitz-bath is recommended a few times each week or every night for the last 6 weeks prior to birth.  A handful of linden flowers steeped in one liter of water and added to the bath will aid in softening the perineum.

Yoga Asanas
Walking, swimming and yoga asanas are the best exercises. All normal asanas can be practiced during the first trimester.  During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, do not put pressure on the abdomen; examples would be cobra (bhujangasana) and bow poses (dhanurasana). Inverted postures should not be practiced during the 3rd trimester. The best asanas encourage pelvic and hip-opening; these can be done sitting or standing. Examples would include bound angle sitting pose (baddha konasana) and open legs forward bend (upavista konasana). Postures that promote flexibility and strength of the spine are also good.  Khalsa's book The Gift of Giving Life includes a 20 page chapter on breathing, yoga and relaxation.  She discusses several yoga positions that can be practiced daily; both why and how are covered.

Some yoga studios offer special classes for pregnant mothers.  One example is Down Doggie Yoga Studio in Grass Valley, CA which offers a special program called Bodhi Baby Yoga. The owner of the studio Deborah Jordan says, "Yoga not only helps a pregnant women exercise but teaches her how to relax into discomfort. Yoga is nurturing and teaches us to relate to our bodies and ourselves with compassion and respect. Prenatal yoga empowers a woman as she prepares for childbirth and parenthood by turning her attention inward strengthening her confidence, her ability to trust her intuition, to speak her truth for the health and well-being of herself, her baby, and her family."

The study was conducted on of 335 women. Approximately half practiced one hour of yoga each day including postures, breathing and meditation. The other half walked 30 minutes twice a day. They began the study with women between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. The conclusion of the study determined that yoga is safe. It also improves birth weight and decreases preterm labor. "Complications such as isolated intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) (p < 0.003) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) with associated illGR (p < 0.025) were also significantly lower in the yoga group."


During pregnancy, entrainment occurs. "Entrainment is the tendency of natural cycles to come into coordination  with each other." Bonding between mother and baby occurs as the two entrain; their biological rhythms matching eacb other. A research project that studied the effects of mothers who practiced Transcendental Meditation and their babies quiet alertness showed that those who practiced this technique had double the quiet alertness of those who did not meditate.

The mind must be trained in order to experience relaxation of the body.  "We have found that easy, fast birthing is highly dependent on the ability to relax and surreoder to the process of birthiog." The mind can be calmed by concentratiog on the breath. Allow breath to move in and out of the body as waves move in and out from the shore. "When we relax the body and bring the breath into a relaxed rhythm, we can then begin to hear the message of the internal voice and can even heal our aches and pains.'m

''The aura of a pregnant woman is one of the easiest to see, for it is particularly luminous and full of gold.''  ''The gold colour in the aura indicates that the pregnant woman is intensely connected to high spiritual beings who support and foster the embryo. Pregnancy is therefore a privileged time for spiritual growth. Itis a time to do a lot of meditation and enlightening reading, and to work at developing intuition and perception. "


Maternal attitude is the most important factor in determining the child's physical and emotional well-being. Growing up in India, Dr. Reddy observed the family and friends of the pregnant mother; they provided her with much emotional support. The family often cooked special treats and friends would bring gifts and sweets. The culture believes that for the baby to be happy, the mother must be happy.  The mother would take more rest and the father and in-laws would help out with household chores.

Music can play a role in happiness.  Several studies have shown that uplifting, soothing music helps increase the baby's intelligence. "The sound of the veena (Indian string instrument which is held by the Goddess Saraswati), flute and Samaveda mantras gives health to the pregnant woman and the child within." An example of a CD is "Garbh Sanskar : Blessings For The New Arrival".  A search conducted on of the word "Garbh" showed 4 CDs available.

Baby showers over 5 separate months are traditional in India.  Starting in month 3, the family and friends hold a shower to celebrate the five senses, one each month. Usually they are in this order: sight, taste, hearing, smell, and touch. Each shower celebrates a sense by giving gifts that stimulate that sense organ.

Babies are able to remember things from their neonatal experience as well as learn while in the womb. Children have memories of incidents, they remember music that was played and they've shown knowledge of academic subjects that were taught. Babies also remember painful memories.  Those born to parents who had fights were more likely to have health issues. Those exposed to hard rock would move violently in the womb.

During the 4"' month, it is important for the mother to have happy relationships especially with the father. This is due to the heart developing as the seat of consciousness.  If there are disturbances during this time the baby's heart could develop defects. Before this time the baby is connected by astral projection only but after this time the mental body of the baby is connected to the physical body.

About the 5"' month, the mother's navel begins to protrude out. The navel point is where 72,000 nerve endings unite just under the navel. These nerve endings become more exposed to outer vibrations. The mother's ability to feel her environment and those around her increases dramatically. This sensitivity needs to be honored and used as a method of protection for both mother and baby.

During the 8"' month, the ojas moves between mother and baby. It is important to rest during this time and eat ojas building foods. The mother shouldn't waste energy and should let the energy go inward  She should spend time in nature as well as chant and meditate. Things to avoid include overwork, worry, anger, hunger, excessive sex, sorrow and devitalized food

"Ayurvedic teachings promote a proper attitude of worship towards all pregnant women's.  The mother needs a "clear joyful spirit" in a clean body.  She should wear clean and white garments.  She should avoid dreadful sights, painful or agitating sounds. Agitating emotions of the mind are dangerous (anger, fright, etc). She should not carry a heavy load or talk in a loud voice. The food she eats should be "...sweet, palatable, well-<:ooked, prepared with appetizing drugs and abounding in fluid substances."88 "The child in the womb feels pain in the same part of its body as the one in which its mother feels any; whether this (pain) may be from an injury or through the effect of any deranged rnorbific principle  (dosa) of her organism."


Many of the health challenges of pregnancy can be prevented by paying attention to nutrition. Low blood sugar contributes to mood swings and morning sickness. Insufficient calcium contributes to hypertension, backaches and severe labor pains. Lack of nutrients also contribute to varicose veins, constipation, anemia, hemorrhoids, and skin discoloration. Pre-eclampsia can be linked to acute malnutrition.

The best method of taking care of challenges is to resolve imbalanced conditions before pregnancy.   Pregnancy increases all three doshas: vata with change and expansion, pitta with metabolism and heat increased, and kapha with increased bulk of body.   These changes effect the woman's constitution as well as interacting with the baby's constitution and environmental  influences.  Therapies and herbs which distwb apana vata must not be used. Prevention is the easiest approach to health.

Challenges can still occur despite the best efforts. These can include backache, high or low blood pressure, painful breasts, constipation, heartburn, hemorrhoids, indigestion, kidney problems, leaking urine, nausea and vomiting, nerves, insomnia, swelling of hands and feet, tingling and numbness of limbs, varicose veins, and other complications.  Susun Weed's book The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year covers many recommended foods and herbs that can be used during pregnancy to maintain and improve health.  Also, Khalsa's book The Gift of Giying Life, covers many herbal and non-herbal solutions to challenges that develop during pregnancy.

The classical texts describe 9 diseases peculiar to pregnancy: anorexia, nausea, dryness of mouth, vomiting, edema, fever, anemia, retention of urine and diarrhoea.


"Don't take herbs during your pregnancy unless you are absolutely certain they are safe. Herbs are powerful and can have harmful effects on you and your baby ifthey are not safe for pregnancy.'  ''The FDA urges pregnant women not to take any herbal products without talking to their midwifes or doctors first  Women are also urged to consult a trained and experienced herlialist (or other professional who is trained to work with hems) if they want to take herbs during their pregnancies."  Some hems cause uterine contractions, miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects. Herbs should be used with caution. Greater caution with herb use is advised during the first trimester as well as with signs of a fragile pregnancy; that is why herb lists will differ.

Herbs should be taken more for their nutritive value. Emmenagogues, purgatives and toxic herlis should generally be avoided  Very hot or very cold herbs as well as spicy hems and bitter hems should be used carefully.  Hems for
rebuilding the reproductive tissue are helpful: ashwagandha, bala, shatavari, white musali, and kapikacchu.  Chyavan Prash is recommended. Pitta women do well on shatavari and kapha women do well on cardamom, fennel and basil.

The Natural Medicines Database rates hems based on safety. Red raspberry leaf, peppermint leaf, ginger root, slippery elm bark, oak straw, blond and black psyllium, garlic and capsicum have all been rated Likely Safe or Possibly Safe. This means there have been scientific evaluation, clinical and human studies that showed no adverse affects. Dandelion, German chamomile, and nettles have all been rated Insufficient Reliable Information Available.   This rating means there has been insufficient scientific evidence supporting their use. Nettles have also been rated Likely Unsafe. The reason for this rating may be concern about what part of the plant is used and how much. Saw palmetto, goldenseal, dong quai, ephedra, pay d'arco, passionflower, black and blue cohosh, roman chamomile, and pennyroyal are rated Likely Unsafe or Unsafe.

The proper time to use a specific hem needs to be researched in depth. An example is blue cohosh. Itshould not be used during pregnancy due to its effect of uterine stimulation. "It may be used in the 9th month of pregnancy, under the guidance of a trained health care professional. " Its typical use at that time is in a "Mother's Cordial", a formula that is used during "...the last 3 weeks of pregnancy as a partus preparator." This formula has been used for over a I 00 years. Ittones those muscles that are weak and relaxes those muscles that are spastic.

Herbal infusions can supplement the need for increased nutrition. Infusions of red raspberry leaves or nettles are recommended for those with pitta or kapha dosha and infusion of oatstraw is recommended for vata dosha.

Aroma therapy is another method of using herbs. Some essential oils that are considered safe to use during pregnancy include mandarin, tangerine, grapefruit, roman cahmomile, geranium, rose maroc, rose bulgar, ylang­ ylang, lavendar and jasmine.  Mitti Attar (baked earth) is a vata pacifying oil that is rubbed on the belly of a pregnant woman when the baby is too active. Some oils which are not safe to use during pregnancy include basil, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and thyme. Research is necessary before use as with any herb.

Examples of common herbs used during pregnancy

Nettle Leaves (Urtica dioica) - PK-V+111 - It has the most chlorophyll of any herb. It includes almost all known vitamins and minerals necessary for human health and growth. The taste is deep and rich and the infusion is a dark green color approaching black Nettle will aid the kidneys, nourish the mother and fetus, ease leg cramps and muscle spasms, reduce hemorrhoids, decrease pain during and after birth, prevent hemorrhage after birth, and increase richness and amount of breast milk.112 It also prevents kidney and bladder infections, prevents anemia, and glucosuria.  Nettles is high in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, and iron. Despite the Natural Medicines
Database giving nettles a rating of Unsafe, it is highly recommended by midwives and herbalists.

Red Raspberry Leaves (Rubus) - PK-V+ (in excess) - "It contains fragrine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself." It prevents miscarriage and hemorrhage, eases morning sickness, reduces pain during labor and after birth, and assists in the production of plentiful breast milk. It contains vitamins C, E, A and B as well as calcium and iron. "Some studies have even reported that using red raspberry leaf during pregnancy can reduce complications  and the use of interventions during birth." There is some controversy about which trimesters it can be used safely; many only use it during the 2ru1 and 3"' trimesters.

Dandelion Leaves (Taraxacum officinale) - PK-V+- Itis rich in calcium and  folic acid.  It promotes general well-being, improves appetite, and reduces skin complaints. It is best for treating pre-eclampsia.  Three ounces of fresh or cooked greens are recommended daily. Dandelion heals the liver, helps kidney function and provides a source of calcium and potassium.  It can also be taken as an infusion.  It can relieve mild edema and nurish the liver.

Oatstraw (Avena Saliva) - VP-K+ - It is rich in calcium and magnesium.  It helps relieve irritated skin, restlessness, and anxiety. Both oats and oatstraw can be taken with similar effects. It promotes a strong nervous system and endocrine system and also can ease spasms and inflan Jmation. Oatstraw is an excellent rejuvenative for women weakened and tired by childbearing or who have had repeated pregnancies.

Ashwagandha (Withania sornnifera) - VK-P+ and Arna + (in excess) - " a good food for weak pregnant women; it helps to stabilize the fetus."

Shatavari (Asparagus racernosus) - PV-K+ or Arna + - "...its quality is sattvic and aids in love and devotion." It is a general, reproductive, and nervine tonic as well as a nutritive, rejuvenative, and denrulcent.

Oatstraw, Ashwagandha, and Shatavari are all rejuvenative tonics (rasayana karma) that "...rebuild the body-mind, prevent decay, and postpone aging." They increase the quality of the body and build ojas.

Vidari, shatavari, yasthimadhu, and hrahrni are all considered life-building herbs that can be taken in milk and are rec=ended during the 2•• and 3"' months.  Brahmi can be taken after the 3"' month to help calm the nerves and is also considered a sustainer of pregnancy. From the 4"' to the 7"' month, hems like ashwagandha, kraunch beej, and guduchi are advised to strengthen the uterine muscles and provide nourishment to the embryo. They also help prevent intrauterine growth retardation. After the 7"' month, hems which are mild diuretics and urinary antiseptics are recommended such as gokshuru and sariva. Basil, which is anti-spasmodic is advised in small quantities. 

Study of safety and efficacy of herbs during pregnancy

The Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada has produced a series of articles reviewing the safety and efficacy of selected hems doring pregnancy and lactation. These articles appeared in The Canadian Joornal of Clinical Pharmacology issues for Fall 2006 and Winter 2008. The researchers searched 7 electronic databases and compiled data. Summaries of the research follow:

"...Panax ginseng was not associated with adverse effects when used during pregnancy."  "There is no direct evidence of safety or harm to the mother or fetus as a result of consuming cranberry during pregnancy." "In pregnancy, there is poor evidence based on theoretical and expert opinion and in vitro studies that chastetree may have estrogenic and progesteronic activity, uterine stimulant activity, emmenagogue activity and prevent miscarriages. "  "Based on the available scientific information, blue cohosh should; 1) be used with extreme caution during pregnancy ..."

"Ginkgo should be used with caution during pregnancy, particularly around labour where its anti-platelet properties could prolong bleeding time."   "Caution is warranted with the use of St. John's wort doring pregnancy until further high quality human research is conducted to determine its safety." "Echinacea is non-teratogenic when used during pregnancy."  "Black cohosh should be used with caution during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester where its purported labour-inducing effects could be of concern,..."

Research Study in Norway

Between February and June 2001, 4-00 women were interviewed within 3 days of giving birth concerning their use of herbs during pregnancy at Ullevltl University Hospital in Oslo, Norway.  36% used one or more herbs during their pregnancy and frequency of use increased by trimester.  The first trimester being the least and third being the most. "The most commonly used herbs were echinacea, iron-rich herbs, ginger, chamomile and cranberry." 39"/o of the women had used herbs that are considered harmful or lacking adequate data for safe use.  ''Women between 26 and 35 years with a prior history of herbal drug use and highknowledge about herbs, are more prone to using herbal drugs in pregnancy." 


"A pregnant woman is to be treated very cautiously as ifone is walking with a pot full of oil, in hand without letting a drop to fall." Drugs, diet and other therapies should be soft, sweet, cold, pleasant and tender. "She should not be administered emesis; purgation, sirovirecana (therapy for the elimination of dosas from the head) and raktamoksana (blood-letting)."

"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 1eaves or J.asmm. e.,,

In the 8"' month, it is recommended to start doing perinea! massage 4 or 5 times each week.  Itcan be done by the woman or her partner.  "Directions: Wash hands, then use licorice ghee as a lubricant and insert one or two fingers along the bottom of the vagina. After a couple of inches there is a "drop-off ' where the inner edge of the muscles lie. Massage the whole bottom half of this vaginal sling gently yet firmly enough to create a defmite stretching, burning sensation." Continue this stretching until birth.

During the last month, the woman should be given a small, gentle therapeutic oil enema to ensure apana vata is balanced. After this enenia, she needs to eat a vata reducing diet, adjusted to the season and her constitution.  Itis important to not aggravate apana vata during this time and the woman should avoid getting jarred, holding back gas or urine or bowel movements and she should not get chilled. Another version says to give a simple enema and then follow it with a retention enema of oil boiled with some hems and this may be repeated.  Tampons soaked in this same oil are kept in the vagina.

Spotting of blood during any month should be considered serious. Treatment for this can be found in the Masanurnasik Chikitsa. 

 Month by Month Regimens from the Classical Texts

  • Month 1:Take wholesome food morning and evening. Drink milk regularly; it may be taken cold.
  • Month 2: Take boiled milk with herbs having a sweet taste.
  • Month 3: Take milk mixed with honey and ghee. Take sastika rice with milk.
  • Month 4: Take milk along with 12g of butter. Take sastika rice with curd Also, take milk and butter and soup
  • made with wild animal meat
  • Month 5: Take ghee.Take sastika rice with milk. Also, take food with milk and clarified butter.
  • Month 6: Take ghee boiled with sweet herbs. Take sastika rice with ghee. Also, take gruel with clarified butter.
  • Month 7: Follow the directions for month 6. Ifitching develops in the chest due to pressure of the foetus, use kneading and friction massage on the area. Food should be sweet in taste and alleviate vata. Eat small amounts and
  • don't add extra fat or salt. Water can be taken in small amounts after eating.
  • Month 8: Take milk and gruel added with ghee. An enema should be given for restoring the nervous system and cleansing the bowels - that should be followed by an enema made of oil prepared with milk and herbs.
  • Month 9: Receive an enema of oil boiled with sweet herbs. Cotton swabs soaked in this oil should be kept in the vagina for oleating the uterus and genital tract. Itwill support softening of the placenta, pelvis, waist, sides of the chest and back; downward movement of vata; normaliz.ation of urine and stool; softening of skin and nails; promotion of strength and complexion; and delivery with ease.



Herbal Ghee taken In India


In southern India it is connnon to prescribe the woman to take one tablespoon  of herbal ghee daily during the 2 and 3"' trimesters. During the 4"' and 5th months, Kalyanakam  Ghrut is taken to develop the mental faculties and bodily systems.  Itprevents anemia and also congenital abnormalities.  During the last months, Thanka Sree Ghrut is taken to ensure complete development, a full term normal delivery and good fortune for the child.

Sanskrit Terms for Pregnancy


There are a number of Sanskrit terms which may be useful to know if looking over the classical texts or researching Indian web sites. The term for embryo is garbha. The general management of pregnancy falls under Garbhini Vyakaran. The development of the fetus in the uterus is described under Garhavakranti. Special regimens for each month are prescribed under Garbhini Paricharya.  The delivery area is the Sootikagar. Diseases particular to pregnancy are called garbhopadravas.  Other terms to know includejeevaneeya which means life-building, garbhasthapak which means it helps the blastocyst implant into the endometrium of the uterus, and prajasthapan which means sustainer of pregnancy. 

Preparing for the Baby


Pre-conception and pregnancy are the times to make all the plans for the delivery and postpartum recovery. Guidance may be needed concerning whether to use a doctor or a midwife, where the delivery is planned to take place, and who the mother wants present during the delivery. Consideration should be given to whether a birth attendant or doula is desired  Decisions should also be made for how the mother and baby will be cared for in the 40 days after birth.

Big changes are not recommended during this time. Many families choose to move house during pregnancy; one study showed 79% of expectant mothers were planning a move. The increased vata during "...a move can actually delay a mother's bonding with her baby after birth, or contribute to postpartum depression. "


Ayurveda provides significant assistance to women during pregnancy and it is a complementary addition to the care provided by medical doctors and midwives. Mothers-to-be undergo many changes to their physical and emotional being during their 9 months of pregnancy as they create and support a new life. Ayurveda provides nutritional advice as well as practices such as meditation, the daily routine, yoga asanas, and considerations for happiness. Herbs can be used to assist the pregnant mother to feel her optimum as well as overcome challenges. Extreme care must be exercised though when choosing to take herbs and several resources should be referenced before considering an herb safe to use.  The trimester it is allowed, quantity and part of plant all need to be researched. Mothers who already practice Ayurveda will simply expand their knowledge and application while those new to Ayurveda will find it to be of assistance during their life changes. 

By Christine Visco

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)