You may have just found out that you are pregnant or are traversing the first trimester. Whether your pregnancy was planned or a surprise blessing, there are so many sudden changes that start to occur during this time. Although Ayurveda is a unique science that addresses each individual, there are some common themes and remedies that support a mother during her first trimester. Here are 5 first trimester Ayurvedic remedies:
1. Yoga and Movement
Upon conception, the newly formed zygote must implant itself into the uterine wall. This is a delicate time and Ayurveda recommends that extreme movements are not done. While yoga asanas are beneficial in pregnancy, if you have never had an established practice, don’t start anything new or strenuous. The first trimester of pregnancy should be more about groundedness, nourishment and support. Those who have practiced yoga before can continue, but with modified postures to support their body. While gentle stretching asanas can be done, other limbs of yoga can also be practiced. This would include meditation, sound therapy, breathing exercises, etc. These practices will help both the body and mind in this great time of change. It will allow you the time to connect with your body and process (both literally and emotionally) the start of this journey. Yoga will also help to deal with some common pregnancy related complaints.
As the next topic below will suggest, processing is very important. And, as you start your pregnancy journey, a lot of emotions arise and they can be anywhere on a large spectrum. Many wonder how having a baby will affect their own lives or their marriage. Some are concerned about how to take care of the baby afterwards and the weight of the responsibility. Some may not be worried at all about the baby, but about the processing of getting there (labor) or the postpartum period. Others also have some unresolved feelings around events or circumstances in their life and knowing or unknowingly, these are affecting the mother on many levels. Journaling is something that you can do to help process whatever it is that is on your mind. The mind body connection is strong and what we feel emotionally most certainly affects us physically. Using journaling as one way to process empowers you to help see things from different perspectives and allows you to be your own best friend. Writing without judgement allows you to notice things that you may have never done before.
Digestion will be very important to pay attention to throughout the pregnancy. During the first trimester, it will be important because it can contribute to common complaints such as nausea. First begin by paying attention to how your body responds to the different things that you put inside of it. Do you suffer from gas? hiccups? or pain after you eat something? Do you notice that certain foods give you heartburn or constipation? These are important things to notice and then address.
Ayurveda always recommends that eating warm, easy to digest, nourishing foods are good for the mother and for the growth and development of the baby. The qualities of the foods that we eat become the qualities of the baby and its body as well as its mind. Therefore, learning about the qualities of foods is important for the mother so she can positively influence the baby.
4. Oleation: The Ayurvedic Self-Massage
One of the most fundamental and essential self-care practices in pregnancy is the daily gentle oil massage. For thousands of years, people in India have used daily oil massage, called abhyanga, as a health-promoting ritual. Abhyanga is an excellent practice in all stages of life, but is especially important in pregnancy since the body goes through its own metamorphosis to accommodate the new life developing and growing inside of the mother. A few things happen and are addressed when self massage is performed. First, a mother very intimately connects with herself and her body. Many women are surprised by unknown pain or sensitivity in random places. Massage can help to identify and then subsequently alleviate these pains. Second, when you use specific oil that is prescribed for your constitution and individual needs, you will start to notice that many bodily functions such as digestion and even mental states will begin to change in a positive way. Self massage with specific oils address the skin, muscles and ease of movement of the mother. It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
5. Herbs, Oils and Other Practices
Because Ayurveda addresses things on numerous levels, there are various practices that are recommended to moms throughout their journey. The important piece, is to understand yourself and what aspects of your overall well being can be addressed to achieve an easier, happier and healthier pregnancy. Specific remedies for your specific needs can be recommended through Ayurveda to help you!