Ghee During Pregnancy: Does It Help In Having A Normal Delivery?

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Eating ghee during pregnancy is beneficial for the overall health of women. Ghee, also called clarified butter, is a good source of fat. It aids in digestion, helps the baby’s growth, and nourishes the mother. For generations, mothers and grandmothers have advised pregnant women to eat ghee. However, you should be careful about the quantity of ghee in your diet. Eating it in excess may have adverse effects such as weight issues in the mother and baby. Our article explains the benefits of ghee during pregnancy, the right amount to eat, and the different ways to include it in your diet.

Is It Safe To Eat Ghee During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to eat a moderate amount of ghee every day when you are pregnant. Unlike other dairy products, ghee is easier to digest and boosts metabolism. But if you are overweight or obese, then you may want to control its consumption.

Since it is a healthy source of fat, ghee is often used as a substitute for butter and oil. However, avoid adding too much ghee to your diet.

How Much Ghee Can You Take During Pregnancy?

You can include about two to three teaspoons of ghee during pregnancy (1). The medical recommendation of fat is six tablespoons per day, out of which you can include 10 to 12% saturated fats such as ghee.

Can You Eat Ghee During Early Pregnancy?

Yes. You can eat ghee throughout your pregnancy, right from the early stages until the end. But if weight is a concern, you should be cautious about its consumption.

How About Ghee Consumption During the Third Trimester?

Ghee has laxative properties and is believed to induce labor.

When ghee is consumed in the third trimester, it is said to irritate the bowel to extend the contractions to the uterus and induce labor. Ghee is also believed to lubricate the vagina, thereby aiding smooth delivery. However, neither of these claims is backed by scientific evidence.

Nevertheless, ghee is considered to be a healthy source of fat that you and your baby can benefit from. Read more about it next.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Ghee During Pregnancy?

Ghee contains reasonable amounts of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is believed to offer the following benefits during pregnancy, but most of these lack scientific support.

1. Digestive issues

Ghee has anti-viral properties and plays a crucial role in keeping the digestive system healthy. It contains high amounts of a fatty acid called butyrate that plays a role in gut health (2).

2. Baby development

You will require about 300 extra calories per day during your second and third trimesters, for your baby’s development (3). Ghee can aid in the baby’s growth and their brain development.

3. Nourishment

Moderate consumption of ghee gives a feel-good mood and relieves stress. It is one of the natural ways to nourish the body and keep it warm and strong.

Homemade ghee is always a healthier and better option compared to store-bought ghee. Having ghee for increasing calorie count is fine as long as it does not add to the existing body weight. Avoid ghee if you are overweight as it can complicate your pregnancy.

What Are The Side-effects Of Consuming Ghee During Pregnancy?

Ghee does not have any side-effects if consumed in moderation. But, consuming higher amounts of ghee can:

  • Make you and your baby gain excess weight. Reduced physical activity in the last weeks of pregnancy, compounded with excess ghee consumption, could make normal delivery difficult.
  • Lead to obesity if you are already on a high calorific diet or consume junk food often.
  • Can make it difficult to shed the excess weight after childbirth.

To avoid the above complications, seek your doctor’s advice before adding ghee to your pregnancy diet.

How To Include Ghee In Your Diet?

Ghee can be used raw or as an ingredient in cooking. Use ghee:

  • As a topping on rice, parathas or rotis
  • To mix vegetable curries or flavored rice
  • For preparing desserts such as kheer, ladoos and more
  • Along with milk

What Is The Importance Of Ghee In Ayurveda During Pregnancy?

Ghee plays a prominent role in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used as a therapeutic agent for ages (2).

Ayurveda prescribes consumption of pure cow ghee by adding it to boiled milk along with saffron (1 to 2 drops), honey (3 to 4 drops) and a little bit of turmeric. This beverage is believed to boost immunity, brain health of the baby and promote a safe delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does ghee increase fertility?

Several traditional medicines like Ayurveda use cow ghee to improve fertility. Some studies found this claim relevant (4) (5). However, the clinical evidence to prove the efficacy of ghee in increasing fertility is still limited.

2. Is there any difference between cow and buffalo ghee to use in pregnancy?

Buffalo milk/ghee is considered to have more saturated fat than cow milk/ghee. Besides, cow ghee is more nutritious than buffalo ghee (6). Thus, pregnant women are often advised to use cow ghee (7). If you are unsure which ghee you should pick, consulting a certified nutritionist can help.

3. Is the combination of desi ghee and Shatavari safe for pregnant women?

Ayurveda considers the combination of desi ghee and Shatavari beneficial for pregnant women (7). According to Ayurvedic literature, ghee with Sahatavri can help alleviate peptic disorder (8). However, consulting an Ayurvedic doctor before using Shatavari is essential to know the right amount one can safely consume and reap its full benefits.

4. Can desi ghee remove stretch marks?

It is believed that ghee can remove stretch marks. However, no clinical evidence exists to support this belief. If you are worried about stretch marks, speak to your doctor or skin care professional to know the right approach to remove stretch marks after delivery.

5. When is ghee not recommended during pregnancy?

Ghee is a calorie-dense food high in saturated fats (2). Thus, one should avoid consuming ghee during pregnancy if they are overweight/obese, have a history of cardiovascular disease, or have a health condition that impacts lipid metabolism.

Ghee is a nutritious dietary fat that contains fat-soluble vitamins, conjugated linolenic acid, and antioxidants. Most healthy pregnant women can safely consume one to two tablespoons of ghee as a part of their well-balanced diet. Regular consumption of ghee during pregnancy can nourish and promote the mother’s and baby’s overall health. You can use ghee for cooking curries or drizzle it over the food to enhance its taste and overall nutritional value. However, be aware of its excessive consumption as it can cause excess weight gain.

References:

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  1. For Bumpier Times.
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=MUKwDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT42&dq=ghee+pregnancy&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZrqTI8OPaAhVLlVQKHcd5BqUQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=ghee%20pregnancy&f=false
  2. Hari Sharma et al.; (2010); The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215354/
  3. Healthy Eating During Pregnancy.
    https://health.ucdavis.edu/food-nutrition/pdf/Pregnancy%20-%20Healthy%20Eating%20During%20Pregnancy.pdf
  4. P. K. Dalal et al.; Vajikarana: Treatment of sexual dysfunctions based on Indian concepts.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705695/
  5. Jitendra Nathabhai Varsakiya et al.; Efficacy of Virechana (therapeutic purgation) followed by Go-Ghrita (cow ghee) in the management of Ksheena Shukra (oligozoospermia): A clinical study.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31831966/
  6. Sindhuja S et al.; (2020); Health benefits of ghee (clarified butter) – A review from ayurvedic perspective.
    https://www.ipinnovative.com/journal-article-file/12521
  7. Hemangi D. Mehta; (2022); Healthy Balanced Diet During Pregnancy.
    http://www.ijpab.com/form/2022%20Volume%2010
  8. Ayurveda Offering Herbal Healing.
    https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf
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Dr. Shikha Sharma

(MBBS)
Celebrity nutrition advisor Dr. Shikha Sharma has founded Dr. Shikha’s Nutrihealth in 1998. Dr. Shikha has done her MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College and her organization, Dr. Shikha's NutriHealth, has over 50 Ayurveda experts and nutritionists who provide consultation services to the clients. The Nutrihealth expert team handles weight loss/weight gain, PCOS, thyroid, diabetes, cholesterol, post-pregnancy weight loss and... more

Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist and toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different organizations. Her interest in scientific writing... more

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