Once a woman has confirmed her pregnancy, she should express her gratitude before Allah Ta’ala as this is indeed a great bounty of Allah Ta’ala. This is such a boon that many people beseech Allah Ta’ala throughout their lives for pious children but Allah Ta’ala has destined otherwise. In fact one of the greatest Nabîes of Allah Ta’ala, Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam) used to supplicate to Allah Ta’ala most profoundly and frequently. Even Hadrat Zakariyya (Alayhis salaam) used to supplicate for children most passionately and fervently during the latter part of his life.
Hence, a Muslim woman is required to express her gratitude unto Allah Ta’ala for this great bounty. Gratitude may be expressed in the following ways:
1. Recite the following Du’aa very frequently:
Allahummâ Lakal Hamdû Wa Lakash-Shukru
Translation: O Allah! All praises are due to You alone and I express my gratitude unto You alone (for granting me the honour of motherhood).
2. Allocate a fixed time for two Rak‘aat of Nafl Salaat. Whilst in Sajdah, make Du‘aa abundantly. Recite the following Du’aa as well:
Rabbi Hab Liy Min-Ladunka Zurriyatan-Tayyibah Innaka Sam‘iud-Du’aa
Translation: O my Lord! Bless me from your side with pure children. Verily You are all-hearing of the Du’aa.
3. Recite the following Du’aa as well:
Rabbi-j‘alniy Muqeema-Salaati wa min Zurriyatiy Rabbanaa wa Taqabbal Du’aa
Translation: O my Lord! Render me as well as my progeny as establishers of Salâh and accept our Du’aas.
4. Similarly, express your gratitude from the heart in such a manner that you stay happy and try to stay happy at all times. Try to forget all your past sorrows. Build your dreams and keep your hopes and spirits high. Ponder over the bounties of Jannat.
Instead of embroiling yourself in the daily disputes with the mother-in-law and sisters-in law and instead of involving yourself with the unbecoming behaviour of your husband, maintain strict silence. On the impending happiness of the birth of your child, maintain a friendly and trouble-free relationship with all. If you do tend to hurt anyone, apologise immediately and try to forget about the dispute. If you continue vexing others, the evil effects of this nature will fall on the unborn child as well. The conditions of the mother during pregnancy, in fact even her spirit and perceptions during this state has a profound effect on the unborn child.
Hence, a Muslim woman should express gratitude at all times especially during the period of her pregnancy. This gratitude should in turn develop in her the love of Allah Ta’ala. She should ponder that since Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with so many bounties, we should also devote ourselves to Him. To disobey such a majestic benefactor – by strutting about veil-less, watching television, videos, backbiting etc. – at any time and especially during pregnancy is not acceptable. Allah Ta’ala showers His bounties upon us and we in turn disobey Him!?
The first month of pregnancy
Remember that you are not a single entity now. Now a child is being nourished within your own body. With a bit of precaution on your part, this child may become healthy, intelligent, understanding, pious and religious. However, with your negligence and indifference, the child may turn out to be weak, sickly and incompetent.
Hence, your life should not be the same as it was before you fell pregnant. Every moment should be passed with caution and concern over the well-being of yourself as well your child. Therefore, pay careful attention to the following points:
1. Be careful with your diet. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Avoid over-eating and abstain from food that can cause constipation.
2. Eat green, fresh vegetables, like salads, cucumbers etc. in abundance. Make sure that they are clean and washed before use.
3. Drink lots of sour-milk and milk. Drink as much milk as your digestive system can handle. Milk is a very blessed form of nutrition. After consuming other types of food, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) would utter:
Allahummâ At‘imnâ Khayran-Minhu
Translation: O Allah! Grant us food better than this (in Jannat).
However, milk is of such a blessed nature that there is no food better than milk since after drinking milk Rasûlullâh recited the following Du’aa:
Allahummâ Bârik Lanâ Fîhî wa Zidnâ Minhu
Translation: O Allah! Bless us in this and increase it for us.
In other words, whilst drinking milk, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask for something better (as he did in the case of other foods), because there is no better food than milk. This is why he beseeched Allah Ta’ala for Barkat (blessing) and increase in it.
In short, a pregnant woman should drink lots of milk because Allah Ta’ala has placed the vitamins and proteins required by the human body in milk.
If pure or raw milk is detrimental to you, consume it in other forms like Lassî (curds), sour-milk, custard, Khîr etc. This is beneficial to the mother as well as the child.
4. Abstain from tea, coffee, Pân (betel leaf), oil, Ghee, chillies and oily foods. Besides affecting the digestive system, these foods are detrimental to the muscles and nervous system of the mother and may also affect the child.
5. Ensure that you refrain from all types of medication during pregnancy especially pain-relievers. If you are really desperate, consult a reliable female (or male) doctor explaining your pregnancy and conditions to her. It should not be such that you are prescribed medication that is injurious to pregnant women. Some medication clearly states on the label that it is not advisable for pregnant women. Hence, if you are really desperate to use some medication, make sure you scrutinize the label and make thorough investigation before use.
6. In the first three months and the last month, in fact from the seventh month onwards, avoid sexual contact with your husband. This at times, adversely affects the mother and the child.
7. Avoid sleeping late. Try to get at least eight hours of peaceful sleep. This will ensure that your body and mind is well rested. This in turn is beneficial for the child as well and it may simplify delivery of the child.
8. Avoid excessively hard work and picking up very heavy objects as this may lead to a miscarriage. If your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law compels you to pick up heavy objects or forces you to carry out some difficult task, then excuse yourself very politely and explain to them that this task is beyond you and that you will pay a labourer to carry out this task.
However, if your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law fails to take pity on your condition, explain your helplessness to your husband and with his permission, go to your mother’s house to rest. If you are a sister-in-law to another woman (your brother’s wife), don’t be cruel to her as well. The moment she falls pregnant, try to make her comfortable and relaxed at all times. Your benevolence won’t be directed to your sister-in-law alone but you will be showing mercy to a sinless child, a priceless gem, a blossoming flower, the coolness of your brother’s eyes, a luminance of this worldly life and a source of perpetual reward for the hereafter. The degree of happiness and comfort of your sister-in-law or daughter-in-law will, Inshâ Allah Ta’ala, determine the well-being, health, robustness and happiness of the new arrival.