Ayurveda Tips for a Healthy Baby — 4 Important Steps Before You Conceive

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Good parenting begins before a child is even conceived. Ayurveda offers knowledge to help parents enhance the health of their offspring before conception occurs.

Food and Digestion

Sex cells are produced long before intercourse. According to the Ayurvedic texts, it takes six weeks for the entire process of digestion and then the formation of the tissues to take place. Ayurveda outlines seven steps of the digestive process through which all the tissues of the body are formed. The last, the seventh step, is responsible for the formation of the reproductive tissue. All six prior steps need to be balanced and complete in order for the final step to be balanced and complete. For parents to provide balanced, healthy genetic material, attention needs to be paid both to the quality of their digestion and to quality of the food they eat. Ayurveda recommends fresh, organic, cooked foods during this time.

Purification

More and more studies are finding that toxic chemicals are abundant in pregnant mothers – and subsequently in their newborns. Therefore it is essential to detoxify your body before you decide to get pregnant. Prevalent chemicals in pregnant women include pesticides, flame retardants, phthalates (found in many plastics and artificial fragrances), pollution from car exhaust, PFCs used in non-stick cookware, and PCBs, toxic industrial chemicals that were banned in 1979 yet still persist in the environment.

Just recently testing has found high levels of glyphosate in the breast milk of American moms. Glyphosate-containing herbicides are the top-selling herbicides in the world and are sold under trademarks such as Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’. Monsanto’s sales of Roundup jumped 73 percent to $371 million in 2013 because of its increasing use on genetically engineered crops (GE Crops).

These toxicants pose a danger to the health and well being of the child. For example, BPA (an estrogen-like ingredient in plastic) was found in 96% of pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern that BPA affects both the development of the brain and behavior in children exposed to these toxins both before and after birth.

In addition, many women in their 30’s and 40’s are having a difficult time conceiving because of low amounts of progesterone in their bodies. While this can be a natural result of perimenopause, this can also be due to presence of certain estrogen-mimicking environmental chemicals such as pesticides, plastics, and herbicides. When the body absorbs these, it gets tricked into thinking that estrogen levels are too high and compensates by lowering progesterone levels. Progesterone levels are very important for conception.

Ayurveda recommends undergoing traditional detoxification treatments, called Panchakarma, eight weeks prior to conception. These Ayurvedic purification treatments are available at Ayurveda Health Spas in the US and India. A published study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Sept/Oct. 2002 showed that a five-day program of Panchakarma resulted in a 50% reduction of blood levels of fat-soluble toxins such as PCBs, DDT and dioxins. Currently modern medicine offers no means of removing these fat-soluble environmental chemicals from the body. The half-life of these chemicals in the human body is thought to be 7 to 11 years. (A half life is the time required for a given substance to fall to half its initial value.)

Once the impurities are removed from the tissues, the body is more able to respond to the dietary and behavioral changes of the parents-to-be.

Behavior

For six weeks following Ayurvedic detoxification treatments it is recommended to follow a pure, organic, vegetarian diet, to abstain from negative influences (like alcohol and cigarettes), to go to bed early, and to practice celibacy. This allows the sperm to become strengthened during the six-week period.

The ideal sequence of steps is to purify the body and then to nourish and build up the tissues. This is the ultimate step in prevention. The best approach to creating a strong, healthy baby is by strengthening the basic material that creates the child.

The Raj, Ayurveda Health Center in Fairfield, IA offers a special 8-week program for couples wanting to conceive a child. The program includes one week of in-residence treatments and individualized diet and life-style recommendations.

For more information, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa web site:

www.theraj.com

Optimizing Fertility with Ayurveda

carry-on-stress-free-1It is not uncommon for parents of toddlers to stress over getting their children into top pre-schools so that they will have the best possible start in life. But according to Ayurveda, getting the best start for your child should begin months before the child is even conceived. While it has become more common for mothers-to-be to be alert to their diets and life-style before conceiving, modern science is just now catching up with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in encouraging both parents to take early steps in preparation for making a baby.

The big news in 2013 was that what men eat — and specifically if they are eating their vegetables —seriously affects the mobility and health of their sperm and the health of their future children.

In a recent Boston study, male participants who ate the most carrots had the best sperm mobility. High levels of beta-carotene, the pigment that gives carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins their bright color, was linked to better swimming ability of sperm.

The same study found that lycopene, a bright red phytochemical found in tomatoes, red bell peppers, watermelon and papayas (but not strawberries and cherries) was linked to more properly shaped sperm. Both mobility and proper shape can affect fertility.

At the same time, a Canadian study on mice revealed that baby mice with fathers deficient in folic acid (a form of vitamin B) were 30 percent more likely to have birth defects.  The lead researcher, Dr Kimmins, of McGill University in Montreal, concluded, ‘Lots of attention has been paid to a mother’s health (during) pre-conception yet the health of the father has been pretty much ignored…. the focus has been on women because they are the incubators of the pregnancy…. But both men and women need to think about what they are doing pre-conception… Men need to eat their greens.”

Where can we find folic acid? Beans, peas and lentils, dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, celery, carrots, squash, okra, brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, avocado, seeds and nuts all are high in this important compound.

The classic texts of Ayurveda offer a great depth of knowledge on how to properly prepare the body before pregnancy. This knowledge forms the basis of the Pre-Conception Program offered at The Raj, Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center in Fairfield, IA.

The program begins at least eight weeks before a couple plans to conceive and starts with a week of detoxification treatments to purify and strengthen their physiologies.  These detox treatments are recommended for two reasons:

1. Accumulated impurities in parents can act as obstacles to proper nourishment. Once these toxins are removed, parents-to-be are more able to respond to dietary changes, resulting in more balanced physiologies.

2. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), most infants come into this world “pre-polluted,” with over 200 toxic industrial chemicals circulating in their bodies.  These findings were consistent no matter where parents lived. We are exposed to chemicals by means of our air, water, soil, and food and household products. And research has shown that the earlier in life toxic exposure occurs, the more powerfully these chemicals affect a child’s development going forward.

While pre-pregnancy detox programs are becoming more and more popular, research shows that only the traditional Ayurvedic purification treatments are able to remove fat-soluble chemicals such as DDT, PCBs and dioxins. These are all hormone-mimicking chemicals known to interfere with fertility.

According to Ayurveda, it takes six weeks for the entire process of digestion and formation of the bodily tissues to take place. Thus for six weeks following the detox treatments, husband and wife follow an individually prescribed organic diet that targets specific imbalances which could be passed on to their children. The diet also provides optimum nourishment to create healthy ovum and sperm.

A healthy child is the result of healthy parents. By strengthening the basic material that makes a child, parents can increase the chance of bringing strong and healthy children into the world.

For more information on optimizing fertility visit The Raj:

http://theraj.com/infertility/index.php

 

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