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31 December, 2016

Aantur : Caring for a new mum: Part 1.

Posted in : Care for New Mum, Drinks & Desserts, Lifestyle, Recipes on by : Ratna Tags: , , , , ,

 

Rooted  deep  in  the  ancient  Indian  tradition  of  Ayurveda  is  the  need  to  care  for  the  new  mum.  This  phase  is  termed  as  “Aantur”  in my  culture.  This  is  as  important  a  part  as  is  the  prenatal  care  and  childbirth.  In  fact  we  say  “Aantur  tola”,  or ‘ lifting  postpartum’  as  opposed  to  helping  a  new  mum.  These  first  forty  days  in  the  life  of  a  new  mum  is  said  to  determine  her  health  at  forty  years.  We  talk  about  the  first,  second  and  third  trimesters  of  pregnancy.  Aantur  can  very  well  be  termed  as  the  “fourth  trimester.”

It  is  very  rightly  believed  in  Ayurveda  that  a  healthy  mum  is  in  the  centre  of  bringing  up  a  healthy  baby,  who  in  turn  is  the  starting  point  of  a  healthy  society.  Mothering  a  mother  or  in  other  words  pampering  her  is  the  basis  of  Aantur.   I  recently  was  very  lucky  to  welcome  my  grand  baby.  I  am  no  expert  in  Ayurveda,  neither  am  I  trained  in  the  science  of  Obstetrics.  The  views  I  express  here  are  my  own  learnt  from  my  mother,  mother  in  law  and  grandmother.

I  have  roughly  divided  the  Aantur  in  the  following  few  categories.  I  plan  to  tackle  them  in  parts.

  1.  Time.
  2. Food.
  3. Rest.
  4. Other.

1.  Time

Nine  months  of  wait  and  a  few  hours  of  labour  later  you  come  home  with  a  brand  new  human.   With  no  “User’s  manual”  or  may  be  without  any  previous  experience  you  are  on  Day  1  of  your  new  job  as  a  mother.

This  is  precisely  when  Aantur  starts.  The  exact  number  of  days  varies  from  culture  to  culture,  however  it  is  no  less  than  twenty  one  days  after  childbirth.    It  ends  at  the  end  of  six  weeks.

Bringing  another  life  to  earth  is  sacred.  Aantur  is  a  time  for  deep  rest  and  rejuvenation  for  the  new  mum.

 

2.  Food

The  growing  uterus  displaces  the  stomach,  intestine  and  other  organs  around  these,  compromising  their  ability  to  function.  After  childbirth  the  organs  are  just  starting  to  get  back  to  normal.  Food  at  this  stage  should  be  those  that  help  with  lactation  and  are  easily  digestible.

a)  Food  helping  with  lactation:

Methi,  Saunf  Paani  :  Fenugreek  and  Fennel  seed  water.

Take  2  Tbsps  each  of  methi  and  saunf  in  about  4  cups  of  water.  Boil  for  10  minutes.  Strain  the  water,  add  hot  water  to  constitute  about  2  litres.  Store  in  thermos  and  drink  it  warm  throughout  the  day.   Make  fresh  next  morning.

Do  not  drink  anything  cold  at  all.  Heat  along  with  blood  is  lost  during  chidbirth ,  and  everything  should  be  done  to  keep  the  body  warm  during  this  time.

(  To  be  continued  )…

By  Ratna

 

 

 

 

 

 

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