Health Tips for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy brings with it excitement as well as lots of changes in the body and mind. A few tips on enjoying this beautiful period with more happiness and comfort.

So, the good news is here: you are pregnant! And you sure are pretty excited. The very feeling of a new life blossoming in you is inexplicable. It’s time to rejoice and welcome this little one into your world. Yet, it’s also the time when lots of changes are on the way – both physical and emotional. Your baby is growing each passing week and it’s amusing to feel it take shape. At the same time, you are witnessing new developments yourself every week – some interesting, some difficult to handle.

What if you could happily accept all the changes and enjoy this lovely phase of your life to the maximum? Yes, this could be possible with a few minutes of sitting by yourself with eyes closed. It’s that simple. Let’s look at the various developments during each trimester of your pregnancy and give you some tips on how to live them better.

Trimester I

What’s happening with you:

The body is undergoing hormonal changes so you could experience morning sickness, heartburn, constipation, or even feel dizzy at times. Perhaps, even become averse to certain foods that you always loved!

Our tip:

Meditation can work best for you at this time. It is a healing process in itself which helps increase the level of prana or life force energy in you, especially at a time when you are feeling lightheaded and low on energy. This is also the time when your body needs energy the most for the growth of the baby and meditation is a natural source of energy available with you.

Also, when you meditate, your body naturally starts choosing food that is life supportive. Over a period of daily meditation practice. you may start noticing a distaste for unhealthy or junk food. This is naturally good for your baby.

Shares Meghana Kalta, a daily meditator, “Yoga and meditation were my handy tools which helped me all through my pregnancy. Women have all sorts of cravings during this time but I would crave for fruits – oranges, mangoes - and other health food. My body would completely reject chips or other junk items”.

What’s happening with your baby:

The fetus is slowly growing – hair, nails, eyes, ears, vocal cords and muscles begin to take shape.

Our tip:

At this time, when your baby’s ears are developing, it’s a good idea to listen to chants or soft music, such as that of veena, and watch nice, pleasant movies. All this also has an impact on your baby’s nervous system.

You can also try out a few yoga asanas (body postures) during the first two trimesters of your pregnancy. They can help you cope with pregnancy symptoms and also facilitate smoother delivery. Cat Pose, Triangle Pose, and Wind-Relieving Pose are a few examples (see more yoga poses during pregnancy). However, make sure to consult your doctor before practicing any of these postures on your own.

Diet tips:

1st month – drink cold milk, avoid sour and pungent food, and eat food that can be easily digested. In case of constipation (a common pregnancy symptom), you may take Ayurvedic medicines such as Mridu Anuloman or Matravasti.

It’s best to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before starting on any medication.

2nd month – Take small portions of nutritious food at short intervals through the day and avoid fruit juice as it may induce vomiting. Intake of milk, rice, coconut water, rice water, sweet rice pudding (Kheer) and clarified butter (Ghee) is good.

3rd month – Milk cream, honey and ghee is advisable.

Trimester II

Quick meditation tips for a healthy pregnancy

  • Book a time on your daily calendar. Preferably, meditate around the same time everyday for better results – morning, before lunch, or evening.
  • Choose a quiet and comfortable place where you are not likely to be disturbed.
  • If you are feeling anxious or undergoing normal mood swings, sit for a few minutes in meditation, it helps settle the mind.
  • Close your eyes while listening to chanting or instrumental music. Meditation happens automatically at such times.

What’s happening with you:

The baby now begins to move inside you and so you would feel those butterfly sensations within! You may also have a lot of mood swings and emotional upheavals at this time, primarily due to hormonal shifts in the body.

Our tip:

At this time when you are prone to mood swings quite often, your husband also needs to be prepared to handle these changes in you with patience and care. As such, it will be beneficial to meditate for a few minutes together every day. It will bring a lot of peace and harmony in both of you and also prevent you against succumbing to emotional swings.

What’s happening with your baby:

Your baby’s senses are starting to develop; it can even hiccup and yawn in the uterus!

Our tip:

Now that your baby can sense every emotion that you undergo, it’s extremely important for you to stay happy, relaxed and peaceful. The baby can automatically catch the vibes of how you feel. Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is especially good at this time, both for you and the baby. In fact, you can meditate even three-four times a day all through your pregnancy with the Sahaj mantra.

Trimester III

What’s happening with you:

It’s the last tad bit left before the D-Day and the most challenging as well. You will feel slightly uncomfortable as you bloat up. Due to enormous weight gain during this period, and the position that the baby moves into in preparation for labor, you will feel a stretch in the pelvic area and on your pubic bone. Your back would hurt too and it might get difficult to move around quite a bit.

Our tip:

Meditation not just relaxes the mind and helps deal at the emotional level but is also an excellent way to relax the body. It can help release the pressure on the spinal cord so that you feel more comfortable during the last phase of your pregnancy. Also, during labor, you may practice Sudarshan Kriya, a unique breathing technique designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This can greatly help ease the delivery process for both the baby and the mother.

As the due date nears, there is excitement building up, both in and around you. Your family is equally excited about the new entrant. But sometimes, amidst all the exhilaration, a bit of tension and stress may start coming in. This is again where meditation can be of great help. It’s a good idea to meditate together with your loved ones; group practice always has greater impact. It would help keep everyone relaxed and joyful, at the same time alert and aware on what to do and how.

Recipe for Pregnant Mothers

Laddu (sweet balls) for pregnant and lactating mothers

Figs – 250 gms
Apricot – 250 gms
Black Dates – 250 gms
Almonds – 100 gms
Pistachio (unsalted) – 100 gms
Cucumber seeds – 100 gms
Sunflower seeds – 100 gms
Pumpkin seeds – 100 gms
Melon seeds – 100 gms
Walnut – 100 gms
Chironji (Charoli) – 50 gms
Nutmeg – 3 no.
Cardamom – 25 gms
Kesar (Saffron) – 2 pinch

Finely chop figs, black dates and apricot. Grind almond, pistachio, cucumber, sunflower, pumpkin and melon seeds, walnut, chironji, cardamom and nutmeg. Mix everything, knead into a dough and spread on a plate. Cut into square pieces.
Every morning, eat one cube with a glass of warm milk.

 

Written by Pritika Nair, based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Teacher, and Dr. Vidya, Ayurvedic expert.

Recipe by Kaushani Desai, Ayurvedic food expert.

Graphics by Varsha Saxena.

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More