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Pregnancy and Spirituality
Spirituality and ayurveda go hand in hand and provide a holistic treatment to pregnant women. Rekha C Babu explains how
Pregnancy is a stage where a woman goes through physical, emotional, and mental stress. To overcome these situations and to attain a systematic and harmonious life, she should follow many things in life.
Spirituality and religiosity are recognised as important constituents of health and well-being and hence are the currencies of human growth. Since ages, women have used prayer and other spiritual practices for their own and others’ health concerns. Although, spiritual health has been restricted to individuals living with chronic illnesses and terminally ill, there is a rise in the eschewing spirituality during childbearing, amongst mother. The relationship between spiritual awakening and health of childbearing women and the unborn is far more intrinsic than we have imagined; it is so that a healthy dose of spirituality is essential for tranquility in the unborn life.
A spiritual journey from the darkness of stress is essential to achieve the light of happiness, mental peace and energy. This can be attained in different ways with the help of ayurveda, yoga, and prayer. If these are practised regularly and scientifically, it definitely proves to be a boon to the mother as well as the baby. Prayer is essential for a mother, through which she can sense the goodness of life and get a sense of comfort. This is where spiritual bonding between God and the mother takes place, putting her into the state where oneness is created. She then realises that there is a power that creates, controls, and sustains all wonderful things in the universe, her baby being one among them. When one gets pregnant, she needs emotional support along with physical care. Any emotion a pregnant woman goes through reflects upon the growth of the foetus.
Ayurveda is a traditional system of healing that concentrates not only on the physical body, but also goes beyond the understanding of consciousness. It is said that the human body is composed of panchamahabhutas. When a person is in darkness, the panchamahabhutas residing in tridoshas are disrupted. To bring back the equilibrium to the dosha, agni, dhatu, mala, and to have mental happiness, freshness of sense organs and good spiritual intellect, ayurveda should be practised as suggested in classical texts.
When a healer comes in closer contact with a person, he/she understands the needs of a pregnant woman with effective conversation, touch, listening and moving hands, and the pregnant woman gets a sense of relief from stress when she notices that she is being heard by someone, which in turn gives her more energy to create a spiritual bond between herself and the unborn baby. Getting abhyanga (massage) and snana (bath) during pregnancy in the proper way relieves the woman of pain, ensures good sleep, rebuilds energy and gives her vitality and vigour. Many women experience positivity in the form of a response given by her baby in the form of a kick or movement and she understands that the baby enjoys the same when energy flows within.
Yoga, being the sister of ayurveda, is a form of meditation in which relaxation techniques and gentle stretching are required to restabilise and pacifies the problems of the body faced during pregnancy, such as lower backache, fatigue, cramps, pain by toning and strengthening the muscles and flushing out toxins in the form of sweat, urine, faeces. Ayurveda keeps the body healthy with proper regimen starting from food habits, sleep, and rest to attain the spiritual goals, whereas yoga is the pathway to spirituality. When a mother’s mind is clear and pure and when she has satva guna, attained through these, there will be a connection between oneself and God. Here is a month-based ayurvedic chart that every childbearing woman must follow:
A pregnant woman should indulge in the intake of natural supplements like draksha, khajoor, manooka, and vidari with cold milk in the morning. For the first 12 days, a steady diet of ghee boiled with leaves of saliparni herb should be given to her. She should have this preparation in a vessel of precious metals, in which she should be given water that is boiled and cooled. Her breakfast should comprise sweet, cold and semi-solid foods. Women tend to start taking a massage or reverse massage from this month. However, massages are to be avoided till the fifth month.
Pregnant women require a steady diet of milk mixed with the above-mentioned natural supplements to maintain a complete nutritive balance.
Have the same sweet natural supplements, mixing them with milk, honey and ghee.
She should continue taking the same sweet supplements with milk, but this time replacing ghee with butter.
The supplement regime should be continued. Introduction of oil application and gentle massage is necessary. This should be followed by a bath with lukewarm water, continuing this till the end of her pregnancy.
The supplement regime should continue as it strengthens the core formation of the baby, enhancing organ development
Women may get an itchy sensation on breasts and abdomen, along with a burning sensation in the chest or throat. Consume food in smaller quantities, at a frequent pace, and nibble on something sweet with little ghee or oil that is easy to digest. Decrease salt intake and avoid drinking water immediately after a meal.
A preparation of rice mixed with milk in semi-solid or liquid form and ghee should be consumed on a steady basis.
She should follow the same diet as before. The application of oil on the abdomen and genital areas should be introduced, and an oil enema in small quantities to help ease false labor pains should also be a part of the regime.
The writer is the co-founder and CEO of Soothika, a global brand in maternal and newborn care
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