MONTH WISE DIET FOR A PREGNANT WOMAN
ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES
It has been mentioned in the Ayurvedic scriptures that each month a separate dhatu (body building substance) is formed in the body of the baby and to help this dhatu to grow in the normal way certain diet and medications have to be started.
According to Charaka, pregnant woman should be treated with soft, sweet, cold, drugs die tics and gentle pleasing behavior and she should not be given emetics and purgatives. Exercise and use of pungent drugs should be avoided. (Cha.Su 25/40)
First Month: At the mere suspicion of pregnancy itself the woman should start taking milk twice daily. (The milk need not be processed , milk direct from the udder is the best). Fresh milk contains more fat.
Second Month: Milk medicated with plants of ‘madhura gana ‘like vidari, shatavari, yashti madhu, brahmi, all of which are jeevaniya (life supporting) and garbha sthapaka (help to maintain implantation) is recommended.
Third Month: Milk, honey and ghee in unequal amount.
Fourth Month: During the 4th month the head, extremities, torso becomes differentiated. Motor, sensory, nervous tissues start to develop, heart takes its place. Fetus makes known its needs and desires via the mother’s physiology. This is the period when woman craves for certain food and tastes. Her wishes must be fulfilled in order to avoid adverse effects on the child.
Herbs which help in calming the mind are advised. About 8-10 Gms of butter mixed with milk should be consumed.
Fifth Month: Milk mixed with ghee.
Sixth Month: Herbs mentioned in ‘madhura gana’ mixed with milk containing ghee should be consumed.
Seventh Month: Same as 6th month.
Fifth- Seventh Month– herbs which give strength to uterine muscles and nourishment to the embryo like ashwagandha, guduchi etc. are advised.
Eighth Month: Ghee cooked in milk should be given should be given from time to time (repeated doses).
After the completion of the 8th month, herbs which are mild diuretics, urinary antiseptics like gokshura, punarnava, sariva are advised. Asthapana vasti with drugs like badara, bala, atibala, shatapushpa, til, curd, oil, madanaphala, honey etc are mentioned. This is done to clear out any remnant of feces (purification of old waste) and anulomana of vayu (downward movement of vata).
Nineth Month: As soon as she enters the 9th month, she should move into a ‘sootika gara’(delivery area).
Milk is mentioned along with that ‘anuvasana vasti ‘with medicated oil prepared with herbs mentioned in ‘madhuradi gana’ like vidari, shatavari, brahmi, yashtimadhu etc.is mentioned. This is done to cleanse the uterine tract and to facilitate easy delivery without complications and also for downward movement of vayu. ‘Pichu’ using the same oil is recommended.
Our ancient texts have given us very important guidelines and these should be followed to achieve a healthy progeny.