Ayurveda offers a wealth of wisdom and a long tradition of supporting healthy pregnancy and childbirth. It honors the entire journey from preconception through each trimester to labor, birth, and postpartum.
According to Ayurveda, the path to parenthood begins long before conception. It recommends preparing for pregnancy for several months prior to trying to conceive in order to nurture optimal fertility and support a healthy birth. This process nourishes and prepares the physical body, while also honoring the mental and emotional aspects of bring a healthy baby into the world.
With this recognition that fertility is equally spiritual and emotional as it is physical, Ayurveda offers guidelines and practices to support the entire mind-body system.
On a physical level, taking time to cultivate optimal health of the body and reproductive tissues before conception can greatly support a smooth and healthy pregnancy and birth. Ayurveda offers specific protocols for cleansing the body, rejuvenating the tissues, and incorporating a healthy, nourishing diet that will provide the nutrition needed for a healthy, happy parent and baby.
Ayurveda has plenty to offer in the realm of spiritual and emotional preparation as well. Through lifestyle practices, a nourishing daily routine, pregnancy yoga, and meditation practices, this ancient wisdom tradition provides tools to manage stress and experience greater self-awareness and ease throughout the journey of pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Of course, pregnancy is a unique journey for each and every person, and challenges can arise even in the healthiest situations—dealing with things like morning sickness and digestive discomfort can be a natural part of the experience. Ayurveda offers effective ways to support the body throughout all the ups and downs.
Highlighted in these blog articles is a series called Birthing Ayurveda, written by Vrinda Devani, an MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, and Ayurvedic Practitioner. These articles follow Vrinda’s own journey through pregnancy and postpartum, offering expert advice on Ayurvedic self-care practices for each and every stage of the process.
Starting with Vrinda’s positive pregnancy test at week six, the series provides a window into one woman’s initiation into motherhood, complete with all the joys and challenges expectant mothers may face. It also covers the first weeks of postpartum, a time that is very important to the health and well-being of mother and newborn.
This postpartum time is a major threshold and transition for the entire family, one that can often leave new parents feeling alone, exhausted, and unsupported. Ayurveda emphasizes the continued importance of nourishing and nurturing new parents as well as the newborn child, in order to restore physical strength, build strong emotional bonds, and set everyone up for success as an entirely new cycle of life unfolds.
Throughout the journey of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, there are several Ayurvedic herbs for pregnancy that can support overall health and balance. For example, Ayurveda has traditionally used herbs like shatavari and ashwagandha to support the reproductive system, promote fertility, and even support the healthy production of breastmilk.
There are also Ayurvedic herbal teas for pregnancy, such as CCF Tea, which supports healthy and balanced digestion.
Of course, we always recommend consulting with your health care practitioner prior to introducing herbal products and health practices if you are pregnant or nursing.