Preconception care is an amazing subject covered vividly in Ayurveda. Surprisingly very few people have knowledge about preconception care.
Are any of the above factors even on our minds?
Having a child is like planting a seed. While a seed looks lovely when it pops up like a sapling, much labour goes before it is sown. The farmer has to first prepare the field, plant a number of healthy seeds, nourish the soil, water it regularly and then after months of rain and sunlight do the plants start appearing.
Some women have a very fertile womb and easily get pregnant when the seed comes in at the right time. For those who are not as lucky, it only means they have to toil a little harder to make that soil fertile. You will have to prepare the ground and make it receptive and nurturing for the seed. This is called preconception care.
Preconception care is a very important subject in Ayurveda. It explains various steps required for every individual to ensure the womb is fertile and the sperm is potent. The concept of preconception care is not just to ensure a child but a healthy child. It is the method of conceiving naturally. It makes your body fertile and capable of holding a child successfully in your womb.
Nutrition is an important part of preconception care and concerns both partners. Sometimes men have a misconception that because the woman is going to carry the child, they can eat the way they want. This isn’t the case. They must not forget that the sperm will come from them and their nutrition affects their sperm quality and potency.
A Balanced Meal: Healthy nutrition includes a balanced meal. Both partners must eat healthily, including many seasonal fruits and vegetables. Seasonal fruits and vegetables give you a lot of fibre to keep your gut healthy. They also have a lot of antioxidants and micronutrients that are beneficial for the body.
Discipline: Snacking is not a good habit. In Ayurvedic sciences, when we eat, our digestive fire also known as ‘Agni,’ helps to digest that food and absorb nutrition. When we have an erratic eating schedule or start eating at short intervals, this Agni will not be strong enough. Hence, our digestive system will not be able to readily process the food and absorb the nutrients. The food usually starts rotting in the digestive tract causing various digestive disorders, which then starts affecting your reproductive health. Thus having a disciplined routine when it comes to meal times is important.
Include Fertility Supporting Food Items in Your Diet: Specific food items like urad dal should be included in the diet. Urad dal boosts fertility and improves egg quality. The combination of black sesame and jaggery is also great for regularising your ovulation cycle. Several such items in the kitchen can act as fertility boosters. You can increase their consumption very conveniently without any strain to your budget.
Avoid Processed/ Junk Food: Usual suspects like fast food, junk food, packaged food and highly processed food must be avoided at all costs. These things are unhealthy, even in small quantities. You should also avoid the use of all kinds of dairy products. Hormonal contamination in dairy products is a major cause of hormonal imbalances in women. Additionally, sugar and excessive red meat must be avoided.
Detoxification is the next step in preparing the fertile ground. Too much weed or pests in the ground can create obstacles for new life. Hence, before any new crop is planted, the field is cleared of all the useless vegetation. In the same way, you must also clear all the toxins from your body. This process is called detoxification.
Toxins in the body, also known as Ama, cause several problems, including severe hormonal imbalances. Periodic detoxification is very helpful for everyone, but it is especially highly beneficial for women trying to conceive.
Ayurveda has elaborate detoxification procedures known as ‘Panchakarma’. It can work wonders if you can get it from trained Ayurvedic practitioners. However, if that’s not possible, at least simple herbal detox is a must.
Haritaki is an amazing herb for detoxifying the body and removing Ama. This herb is full of antioxidants and has several anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts sexual health and improves your overall digestive system.
At least a simple herbal detox using Haritaki is a must for every woman trying to conceive naturally.
Ayurveda has always emphasised the importance of a healthy mind in every aspect of life and something as crucial as conception can not be an exception.
Maharishi Charak wrote a complete chapter on the best state of mind for conception in Charak Samhita. It describes that you don’t need a herb but a happy state of mind to improve the chances of natural conception. Stress is bad and counterproductive for your body. It can take your body away from the receptive state in which conception is easy.
Hence, you must learn to manage your stress. Yoga and pranayama are two amazing ways to manage stress in daily life. You can also practice meditation for a calmer and blissful mind.
The modern healthcare system has made us think of our body in parts. When we have a stomachache, we often don’t think of its impact on our mind or the body’s stress mechanism. The same is the case with other ailments. However, this is not how the body works in reality. It works as a unit. The problems in one area affect the whole body in one way or another.
Suppose you suffer from problems like PCOS, thyroid, diabetes or prolactin issues. They will all affect your natural ability to conceive. Punishing yourself for not getting pregnant without addressing these issues is unwise.
Along with the right treatment for these conditions, regular exercise, a proper sleep cycle and a healthy diet are among the positive routines you can follow for a healthy body.
When it comes to improving the chances of natural conception, Ayurveda is a goldmine. It has innumerable herbs like aloe vera, Ashoka, Shatavari, Jivanti, Putranjivak, and Shivlingi that can act as fertility boosters.
From improving sperm and egg quality to bringing hormonal balance and improving endometrium health, Ayurvedic herbs have amazing capabilities.
The best thing about Ayurvedic herbs is that they don’t have chemical side effects like those feared with conventional medicine.
For example, Ashoka is known for its uterus strengthening abilities and it is also known to stimulate ovarian function. Shatavari is an aphrodisiac also known to boost ovulation. It is pivotal in restoring hormonal balance. Most importantly, it is known to prevent early pregnancy loss. Shivlingi improves egg quality. Putranjivak ensures healthy implantation.
Such herbs can increase your chances of natural conception and eradicate issues that might come in its way. Ayurveda can also help you fill nutritional gaps inside the womb and provide a healthy start for your child.
As per Ayurveda, conception is a very important event for a woman’s body. Inadequate preparation can cause serious harm to the mother and the expected child. Hence, Ayurveda has laid detailed guidelines for preparing the body and the mind under preconception care.
It is a very important concept that covers every aspect influencing natural conception and its success. Preconception care ensures that the mother’s body and mind are receptive and prepared for the upcoming labour of sustaining a childbirth.