Prevention and Treatment of Diseases during Maternal and Child Health Care in Ayurveda
Institute of Post graduate Ayurvedic Education & Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Corresponding Author:
- Mradu Gupta
Institute of Post graduate Ayurvedic Education & Research
Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Received:28/02/2013; Revised: 13/03/2013; Accepted:15/03/2013
Safe motherhood begins before conception with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. It continues with appropriate prenatal care and preventing problems if they arise. The ideal result is a full-term pregnancy without unnecessary interventions, the delivery of a healthy baby, and a healthy postpartum period in a positive environment that supports the physical and emotional needs of the mother, baby, and family.Pregnancy and childbirth have a huge impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and socioeconomic health of women and their families.Maternal and child health care in Ayurveda aims to provide good health for the expectant mother and the infant, ensuring prevention of diseases through wholesome diet and regimen which vary depending upon the season and surrounding environment as well as the digestive powers of the expectant mother. The treatment of common diseases of mother and young children has been elaborately described in Ayurvedic texts like Charak Samhita & Susruta Samhita. For proper ante-natal care of expectant mother, balance of Doshas through proper food (Aahara) and lifestyle (Vihaara) in different stages of pregnancy in consonance with the digestive power & the development of fetus has been emphasized. The specific regimen to be followed just after birth using various oils and herbs has been laid down giving reasons for various procedures. Breast milk being wholesome, vitalizing and appetizing in nature has been mandated as the most complete and wholesome diet for the infant. It contains the essence of herbs and cereals present in the food of the mother. Hence, Ayurveda lays down treatment of lactating mothers having deficient breast milk using specific food items and herbs. Similarly, remedies for prevention and treatment of the common diseases of mother and infant which have been used since ancient times based on severity of disease, body constitution, digestive power and body strength of the person have been based upon either a single drug or a combination of medicinal plants.