Ayurvedic care in your final month of pregnancy

By 36 weeks you have a fully formed, tiny human being inside you. The main thing your baby will do in the last month of pregnancy is grow good and fat.

During this time Ayurveda suggests pregnant women reduce fat, salt and water from their diet. And as is often the case with traditional medicine, modern science is just catching up. New research has found that body fat (not only blood sugar as was previously believed) is a risk factor for growing very large babies.

Traditionally in some cultures pregnant women move to the birthing house during the last month of their pregnancy and remain there until the baby is six weeks old. During this time the mother and baby are both mothered, with oil massages, heat treatments and specially prepared foods. This is a time of initiation for the mother and great physical, spiritual and emotional healing.

Ayurveda considers fenugreek and pippali good for stimulating the uterus so you may want to gradually add these into you diet leading up to the baby’s due date. Clary sage, dandelion root and raspberry leaf are all easily available herbs for gently preparing the body for labor.

The Ayurvedic Woman

Sex is a fun way to stimulate labor, but don’t overdo it. During the last month the baby is gathering ojas (the Sanskrit term for juiciness or sap of life) from you, and sex uses a lot of ojas.

Rice porridge is an excellent light and nourishing food for the last month or two of pregnancy, as well as being the first food a mother should have after the baby is born. Cook rice in milk with a little ginger and cardamom and serve warm and soupy with some jaggery.

Your oxtytocin is on the up and up, peaking in mothers at birth, so embrace baby brain!

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Julia Jones is a postnatal doula leading a worldwide renaissance in the way we care for Newborn Mothers. She has created a new paradigm for postpartum care by merging traditional medicine and culture with cutting edge research on hormones and neurology. Julia is the author of Nourishing Newborn Mothers - Ayurvedic Recipes to Heal your Mind, Body and Soul after Childbirth and creator of a worldwide leading education resource for postpartum professionals: Newborn Mothers Collective (www.newbornmothers.com/training).

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