Though it's an exciting time, being pregnant doesn't always feel blissful or easy. Fatigue, constipation, nausea, and insomnia can get the better of us. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet.However, ?yurveda does have wonderful, safe remedies that can help. As always, foundational diet and lifestyle is the most important piece– we cover this material in our immersions and workshops.
Constipation - Foods: Prepare your foods in a v?ta supporting- warm and cooked foods served with some ghee or other high quality oil. Avoid drying foods like chips, crackers, dried fruits (unless you stew them first) and raw veggies.
Supplements: If you're taking iron supplements, make sure they aren't the cause. Switch to Floradix or another food-based iron and strictly avoid ferrous sulfate.
Remedies: Lubricant method: 1 cup warm cow's milk w/ 1 tsp ghee before bed Bulk Promoting method: Psyllium seed powder mixed in large amount of water or milk that has been boiled and then cooled.
The strong cocktail of hormones is the main cause of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. These hormones are in the realm of pitta dosha, a dosha which is activated and often rises during pregnancy. Another cause is blood sugar drops due to not eating enough calories or protein.
Foods: Favor Pitta reducing foods, eat every 4 hours, focus on protein (60-90 grams per day)! Protein Sources: Eggs, soaked and peeled almonds; plain or spiced cow's milk, almond or hemp (avoid diary in extreme nausea), yellow mung dal with rice, protein shakes with sprouted grain proteins or hemp hearts, and poultry.
Supplements: A deficiency of B vitamins, especially B6 can exacerbate nausea. Since B vitamins should be taken in combination, incorporate a B complex vitamin in addition to prenatals.
Pr?n?yama & Meditation: For those familiar with pranayama and meditation these specific practices can be helpful - shitali or shitkari pr?n?yama, gentle alternate nostril breathing, and So-Hum meditation.
Remedies: Shatavari Kalpa - A sautéed blend of shatavari, sugar and spices, can be really helpful. (Because this recipe requires specific instructions, we provide during our workshops and immersion.) A Morning sickness remedy from Dr. Lad - 1 tsp raw sugar (sucanat, rapadura, coconut sugar) w/ 2 drops sandalwood oil Chew a piece of fresh ginger root or lemon peel - If the nausea is severe, up to 250 mg of ginger can be taken in capsule form up to 4 times per day. *Larger amounts of ginger can be emmenagogue (stimulate blood flow to the uterus and bring on miscarriage). Homeopathy - Excellent homeopathic remedies such as ipecacuanha and nux vomica are available for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. We usually recommend a 30C potency. See your local homeopath or midwife to find the right one for you. Homeopathy is something we highly recommend to treat pregnancy ailments as it's safe, effective, and there are no side effects or drug interactions.
Fatigue - In addition to proper nutrition and supplementation, adjusting one's lifestyle is the best way to combat fatigue. Rest, and take little walks even when you feel really tired. Just a short 10 minute walk will help to oxygenate your system and relieve mild fatigue. If you're exhausted from working a lot or a busy lifestyle, then simply rest, rest, rest.
Pr?n?yama and meditation - Yoga Nidra, guided meditations, and gentle pranayama are excellent. For recordings we recommend Rod Stryker's yoga nidra, or Genevieve Yellin's short meditations and yoga nidra, which can be found here.
Lifestyle: A bedtime routine can be extremely helpful. Go to bed at the same time each night before 10:00. Stop screen time at least one hour before bed, to allow your body's natural clock to release more melatonin. If sleep is really difficult, try taking a warm (not hot) bath with lavender essential oil, or doing some gentle pranayama.
If your pregnancy is advanced and physical discomfort is an issue, use props. A body pillow strategically placed with a smaller pillow or two can make a big difference. If you don't have a body pillow, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
Remedies: Nighttime milks: milk boiled 5 minutes w/ a pinch each of nutmeg and poppyseed OR Garlic milk - boil a cup of milk with a clove of raw peeled garlic for 5 minutes, add ghee if desired; use almond milk if you don't take dairy. Wish Garden Sleepy Nights for pregnancy tincture
Note: in the suggestions above we mention milk several times. Milk should be non-homogenized (cream top) and low-heat pasteurized, always in the whole milk form and always organic. To make it digestible, we recommend that you heat it just to the boiling point and then cool it to taste or desired temperature, but never cold.