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Ayurveda > Garbhini Paricharya (Pregnancy Care)
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

Pregnancy is one of the most important events in the life of every woman and ayurved has suggested a very good protocol for that, which is called garbhini paricharya. It has given a detailed description of ahar (nutrition), vihar (life style) and vichar (thought process) to be followed during pregnancy. According to ayurved, all these directly affect the mother as well as the child.

In general, the ayurvedic faculty is against taking medicines until and unless there is maternal and fetal distress. Ayurved also advises avoiding alcohol consumption, smoking, etc., to avoid fetal abnormalities. It further suggests avoiding sexual activity after the fifth or the sixth month because according to ayurved, this can induce fetal distress.

Diet is the most important component of garbhini paricharya. Ayurved suggests that a wholesome diet during the period of pregnancy is a must, since this ultimately results in fetal growth, maternal health and post delivery lactation. During the era of ayurved, microscopy had not been invented, however, ayurvedic sages roughly knew about the various stages described by embryology. For example, they have given the name kalal to a one month old fetus (intrauterine age), in which the fetus is still in a semisolid state. During the first three months, fetal growth organs are only in a stage of formation. Thus, ayurved suggests a wholesome diet and moderate household work for the mother during this period. In the fourth month, the formation of fetal dhatu (tissues) starts and thus ayurved suggests a diet to boost this dhatu formation, which is the origin of the next chain of dhatu. In the fifth month, rakta (blood) and mansa (muscles) are formed; in sixth month, med (fatty tissue) is formed and around the seventh month, fetal growth is practically complete, after which only refining work remains.

It is for this reason that ayurved suggests a satvagun yukta diet, which is a diet rich in ghee, milk, proteins, green leafy vegetables, fruits, etc. This type of diet is useful for fetal growth, for maternal health and for further lactation. Ayurved also says that pregnancy is the time to consume nutritional food substances like udid dal (phaseolus radiatu s), amla (emblica officinalis), etc. Modern science says that a pregnant lady should take a high protein diet in addition to vitamins and minerals. The above mentioned ayurvedic dietary plan matches this modern dietary thought. By the sixth or the seventh month, fetal organs are well formed, well organized, and they also acquire strength. Updhatu like skin, hair and nails also enter the picture. Hence, this is the month when medicated ghee is recommended.

Ayurved also says that a garbhini (pregnant woman) should avoid constipation and should take mild laxatives if constipation is a problem. A garbhini can take oil enema for hard stools. In addition to this, it recommends that a garbhini should eat only home made food to avoid food poisoning. She should sleep in a secured place in the house to avoid trouble from notorious supernatural powers such as bhut-khet, pretatma, samandh, pishachcha, vetal (evil spirits, devils, ghosts,) etc. A garbhini should use loose clothes which will keep her comfortable. A few other activities like going out of the house without a justifiable reason, talking to unknown people, looking at things which create fear in the mind and strenuous physical activities are to be avoided. Consuming milk and milk products is recommended. A garbhini who is weak, multi-para or has previous history of abortion, is advised to take a non vegetarian diet.

Herbs supporting dhatu (tissues) are shatavari (asparagus racemosus), ashwagandha (withania somnifera), bala, white musali, salam musali and kapikachchu. Today we get readymade ayurvedic tonic formulas such as shatavari compound, and chyavan prash which are good for garbhini. Agaru and chandan (sandalwood) powders are recommended to keep the mind fresh and happy and are used only for external application to the skin.



Ayurvedic Milestones
Ayurvedic Thought
 Vaat, Pitta, Kafa, Dosh
 Dhatu, Mala, Fire
Pathology - Ama
 Ashtang Ayurved
 Agad Tantra
 Kaumar Bhrutya Tantra
 Shalya Tantra
 Shalakya tantra

Actual Case Notes
 Asthmatic Bronchitis
 Bleeding per anum
 Hair Loss
 Pregnancy Care
 Senile Debility
 Solution To Baldness
 Vaat Related Fever

Academic References
Ayurvedic Herbs


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