Ayurveda during Pregnancy
Advice on the uses of Ayurveda in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a most important but delicate thing in the life of a woman. During pregnancy a woman passes through many discomforts. Body heaviness, edema, morning sickness, stretch marks etc are some of them. Aromatherapy is a proven remedy for almost all problems connected with pregnancy. However, it should be used judicially with certain precautions. Take note of the precautions:
a)Avoid cinnamon, clary sage, basil, juniper, fennel, thyme, hyssop, myrrh and melissa which have a tendency for contra-indication during pregnancy.
b)Avoid rosemary and marjoram in the first trimester.
c)Use only diluted oils for therapy.
d)Apply only lighter strokes.
e)Lying for massage or getting up after massage should be gently and slowly.
f)Allergy-prone individuals take a patch test before the application of the oils.
g)The aroma oils are strong enough to negate the effect of homeopathy medicines. It is therefore necessary those who are on homeopathy medicines should consult the homeopath before undertaking the therapy.
Aromatherapy in first Trimester
In the first three months nausea or morning sickness is experiended by the pregnants. This period is highly delicate as the foetus is instable during this period. Restlessness, imblanced life-style or wrong drugs may cause miscarriage. This is the period when utmost care, particularly rest, is required.
Nausea (Morning Sickness)
Drip 2-3 drops of the mandarin or orange oil on the pillow. Inhale orange or mandarin oil in pot pourri or vaporazing method. Massage gently on the abdomen with a blend of10 ml base oil and two drops of lavender or sandal or orange oil. Scarcely take oily and spicy food stuffs. Avoid quantumised meals in longer intervals. Instead, consume small quantities frequently. Eat enough fresh foods except papaya amnd mango. Avoid papaya and mango totally. Drinking of herbal tea or orange blossom or chamomile is also good.
Therapy in 2nd Trimester
Constipation, varicose veins, edema (fluid retention) etc are the major problems experienced during the 4 to 6 months period of pregnancy. Minor complaints such as heart-burn and frequent urination will also be there. Remedies:
This is caused due to the increased intra-abdominal pressure. Do the following:
Massage gently and firmly with 3 drops of geranium mixed in 20 ml base oil or with 30 ml apricot kernel base oil mixed with two drops each of lavender, lemon grass and cypress oils. Avoid touching swollen veins during the massage. Practice moderate and gentle exercise and bath in warm water. Support the calf muscles with crepe bandages.
Eat fibre-rich food items, especially leafy vegetables and avoid Bengal gram and kidney beans. Drink more water. Eat fresh fruits and salads. Massage clockwise on abdomen with the blend of 15 ml base oil and 3 drops each of rose and lavender oils or 15 ml base oil and 2 drops each of orange and chamomile oils.
Swelling is generally noticed on ankles and legs.
Raise head slightly while sleeping. The pillow will do the job. Take footbath for 15 to 20 minutes with 2 drops of pachouli, 7 drops of lavender and 3 drops of cypress added to a bucket of warm water. Or massage the foot with 3 drops each of rose, orange and benzoin oils added to half bucket of warm water. These are mainly for ankles’ swelling.
Therapy in 3rd Trimester
The problems experienced in 2nd trimester plus pain in lower back and diffilculty for sleeping and lying down will be there in the 3rd trimester. Do the following:
Lower Backache: Massage with the blend of 15 ml base oil and 2 drops each of sandal and lavender oils. If a mild fomentation is given, it will have added effect.
Sleep Problem: As far as possible lie down on the left side with left leg straight and right leg bended and put a small pillow below the right knee. Before going to bed have a bath with warm water mixed with 3 drops each of lavender, vetiver and neroli and a bucket of water. If 2-3 drops of lavender oil are scattered on pillow it will help easy sleep.
Stretch Marks: If precautions are not taken during the trimester period of pregnancy there are ought to be stretch marks on lower abdomen, thighs, breasts and buttocks after delivery. Aromatherapy given from the beginning of 3rd trimester, more preferably from 5th month, till the extra weight gained during pregnancy is shredded (some time after delivery) prevents the stretch marks. Massage with 5 drops each of lavender and frankincence oils mixed in 30 ml olive oil plus a vitamin E capsule. For having smoothness to the skin, add 5 drops of Evening primrose to the blend.
Sore Nipple/Breast: Due to prolactin hormone hike during pregnancy the size of breast becomes large. At this stage the breast is prone to engorge and tense. The irrational chipping by the baby causes cracks to the nipples. As a remedy apply the blend of 15 ml sweet almond or olive oil and 3 drops each of rose and orange oils and massage gently. Wash the breasts and nipples well before the breast feeding to ensure no oil is entered into the mouth of the baby.
Post Partum Care: Inadequate lactation and post partum depression are the two major problems experienced after delivery.
Inadequate Lacation: This is a psyclogical enigma found very rarely. This problem can easily be overcome. Relax and allow the baby to suck the nipples frequently. Urinates 10-12 times during 24 hours, sleeps well, sucks energetically etc are the signs of having the baby normally breast feeded. If these signs lack, cold compress the breast with 2 drops each of geranium, peppermint and lavender oils.
Post Partum Depression: This generally is a mild depression ocurring within a week after delivery. In certain rare cases the depression may be severe and lasting even about a year. Massage with a blend of 5 drops each of orange, geranium, chamomile oils and 30 ml almond oil. As an alternative remedy, inhale the blend of 3 drops each of neroli and bergamot oils. A sitz bath of lavender and tea tree helps relieve the pain in the perineal region caused by tear and suture.