I get lots of emails from readers of my Postpartum Recipe Book asking if the recipes are suitable for pregnancy. But before I answer I’ll start with my golden rule…
Love Conquers All
Beyond basic health and safety in pregnancy I don’t think you should get yourself stressed about about detailed diets and rules. Stress can reduce oxytocin, which is the love and bonding hormone. In my opinion the most important thing during your pregnancy is to be happy and calm. If Ayurveda is stressing you out, then let it go!
If you are still reading then I am assuming that Ayurveda brings you peace an joy - yay! Me too :)
Ayurveda is based on metabolic constitutions. The basic idea is that every one has a different body type and there aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions. Your type - called dosha - has two aspects. One is prakruti which is your fixed nature, like your genes, it stays with you for life. The other is vikruti, which is more environmental and changes over time.
Your vikruti is affected by pregnancy and postpartum, so your state of imbalance, and therefore your nutritional needs, will change during these stages.
Newborn Mothers are dry, light and cold, and to balance those elements their food needs to be warm, moist and grounding. All of the recipes in Nourishing Newborn Mothers are designed with this in mind.
Pregnant women, on the other hand, are generally hot, heavy and wet.
Newborn Mothers also have much higher calorie needs than pregnant women - yes breastfeeding uses much more energy than being pregnant!! No wonder you are so freaking hungry and tired!!!
To further complicate things, each trimester your baby and your body changes significantly.
If you do want to sample some of the postpartum recipe from my book during your pregnancy here are some of my suggestions for adapting them:
- Reduce or omit the ghee, especially later in pregnancy.
- Avoid or reduce spices including garlic, fennel, asafoetida, fenugreek, especially earlier in pregnancy.
- During pregnancy you can tolerate a lot more raw food than during postpartum.
- Reduce sugar and salt during pregnancy compared to postpartum.
As always every body is different. Be guided by your body and your taste buds, and don’t sweat the small stuff.