Todays guest post comes from Alexandra J Steele. Alex is a licensed Acupuncturist and certified Ayurvedic Wellness Coach, practicing in Catonsville, MD. She is passionate about supporting women through the transitions of pregnancy to postpartum to motherhood. Alex is offering a workshop on Ayurvedic Self Care Practices for Pregnancy and Postpartum on June 25th from 1-3pm at Greenberries in Hamden. She was kind enough to give us a short overview of Ayurveda and an explanation of how it can support women’s’ mental and physical health.
Pregnancy through birth to motherhood is a transformative experience that brings challenge and joy. In my experience it was also very physically and emotionally demanding as my body and life went through so many changes. I found that Ayurveda, a gentle and simple form of medicine and healing, offered many wonderful and natural ways to assist me, and others through this incredible and sometimes difficult transition.
Ayurveda is India’s ancient system of healing which uses nature’s wisdom to maintain harmony and balance in the body, mind and spirit. The word, Ayurveda, means ‘wisdom of life cycle.’ When we observe nature’s elements through following seasonal dietary guidelines and daily rhythms, we naturally fall into balance. This also applies to different cycles of life such as the cycle from pregnancy to birth and postpartum. Ayurveda recommends a specialized diet, which changes, month by month, different lifestyle practices, and natural remedies to help you care for yourself and stay balanced during pregnancy and postpartum with greater ease.
Food can be medicine for your body’s changing needs. Incorporating simple and nurturing foods at the right times, can make an enormous difference in comfort level, energy, health of mom and baby, and recovery time, as well as prevent postpartum depression. Appropriate diet, rejuvenative foods, herbs, and other therapies can also help restore our bodies to balance, preventing PPD and other health issues from developing in the future.
Ayurveda uses diet as its main source of healing and maintaining balance, and luckily many of the recipes and foods are nutritious and delicious! Did you know that dates are very building and good for chronic fatigue and exhaustion? They are a very good food to eat during the third trimester as well as postpartum. Whole organic milk, almonds, basmati rice, and sesame seeds are good for building “ojas,” which means life force, and very nourishing for a growing baby. Coconut mango rice is a good food to restore energy and rejuvenate after depletion and also supports digestion. Also, sipping coconut water can ease morning sickess and nausea.
I would love to share my knowledge of this medicine with you, and help support you through your next birth by giving you tools that you can use now and for the rest of your life. My goal is to empower each woman to remember and honor her true nature by providing support, tools, and guidance to balance their body, mind, and spirit along their path. My workshop on June 25th from 1-3pm at Greenberries in Hamden is ideal for anyone during any stage of pregnancy, recently given birth (i.e. postpartum), planning another, doulas, or anyone caring for women during these times. You will go home with handouts containing natural remedies and approaches to treating pregnancy and postpartum-related symptoms including morning sickness, edema, heartburn, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and PPD. No prior knowledge of Ayurveda is necessary. There will be plenty of time for question and answer, and discussion.
$40 class fee for individuals, $60 for couples. Register online HERE.
PHOTO CREDIT: HEARTLOVE PHOTOGRAPHY