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January 12, 2009

Diet for pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a special and important time in a woman's life. Ayurveda offers so much detailed advice on how to support your gowing baby, as well as stay strong mentally and physically yourself. Here is just a very brief overview.

Diet is, of course, of upmost importance during pregnancy. If you know a pregnant woman cook for her! She deserves to be treated like a queen at this stage. Pregnant women will need plenty of moisture; like soups, stews and teas. Iron rich foods and good quality organic fats (read: ghee) are vital. Meals should be small and regular, maybe six times a day. Vata can be kept in check with minimal travelling, high fluid intake and a good routine.

Cravings in pregnant woman are the desires of their baby. Unless they are detrimental to the health of the mother these cravings should be satisfied, so that the baby is happy!

Here are a few of the lesser known things women should avoid whilst pregnant:
  • Honey (use iron rich jaggary instead)
  • Asafoetida
  • Nutmeg
  • Fenugreek ( but excellent for lactation post partum)
  • Vata aggravating foods (dry, cold, raw)
Your baby will also feed of your mental disposition whilst you are pregnant, so if you want a peaceful baby meditate and spend plenty of time in beautiful, natural places like walking by the river or sitting on the grass.

2 comments:

Purvi said...

Hello Julia,

Great post. It will also help if you can elaborate on why the listed substances should be avoided. I am especially intrigued about asafoetida as we use it in our daily diet.

Thanks,
Purvi

Julia said...

Asafoetida is excellent in daily diet. It is even excellent for post partum. But whilst pregnant it's very strong downward motion in the body is not good for the baby before it's ready to move in that direction!

Honey is used traditionally to find out if a woman is pregnant. When she first suspects she is pregnant she can take a teaspoon of honey on an empty stomach. If she gets cramps then she is pregnant, and should not take honey again for the duration of the pregnancy unless she wants an abortion.

Fenugreek cause vaginal bleeding, and therefore misscarriage. Vata aggravating foods must be avoided because Vata is already aggravated by the massive changes going on in the pregnant body. Vata foods should especially be avoided after giving birth as this is the time of the greatest change of all for both the mother and the baby.

Hope this helps Purvi!