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AYUSH Specific Dietary Recommendations for Pregnant women

Women have special dietary needs during every stage of their life, viz. adolescence, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Ayurveda emphasizes on special care to be taken in women's health at every phase in terms of Rajaswala Paricharya (Menstrual care), Garbhini paricharya (Antenatal care) and Sutika Paricharya (Post-natal care). During pregnancy, the mother's nutrition bears a great impact on the foetal growth and development. Ayurveda highlights the importance of holistic nutrition right from pre-conception to 6 months after delivery for maintenance of healthy pregnancy, offspring and optimal lactation for achieving required growth and development of the baby.

Ayurveda specifies comprehensive dietary guidelines to be followed during pregnancy. It changes in accordance with the growth of the foetus in the womb and at the same time ensures excellent health of the mother.

The food taken by a pregnant woman:

  • Nourishes and helps the growth of the fetus.
  • Nourishes the mother's own body.
  • Nourishes the breasts to facilitate proper lactation.

Therefore, Garbhini (Pregnant women) should follow specific dietary and behavioural advice during pregnancy. i.e. “Garbhini Paricharya”. It will help in reducing risks during pregnancy thereby safeguarding optimal growth of the foetus

Apart from general dietary recommendations, pregnant women should follow the specific dietary recommendations as mentioned below:

  • The Ahara (daily diet) of pregnant women should bepleasant to the mind, it should be preferably liquid to semi solid, sweet and unctuous in nature, (Hridya Dravam Madhura Snigdham Prayam) e.g. Milk, Kheer (Pudding) made with Chawal (Rice) / Ragi (Finger millet) / Daliya (Crushed wheat).
  • Cooked food should include Jeeraka (Cumin seed), Shunthi (Dry ginger) powder for better digestion and assimilation (Deepaniyam Samskritam)
  • Apart from routine diet, if possible, Pregnant women should also include milk (minimum 1 glass-200 ml) or Ghee (Under guidance of Ayush Medical Officer) in daily regimen as mentioned below
Month Regimen
1st Month

Normal milk (Anupsanskrit kshira) (Boiled and cooled at room temperature)

*If milk intolerance, then it is advised to take Laja/ Mudga (Mung bean) Soup 200mL twice or thrice a day

2nd Month Milk medicated by adding herbs like Shatavari (Asparagus racemosusWilld.), Bala Beeja (Sida cordifolia L.).
3rd Month

Milk with Madhu (Honey) and Ghee (Clarified butter) (Milk 200ml with 5 ml Honey and Ghee 10 ml)

*Honey and clarified butter shall be in unequal quantity

4th Month Kshir Navneet Milk 200 mL with 10g home-made Makkhan (Butter) - extracted from cow milk] OR Milk 200mL with 10 mL of Ghee (clarified butter)
5th Month Ksheer sarpi Milk 200 mL with 10 mL of Ghee twice a day
6th Month Medicated Ghee (Clarified butter processed with herbs) eg. Phala Ghrita
7th Month Medicated Ghee (Clarified butter processed with herbs) eg. Phala Ghrita
8th Month Chaval (Shali rice )/ Daliya (Crushed wheat prepared by using six times of milk) , Yavagu (Rice gruel) prepared with ghee and milk, Kheer- 100 mL in one meal 
9th Month Cooked rice prepared with Ghee (Clarified butter), Meat soup prepared with Ghee (Clarified butter)

Pregnant Women should avoid following dietary habits

  • Fasting and overeating
  • Frequent and excessive eating
  • Excess intake of dry, heavy to digest, fermented, spicy or hot food
  • Excessive intake of food of any one particular taste.
  • Leftover foods, uncooked leafy vegetables, undercooked beans, food with preservatives and artificial flavors.
  • Use of alcohol, smoking, narcotics, sedative and non-prescribed drugs 

Adoption of healthy life-style practices – Yogasanas, Pranayam (Controlled breathing exercise) and Meditation should be encouraged in pregnancy. Yoga can be helpful in maintaining normal health during pregnancy, reduction of maternal stress anxiety, reduction of physical ailments and good foetal outcomes. Meditation facilitates a reduction in maternal stress and thus ensuring healthy growth of foetus. 

Source : Ministry of AYUSH



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