Ayurveda and Pregnancy – Part II (Conception)
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important at all times but it becomes significantly crucial when you aspire to bring a new life to this world. Once you have made this ever important decision you can take steps that will enhance your fertility and increase the chances of conception.
The first thing to do is to visit your local Ayurvedic Practitioner, conduct a mind-body analysis to find if there are any imbalances that need to be corrected. This is applicable to both the man and the woman. Both, prior to starting a family must be in a sound mental, physical and spiritual health and share a wonderful joyous relationship with each other. Under the guidance of a Ayurvedic Practitioner, herb consumption such as Shatavari for women and Ashwaganda for men increase the overall fertility and chances of pregnancy conception. A popular misconception is that having too much sex or frequent sex on a daily basis would increase the chances of one conceiving. In fact, it has a contrary affect as it reduces the quality of the sperm by not allowing it to replenish itself.
Following some of the simple guidelines listed below will help greatly and increase the chances of conception:
- Don’t eat too hot and spicy food that can lead to lesser quantity and quality of sperm and lesser motility of the spermatozoa in men as well as low quality of ovum in women.
- Don’t skip meals as it aggravates pitta dosha.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or taking drugs. They disturb the production of semen and ovum resulting in lower chances of pregnancy conception.
- Avoid packaged, canned or frozen foods as also leftovers, foods with vinegar, excessive amounts of citrus foods, pungent foods with chemicals and preservatives as they all increase Pitta.
- Have such foods as asparagus, broccoli, milk and milk products. They improve the quality and quantity of sperm and ovum necessary for pregnancy conception.
- Milk shakes including milk-date shake, milk-mango shake, and rice pudding are also good for enhancing reproductive capacity leading to pregnancy conception.
- Cumin is believed to purify uterus in women and the genitourinary tract in men. Turmeric improves the interaction of hormones and targeted tissues responsible for reproduction and conceiving baby naturally. It also enhances the binding of estrogen and progesterone that helps in pregnancy conception.
- Although basil herb is very useful for other things, large quantities of basil is better avoided by couple who wants to conceive baby naturally.
- Apart from the above two herbs, both men and women must also avoid eggplant, tomato, and bell pepper as these vegetables clog the channels restricting the chances of pregnancy conception.
- Avoid too hot or spicy food or foods that are too heavy and cold, like ice-cream.
- Quinoa seeds help in enhancing estrogen activity in women and support the hormonal activity of both men and women. As such, quinoa, sometimes referred to as a type of grain, should also be taken by couple who desire of pregnancy conception. It can be cooked with a little ghee (clarified butter), salt, and spices like cumin and black cumin.
- Eat fruits like papaya and pineapple (especially women should have them as they help in strengthening the ovum leading to healthy pregnancy conception).
- Men should particularly have asparagus that has testosterone-enhancing quality. Ayurveda recommends almonds and dates for enhancing sperms in men.
- If anyone from the couple trying to conceive baby naturally, has intolerance for dairy products, s/he should get enough protein from beans, pulses, and nuts as the body needs certain amino acids in order to work properly.
- Have sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, pears, and plums as well as dry fruits like as dates, figs and raisins.
- Have a stewed apple for breakfast. It will lead to a healthy body, the basis of pregnancy conception.
- If the digestive fire or agni is strong, one should cook a banana in ghee (clarified butter), season it with cinnamon and cardamom before having it. It increases fertility and leads to pregnancy conception.
- Split black gram or urad dal can also be taken. However, it is heavy so it should be cooked with spices that enhance agni or digestion fire but at the same time do not aggravate Pitta dosha. Therefore, cook urad dal with spices such as turmeric, cumin, and fennel.
In the next blog ” Ayurveda and Pregnancy – Part III”, I will be talking about steps one needs to take during the different stages of pregnancy,to ensure the birth of a healthy child. Stay tuned!