Prenatal care, also known as antenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare. Its goal is to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy and to promote healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child. During check-ups, pregnant women receive medical information over maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition including prenatal vitamins. Recommendations on management and healthy lifestyle changes are also made during regular check-ups.
Prenatal care is important as these determine the quality of the foetus. The base of prenatal care in ayurveda is the quote from Charaka Samhita which states that “If a pregnant woman is taken care of as advised, she will give birth to a child who doesn’t have any diseases- a healthy, physically strong, radiant, and well nourished baby. He will be superior to all in the race”
Post Natal Mother and Baby Care: The first three months after delivery is very important for the mother as this is the period in which she is to get back the physical fitness that she had and proper lactation. During this period, the expanded uterus shrinks back to normal position, ligaments, muscles and tendons associated with uterus start gaining back the lost power. Motherhood is a joyous moment in a women’s life. But this is possible if her health is taken care of during the post natal period. The post natal period or puerperium is called “Sutika kala”. The duration of sutika kala is usually 1 – 1 ½ months (forty five days). Post natal care or Sutika paricharya is of great importance in a mother as it is during this stage she restores her health. A special diet plan is recommended for this period to restore the loss of the reproductive fluids, dhatus, and blood during the pregnancy and delivery. The digestive fire of the sutika will be altered hence food should be light and it should also be nourishing. Proper adherence to this regimen is essential for faster recuperation and restoration of the health of the mother. Adequate care and prescribed regimen ensures that the mother regains her figure and health akin to that of her pre pregnancy days.