Ready to have a Ayurvedic child? Here is how.
Transformation of a woman into a mother begins right from the time she conceives and so does the planning for the upbringing and development of the child. Both the mother and the baby gets attached to each other by an inextricable innate bond, such that every minute act, thoughts, joys, sorrows, emotions, eating habits influences baby’s physical, mental and emotional growth. Further on as time passes by the baby also recognizes and responds to mother’s voice and feelings. The mother can comfort the baby by expressing her love and care through her emotions.
It is since ages that Ayurveda appreciates the importance of ‘Suprajanan’ ( The science related with – grooming the process of childbirth well in advance – right from preparation for conception, achieving spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional state of equilibrium of both mother and the foetus till the childbirth and thereafter in a definitely superior fashion).
‘Garbha’ is the foetus and ‘Sanskaar’ is the ritual performed for welcoming the arrival of the most awaited family member – The Baby. It is the preparation of both the would be parents, especially the mother who nurtures the baby in her womb for the upcoming desired course of time.
We plan our Birthday celebrations, wedding ceremonies, anniversaries, our finances, travels and lot many things, then why miss an opportunity to plan our baby? which is the most wonderful and divine blessing of our life. With this facility we can design and modify our physical and mental needs and activities, our work schedules, plan our diet, exercises, lifestyle and thus bestow upon health, intelligence, devotion, moral values, valor, courage, energy and elegance in the offspring. The procedure starts almost 3-4 months prior to conception. A planned pregnancy is always superior in all aspects to an unscheduled one. You can imagine with this understanding now wh
Thus Garbha sanskaar is the process of developing the course of childbirth into the most cherish-able and momentous experience.
The Garbha sanskar process basically comprises of three stages :
- I) Preconception (Beej sanskar)
- II) Duration of Pregnancy (Garbhasanskar)
III) Post Delivery (Bal sanskar)
- I) Bija Sanskar–
- Creating awareness and explaining the importance of Garbhasanskar.
- Determining Prakriti (Body constitution) of both the parents after proper examination and to get aquainted with their medical history if any.
- Bija shuddhi (Shodhan sanskar) by Panchakarma so that Ovum (Matru bija) and Sperm (Pitru bija) are in its best & purest form and devoid of any abnormalities or genetic disorders.
- Treatment for any associated ailments which can cause problems in fertility
- Treatment for conceiving Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy offspring. This can be achieved by panchakarma, Rasayan (rejuvination) and Vajikar (aphrodisiac) medicines.
- Associated treatments which enhance the internal environment in the womb like Uttar basti, Pichu dharan and Dhawan.
- Dietary guidance.
- Yoga, exercise and meditation.
- Study about probable days for conception.
- II) Garbha sanskar–
Garbha sanskar is the stage where importantly mother is the one who is related to the foetus, and she should be taken care of . This is known as Garbhini Paricharya in Ayurveda. The phase begins from the time since pregnancy occurs till the birth of the baby.
The first three months of pregnancy are very essential and mother should receive all the love and care; as during these days the foetus is unstable inside the womb, it needs time and nourishment to gain the stability. In the second trimester the foetus attains the necessary stability and the focus is mainly on the evenly growth of the baby. In the third trimester the emphasis lays upon adding a golden touch to the child’s physical and mental development through medicines and other activities, taking care of baby’s weight, and also preparing the mother for labor.
Knowing your baby – Making the parents aware about the month-wise normal growth and development of the baby inside the womb, this strengthens the emotional bond.
During pregnancy the woman goes through hormonal variations, resulting in emotional and physical changes, which can be overcome with the help of a comforting and understanding spouse.
Solutions for common ailments like morning sickness, vomiting, in early pregnancy, and backache, acidity, pedal oedema etc in the later phase. Awareness about these common complaints reduces anxiety and stress .
Nutrition – Dietary advise and medicines corresponding to the month of pregnancy and development of the baby. Parents need to be explained the importance of proper nutrition, timely meals, and healthy meals. Few dietary and lifestyle habits have to be brought into practice monthwise as per doctor’s advise. Foods which are to be avoided during pregnancy are equally important.
Exercise – Exercise basically includes Breathing exercises, Yoga and meditation. Again type of exercise varies trimester-wise and according to associated conditions/ complaints if any. Yoga and meditation helps to reduce stress, keeps your body fit and active and in the long run builds up your stamina for delivery. Exercise should be done under supervision of experts.
Role of Auto-suggestion and Music – It is a proven fact that since seventh month, baby inside the womb can listen to mother’s voice, external sounds, and music; hence it is suggested that mother should spare some time daily and communicate with her baby. she should listen to good music instruments like flute, veena, etc. indulge into meditation, listen, read aloud religious books or hymns, etc which conveys moral values & good thoughts to the baby. It is even told to read or listen to chants of the vedas.
Preparing for Child-birth or Labor – The spouse is made aware of the process of normal labor and stages of the same. Signs and symptoms of initiation of labor is well explained so that they would be able to make a right decision of when to go to hospital. A list of necessary things to carry along is handed over.
Mother care after delivery – The mother undergoes physical and emotional variations due to changes in hormonal levels after the delivery. A proper care and comfort can easily help her. She is advised about her dietary habits and daily regime which will help her keep fit and active thereafter.
III) Bal Sanskar –
Bal sanskar is introduction to baby care, it includes topics like proper techniques of holding the baby, safety issues while sleeping, feeding, sanitation of the baby. Management of common complaints of baby like colic pain, gases, vomiting, etc. settling down a crying baby.
Mother is taught basics of Breast feeding, Do’s and Dont’s during and after feeding. Importance and techniques of massage and bathing are taught to the mother.
Last but not the least, vaccination schedule is explained, along with the importance of suvarna prasham sanskar – An Ayurvedic immunity booster.
A healthy child and a healthy mother is the goal.
Dietary regimen in pregnancy is one of the most essential aspect which should be taken care of; as the growth of the foetus solely depends upon the health and nutrition of the mother. The Ahara- rasa i.e. nutrition or energy obtained from the mother’s diet serves three important functions, firstly nourishment of the mother herself, nourishment and growth of the baby, and lastly preparation for formation of stanya, i.e. breast milk.
There is an increased need of balanced diet with good nutritional value during pregnancy, any negligence or deprivation in nourishment may affect physical and mental growth of the foetus or either lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or an under weight baby. Here this article will benefit you in planning your diet accurately during pregnancy.
Some basic dietary rules should be followed such as having timely meals is essential, it helps in proper digestion and keeps mother healthy. Mother should have freshly prepared food, which is easily digestible and healthy. It should be a balanced diet providing necessary nutrition for mother and baby. Dietary supplements like fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and ghee should be consumed regularly in desirable amount.
Include few things in diet corresponding to month of pregnancy which adds to the healthier development of the foetus.
- First month – A pregnant woman should have atleast 2 glasses of milk everyday throughout the pregnancy, but particularly in first month milk should be consumed necessarily. If complaints like nausea, vomiting is present milk can be flavored with Elaichi, Shatavari kalpa, or milk masala containing almonds, cardamom, dry ginger, etc.
- Second month – It is suggested to take milk medicated with sweet herbs like shatavari, bala, etc. Adding 2 tsps of Shatavari kalpa to glass of milk will serve the purpose.
- Third month – The third month regimen explains adding honey and ghee to milk. One should keep in mind that honey should never be subjected to heat hence milk should be of room temp or luke warm. Another fact is honey and ghee together should always be taken in unequal quantity. You can mix 2tsps of ghee + 1tsp of honey to a cup of luke warm milk.
- Fourth month – The fourth month regimen recommends intake of fresh unsalted butter with crystal sugar.
- Fifth month – Fifth month regimen suggests increased intake of ghee alone or along with food. Minimum of 7-8 tsps of ghee should be consumed. Where ever ghee is mentioned it means preferably cow’s ghee.
- Sixth month – Ghee medicated with sweet herbs like Liquorice, Shatavari, should be taken early morning at empty stomach.
- Seventh month – Sixth month regimen should be continued in seventh month.
- Eighth month – Sweet gruel prepared in milk proves beneficial if eaten in this month. You can have gruel made of rice, sooji, wheat vermicell, etc. Gruel should be taken once a day.
- Ninth month – Anuvasan Basti with medicated oil should be administered in the last month. It enables the foetus to acquire its normal position and helps in attaining favourable conditions for normal labor.
Sushruta explains the following rules to be followed by the pregnant woman till the delivery.
- Immediately on the ascertainment of her pregnancy the woman should avoid all kinds of physical labour, sexual intercourse, fasting, day sleep, things that emaciate the body, late nights, indulgence in grief and fright, journey by carriage or any kind of conveyance that causes jerky movements.
- Sneha karmas (Oliation internal and external), Rakta mokshana(bloodletting), Vegadharana(controlling natural urges) are completely avoided.
- From the first day of conception the lady should be joyful, wear clean and white garment.
- Engage herself in peace giving activities.
- Live in devotion to the gods, brahmins, elders and teachers.
- She should not touch/ come in contact with unclean, deformed, maimed persons.
- She should forego the use of fetid smelling things.
- Avoid dreadful sights, painful or agitating sounds and use of dry, stale, dirty food as well as that stored overnight.
- Long and distant walks from home to resorts, cremation grounds, solitary retreats, chityas(a haunted or deified tree) and sitting in the shadow of the tree should be absolutely forbidden.
- Indulgence in anger, fright or other agitating emotions of the mind should be deemed as injurious.
- To carry heavy loads, to talk in a loud voice should be refrained from.
- The practice of constant oil massage, udwarthanm (rubbing or cleaning the body with fragrant unguents or powders), etc should be given up.
- Exercises which cause fatigue are discontinued.
- The couch and the bed of a pregnant woman should be low, soft, and guarded on all four sides by a number of soft pillows or cushions.
- Her food should be sweet, palatable (hridya), well cooked, prepared with appetizing drugs, unctuous and drava (liquid consistency).
Charaka explains the garbhopaghatakara bhavas (factors that damage the fetus) as follows.
- The fetus dies in the womb or expelled out prematurely or dries up if the woman sits on rough, uneven or hard seat, suppresses urge of wind, urine, stools, undergoes strenuous exercises, takes hot food and eats very little food.
- The fetus may delivered untimely by injury, compression, frequent looking at ditches, wells, waterfalls, traveling on a conveyance with excessive jerk, or hearing unpleasant words and loud sounds.
- If she constantly lies down in supine position, the umbilical cord gets twisted around the neck of the fetus.
- The pregnant woman who sleeps in open place and moving out in night gives birth to an insane.
- If she indulges in quarrels and fights the progeny will be epileptic.
- One indulged in sexual intercourse gives birth to an ill-physiqued, shameless progeny.
- If she is always under grief, the child will be timid, underdeveloped or short lived.
- One thinking ill of others gives birth to a harmful, envious and woman devoted child.
- One who sleeps constantly will give birth to a drowsy, unwise child with a deficient digestive power.
- If pregnant woman takes wine constantly her child will be always thirsty, poor in memory and unstable mind.
- One who uses pork regularly during pregnancy will have an offspring with red eyes, obstructed respiration and very rough body hair.
- One who uses fish constantly during pregnancy will have a progeny with delayed closure of eyes or stiff eyes.
- One who uses sweet things constantly during pregnancy will give birth to an offspring suffering from prameha (urinary disorders), dumbness and obesity.
- If she uses sour things constantly during pregnancy, her offspring will suffer from internal hemorrhage, skin diseases and eye diseases.
- On using salt thing constantly the offspring will suffer from early wrinkles, premature graying of hairs and baldness.
- On using pungent things constantly the offspring will suffer from semen deficiency or infertility.
- The pregnant lady who takes bitter things constantly will give birth to shoshi(consumptive),weak and underdeveloped progeny.
- The pregnant lady who uses astringent things constantly will give birth to a blackish progeny who will also suffer from bloatedness of abdomen and udavartha (upward movement of wind in the abdomen).
- The offspring of a lady who used excess godha mamsa (Alligator) will suffer from sharkara and ashmari. renal or (bladder stone)
Monthly regimens to be followed by pregnant lady (masanumasika charya)
- She should drink Anupaskrta sheeta dugdha ( non processed cold milk ) in proper quantity.
- She should eat saatmya bhojana, morning and evening. (Ch.Sh. 8)
- She should take processed cold milk.
- First 12days She should take Ksheerodhbhava sarpi( ghee extracted from milk) processed with Shaliparni and Palasha, followed by cold water which is pre boiled and cooled in golden or silver vessel.(anupana)
- She should take liquid / semisolid saatmya food that has madhra rasa (sweet), sheeta guna(cold in potency), in the morning and evening.
- Should not take Abhyanga(smearing the body with unctuous substance) and udwarthanam(rubbing the body with powders), and the doshakara bhavas( factors that damage the fetus) upto 5th month.(A. S.Sh 3)
- She should take Madhura(sweet), Sheetala(cold in potency), and Drava aahara (liquid food). ( Su. Sh. 10)
She should drink milk processed with madura aushadhas (sweet category drugs). (Vagbhatacharya mentions the same.) Sushruta recommends madhura (sweet), sheetala (cold), drava (liquid) food, in second month also.
Charaka and vagbhata recommends processed milk along with madhu(honey) and sarpi(ghee).
Sushruta recommends Shastika shaali (variety of rice that grows in 60 days) with milk.
Charaka says in the fourth month the pregnant lady should drink milk along with 1 aksha i.e. 12 gms of butter.
Sushruta recommends her to drink milk with butter, eat hridya (desired) food along with jangala (desert animal) meat, shashtika rice with curd.
Vagbhata advices to drink milk processed with sweet drugs along with one aksha quantity of butter.
Charaka and Vagbhata say in fifth month the lady should take ghee extracted from milk.
Sushruta recommends shashtika rice with milk and ksheera sarpi (ghee extracted from milk).
Charaka and Vagbhata recommends the ksheerasarpi (ghee extracted from milk) processed with drugs of sweet category (madhura oushadha).
Sushruta advices that in 6th month she should take ghee processed with Gokshura in adequate quantity or Yavagu (gruel) prepared with Gokshura .
Charaka and Vagbhata advices to follow the regimen of 6th month in the 7th month also.
Sushruta recommends her to take a ghee processed with Prithakparni in 7th month.
Charaka advices her to take a gruel(yavagu) mixed with ghee and milk in the 8th month. Acharya Bhadrakapya fears that by drinking this yavagu(gruel) in 8th month the baby may suffer from Paingalya (yellowish discoloration of the skin). But Acharay Aatreya says though the baby develops paingalya , by drinking this yavagu in the 8th month the pregnant lady will give birth to a strong, healthy, beautiful baby with a pleasant complexion, voice and built. Vagbhata’s regimen for the 8th month pregnant lady is similar to that of Charaka. Along with that he also prescribes Asthapana vasti(un-unctuous enema) using Badara leaf decoction, palala (Seasame paste), milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, Madanaphala, ghee, madhu. This aasthapana vasti helps to clear the stagnated impurities inside the intestine. After wards an anuvasana vasti (unctuousenema) should be administered using madhukadi madhura oushadha siddha thaila (oil prepared with sweet category of drugs) in order to make the wind to move in downward direction (anuloma) because the pregnant lady who’s wind movement is in downward direction will deliver the baby without any difficulties.
After the vasti the lady should take ksheerayavagu (gruel prepared with milk) mixed with meat soup till delivery.
Sushruta also advices to give asthapana vasti to the pregnant lady in the 8th month in order to clear the retained impurities and to direct the wind in the downward direction. The asthapana vasti is administered using the mixture of badarodaka, bala, atibala, shatapushpa, palala, milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, madanaphala, honey, ghee. After administering asthapana vasti, anuvasana vasti should be given using the oil prepared with sweet category of drugs and milk.
In the 8th month she should take unctuous gruels and meat soup of wild animals internally till the delivery. It is believed that the body of a pregnant woman thus treated becomes unctuous, gains strength and will have an uncomplicated delivery.
Charaka advices to administer anuvasana vasti in the 9th month. Oil prepared with madhura skandha drugs is used for the unctuous enema. He also advices to do yoni pichu(keeping the cotton swab dipped in oil in the vagina) with the same oil as it helps in oliating the garbha sthana(uterus and garbha marga(vagilal canal).
Vagbhata recommends yoni pichu using the oil processed with sweet category drugs. According to Sushruta the pregnant lady should enter the Sootikagara (a special house built with all facilities to conduct the delivery and to nurse the child) in the 9th month after checking good time and start living there.
Why should a pregnant lady follow these regimens?
Vagbhata and Charaka says the pregnant woman who follows above regimens will have a mridu(soft) kukshi(abdomen), kati(hips), parshwa(waist), prista(back), skin and nails. Her bala(physical strength as well as immunity) and complexion will also improve. Vayu will move in downward direction. Her mala(stools), mootra(urine) and jarayu(amniotic membrane) will be expelled out through their respective routes without complications. She will give birth to a icchita(desired), shresta(famous), deerghayau(long life span), and nirogi (healthy) baby easily.
Hence the woman desiring excellent progeny should particularly refrain from unwholesome diet and behavior.
What are the symptoms shown by the woman who is ready to deliver the baby and how is delivery conducted in Ayurveda?
In modern texts the delivery process is explained in 3 stages. Similarly in ayurveda also the whole process of delivery is explained in 3stages.
The pregnant lady should enter the well equipped sootikagara in the 9th month after checking good time and wait for the symptoms of delivery.
1st stage: Premonitory symptoms of delivery
Exhaustion of the body parts(Klamo gatranam), malaise on face, laxity in eyes, feeling of the loosening of the bondage from the chest, downward movement of the womb, heaviness of the lower parts of the body, Pricking pain in groins, perineum, waist, belly, sides and back, discharge from the vagina, lack of desire for food. Then gradually the delivery pains and amniotic fluid leakage follows.
2nd stage of delivery:
When the delivery pain begins, the bed should be made on the ground and the lady should be made to sit on the soft bed. Ladies with good qualities should attend her to educate and console her.
In spite of feeling the delivery pains , if she doesn’t deliver the baby the following steps , by which the fetus starts moving down are to be followed.
- She should be asked to get up and take one pestle and pound the grains in the mortar slowly, in between she should take deep breathings and move around. But Lord Atreya disagrees with this. He says that severe exercise is always contraindicated for the pregnant woman particularly at the time of delivery because at this time all her dhatus and doshas are in mobile state, vayu(wind) impelled by the exercise with the pestle will kill both mother and fetus. Hence holding of the pestle is discarded only deep breathing and walking are performed.
- The powder of ela kusta, langali, vacha, chitraka, chirabilwa and chavya should be smelt by the woman frequently. Or the smoke of the bhoorja patra or shimshapa sara may be inhaled.
- In between the waist, flanks, back and legs should be massaged with the luke warm oil.
When it is felt that the fetus leaving the cardiac region is entering the pelvic region , is being fixed above the urinary bladder, the delivery pains are getting intensified and the foetus is moving downwards then at this stage she should be made to lie down on a cot and advised to strain.
One lady should chant “kshitijalam——— kartikeeyabhirakshatu” in her ear. Another lady should advise the woman not to strain in the absence of pains because her efforts goes in vain and her progeny may be deformed or may be afflicted with dyspnoea, cough, phthisis(shosha) and spleen disorders. So should follow the instructions of attending ladies. Initially when the pains are mild she should strain mildly, and gradually with stronger effort .The attending ladies should keep encouraging her saying, “just delivered a worthy son”. Thus she is filled with joy.
3rd stage of delivery:
- Immediately after the child birth one should look for placenta(apara). In case if it has not expelled out , one of the attending ladies should press the area above the navel region with her right hand , hold her on the back with left hand and shake her body strongly. The pelvic region of the delivered woman should be rubbed with the attending lady’s heel. Her buttocks should be pressed strongly.
- The delivered lady’s throat and palate should be touched with the tip of her hair.
- The vaginal area should be fumigated with the leaves of bhoorja, kaachamani and slough of the serpent.
- The paste of kusta, taaleesapatra is given to drink with one of the liquids like balwaja yusha or maireya or suramanda or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali.
- The paste of sookshmaela, devadaru, kushta, naagara, vidanga, pippali, agaru, chavya, chitraka, upakunchika or the tip of the right ear of the living untamed bull, pounded on a grinding stone should be kept soaked in one of the liquids like balwaja yusha, maireya, suramanda, kulattha yusha, decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. For one muhurtha duration. Then filtered and administered to the delivered woman.
- A cotton swab soaked in the oil prepared with shatapushpa, kusta, madanaphala and hingu are placed in her vagina.
- An anuvasana vasti(oil enema) should be given with same oil.
- An aasthapana vasti should be administered using the paste of madanaphala, jeemoota, ikshwaku, dhamargava, kutaja, kritavedhana, hastipippali, along with one of the liquids like balwja yusha or suramanda or maireya or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. This non-unctuous enema makes the body expel the adhered placenta along with flatus, urine and stool.
1st stage of delivery: (aasanna prasava lakshanas)
The premonitory symptoms of the delivery are same as explained by Charaka.
- Klamogatranam( exhaustion of the body parts)
- Nirmukta bandhane ivaksheeni ( feeling if loosening of eyes)
- Nisteevika(excess salivation)
- Mootra pureesha bahulyam(increased urge to pass urine and stools)
- Shithila kukshita( loosened feeling in the abdomen)
- Adhogurutwa(heaviness in the lower parts of the body)
- Anannabhilasha( no desire for the food)
- Vedana in hridaya, kati, basti, vamkshana(pain in the cardiac, hip, pelvic, groins) area.
- Toda, bheda, shoola, sphurana in yoni region(pricking, cutting twitching type of pain in the vaginal area)
2nd stage of delivery:
When the head of the fetus starts showing in the vaginal opening,
- A fruit having male name is to he given in her hand to hold during the delivery. Yavagu(gruel) with plenty of ghee should be given to drink.
- She is made to lie down on her back , both the legs folded in the knee joint (lithotamy position), covered with a clean cloth except in the abdominal area. Then ashankhaniya(non suspicious), priyadarshana(pleasant and loving_, parinata vayasa(expert and elderly), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting delivery), pragalbha(honest), kritha nakha(with trimmed finger nails) ladies should attend her to give her the courage and to console her.
- The powder of any one of the kushta, langali, ela, vacha, chavya, chitraka, chirabilwa should be smelt by her every now and then.
- Or she is made to inhale the smoke of any one of the drugs like bhoorja patra, shimshapa, and sarjarasa.
- Waist, back, hip, thigh region of the woman should be gently massaged with lukewarm oil.
With all these procedures the foetus starts moving down further and will show symptoms such as the foetus completely enters the abdominal area and leaves the cardiac region, it will get fixed near the basti shira( above the bladder) and the intensity of the pains will gradually increase.
If with these procedures the fetal head does not descend then the lady should strain strongly,walk around in the sootikagara and take deep breathings or yawning frequently. Then follow these procedures. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice the lady is made to lie down on the cot . One attending lady should gently massage the vaginal orifice in anuloma gati(downward direction). Should press the buttock area with her feet. Another attending lady should instruct her to strain strongly when the pain appears and tell her happily that she will deliver a baby boy. The 3rd lady should chant the garbha prasava mantra in the woman’s ear.
The woman should strain slowly with less pressure in the beginning of the 2nd stage. When the fetal head starts showing she should strain with complete pressure till the baby comes out.
What should be done in the obstructed labour?
- Fumigate the vaginal area with the slough of black serpent and madanaphala.
- Tie the root of hiranya pushpa on the hands and legs.
- The beads made up of the roots of suvarchala or vishlya(langali)are worn on neck and hands.
In most of the normal cases the placenta is expelled out on its own. If it is not expelled on its own then Vagbhatachrya explains to follow these steps.
- The area above the navel region is pressed with right hand and hold the back with left hand and shake her body strongly.
- Press the pelvic area with the heel of the foot and press the buttocks strongly.
- Touch the throat and palate with the tip of the hair
- Fumigate the vagina with the leaves of bhoorja, kachmani and slough of black serpent. Or fumigate with bhoorja patra and guggulu.
- Apply the ghee prepared with shaalimoola and fumigate the vaginal area with katkla, alabu, jalini, nimba and slough of black serpent.
- If all of the above procedures fail then apply ghee on the clean hand with nails already trimmed is inserted into the vagina along with the path of the umbilical cord and remove the placenta.
Acharya Sushrutha also instructs that in the 9th month the pregnant woman should enter the sootikagara after checking good time etc.
- Pain in kati(hips) and prishta(back).
- Feeling of urge to pass stools and urine.
- Mucus discharge from the vagina.
- These symptoms indicate that the lady is ready to deliver the baby. Immediately her body should be anointed with oil and washed with warm water and a fruit having of masculine name is given in her hand. Then plenty of yavagu(gruel) should be given to her with ghee.
- She should lie down on a soft and spacious bed in supine position.
- Parinata vayasaha(old), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting the delivery), karthita nakhaha(with trimmed nails) ladies should attend her.
- One lady should gently massage her vagina in anuloma gati(downward direction), and instruct her to strain when she feels the pain. When there is mild pain in pelvis, supra pubic area she should strain lightly. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice, she should strain strongly till the baby comes out. If she strains in the absence of pains she will deliver a mooka(dumb), badhira(deaf), kubja(short), vyastha hanu(dislocated jaw), moordhabhighata(head injury), kasa(cough), shwasa(breathing difficulties), shoshi(imaciated) and vikata(changed in appearance or ugly) baby.
- In case of abnormal presentations, it should be corrected to a normal one.
- In case of obstruction to the foetus in vagina then fumigate the vagina with the slough of black serpent or pindeetaka(madanaphala).
- The roots of langali or suvarchala, or vishalya should be tied around the neck, waist and legs.
Sootika paricharya(postnatal care):
- Once the placenta is expelled out , when the mother feels hungry one of the fats like ghee, oil, vasa( muscle fat), majja(bone marrow fat)should be mixed with panchacola powder given to her according to the suitability and digestive capacity. After she has taken the ghee and oil and wrapped round with a big clean cloth bandage so that vayu(wind) may not find any space to produce a disorder.
- After the fat is digested, she should drink yavagu(gruel) prepared with pippali etc, and added with unctuous substance.
- She should take hot water shower both the times before the intake of fat and gruel
- This procedure should be followed for 5 or 7 days and later on nourishing food should be given to her.
- Sootika should be anointed with bala thila soon after delivery. When she feels the hunger, one of the 4 fats, which will be digested in whole day should be mixed with panchcola powder or the powder of ajamoda, upakunchika, chaya, chitraka, vyosha, saidhava is given to her after considering her saatmya.
- If the lady is not suitable for snehapana( oral intake of unctuous substance), then the fat should be processed with wind alleviating drugs or hraswa panchamoolas and administered to her.
- Immediately after the snehapana her abdomen is applied with ghee and oil or any yamaka(combination of two fats) and wrapped tight with a long and strong cloth, so that the wind does not get any space to cause a disorder.
- Once the ghee is completely digested a watery yavagu prepared with panchakola powder or ajamoda, etc powder is given to her along with vidaryadi gana decoction and milk in adequate quantity.
- Before drinking the fat and the yavagu she should have a warm water shower.
- These procedures should be followed for 3or 5or 7days, followed by yava, kola, kulattha yusha(soup) and light food for next 12 days.
- Later on considering her digestive capacity nourishing foods like jangala mamsa rasa(meat soup of wild animal), etc are given to her.
- She should always drink boiled and cooled water.
- Now onwards she can undergo abhynga(full body oil application), udwarthana(rubbing the body with powders), parisheka(pouring warm liquids on the body), avagaha(tub bath) and she can take foods prepared with jeevaneeya(life promoting), brihmaniya(nourishing), madhura(sweet), vatahara(wind alleviating), hridya(good for heart) drugs internally.
These food habits will nourish the lady who has become weak due to pregnancy, delivery, etcand will give her a good health.
These regimens are to be followed for one and a half month or 45 days. For these 45 days the delivered woman is called sootika. After 45 days she can get back to her normal food habits. Some acharyas mention that these regimens are to be followed till she gets her menstruation.
- The body of the delivered lady is anointed with Bala thaila and treated with vatahara(wind alleviating) decoction internally and externally.
- If the impurities are there in the body , then Gudodaka(jaggery water) with panchakola powder is given to her till the impurities are expelled out of the body. i.e. 2 to 3 days.
- When the discharge becomes normal a gruel prepared with vidarigandhadi gana decoction, milk or fat for 3 days.
- After 5 to 6 days she can take shashtika rice prepared with yava kola kulattha decoction and jangala mamsa rasa, according to her digestive capacity.
- These regimens are to be followed for 45days or one and a half month, after which she can get back to her normal food habits.
- Some acharyas advise to follow these regimens till she gets menstruation.
New born care( sadya prasoota shishu upachara):
While the steps are being taken to expel the placenta one group of the attending ladies should perform following actions in respect of the new born child.
- A sound should be produced by striking or rubbing two stones together near the base of the neonate’s ear.
- Sprinkle cold or hot water on the face of the newborn. Thus the child recovers the vital breath which was stopped due to the distress so far.
- If the child is not showing any movements he should be fanned with a winnowing basket(shoorpa) till he recovers.
- Once he recovers breath and becomes normal, a warm water bath is given.
- His palate, lips, tongue, throat should be cleaned with a cotton swab which is wrapped around the tip of the clean finger.
- After cleaning the oral cavity, a cotton swab dipped in fatty substance is kept over the anterior fontanel.
- Then induce vomiting by rubbing the mixture of saindhva lavana and ghee on the tongue.
After following above initial regimens to the child the umbilical cord should be cut.
- Fix a point on the umbilical cord 8 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus.
- Both sides of the point should be held tight and cut with a sharp, half edged golden/silver/ steel instrument.
- The end of the attached portion should be tied with a thread and tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
- If the umbilicus suppurates, then the oil prepared with lodhra, madhuka, priyangu, devadaru and haridra kalka should be applied and the fine powder of same drugs should be sprinkled on the umbilicus.
- After the cord cutting mixture of honey and ghee in unequal proportion which is processed with mantras is rubbed on newborn’s tongue or is made to lick .
- Similarly after chanting mantras the newborn is made to suck the right breast of the mother.
- A pot filled with water is kept on the head side of the newborn after chanting mantras.
General measures to protect mother and newborn:
The maternity home should be surrounded by branches of aadaani, khadira, karkandhu, peelu, parushaka trees.
- The seeds of sarshpa(mustard), atasi, tandula, kanakanika are scattered all over the maternity home.
- The oblation of offering of rice to the fire should be performed twice a day till the namakarana samskara(naming ceremony) of the child.
- At the door of maternity home a wooden pestle is kept obliquely.
- The drugs like vacha, kushta, kshemaka, hingu, sarshapa, atasi, lashuna, kanakanika are well tied in a cloth bag and tied at the front door. The same should be worn by the mother and the newborn in the neck and also put in the cooking vessels, water jars, cot, and both the panels of the door. These drugs help in repelling evil spirits.
- There should be a fire burning constantly with kanakanika, or tinduka wood within the maternity home.
- The attending women and friends should keep up the whole night near the mother and new born for 10 or 12 nights.
- Moreover gifts, auspicious rites, blessings, praises, songs, playing musical instruments should be performed continuously in the maternity home.
- The maternity home should be amply provided with food and drinks and be full of affectionate and happy people.
- The brahmanas proficient in the Atharvaveda too should continuously offer propitiatory oblations to the fire twice a day for the well being of the child as well as the mother.
- On the 10th day the mother along with the baby should take a shower with water processed with aromatic drugs, white mustard and lodhra.
- Wear light, undamaged, clean cloth and auspicious, desirable, light and splendid ornaments.
- Should touch auspicious objects, worship the appropriate deity and receive blessings from brahmanas wearing white cloth and have no deformity.
- Wrap the baby in a clean and undamaged cloth and held facing east or north direction. Then the father of the child should say that the child is offering salutations to the deity and brahmanas. Having said so, the child should be given two names, one based on the nakshatra at the time of the birth and other popular name for the day to day use. The popular name should begin with ghosha(consonant) alphabets and end with antastha(semi-vowels) or ushma. There should not be a letter with vriddhi(diphthong), it should be similar to that in preceding generations and should not be newly established. The constellatory name is similar to the deity of the constellation and should consist two or four letters.
- After the namakarana the child is examined for the knowledge of the span of his life.
Nursery for the child:
- It should be well planned by the architect.
- It should be spacious, beautiful, well ventilated, free from darkness and excess wind, strong, inaccessible for various animals, rats, and insects.
- It should have a distinct places for water, pounding, urinal, lavatory, bathroom and kitchen.
- It should be comfortable in the particular season, equipped with cot, chairs and beddings according to the season.
- Protective measures, offerings, auspicious rites, oblations and expiatory rites should be performed well there.
- It should be full of clean and elderly people, physician and affectionate people.
- The beddings, chairs and coverings for the child should be soft, light, clean and perfumed.
- Soiled cloths should be discarded. If there are no additional ones the same may be used after they are washed, dried and well fumigated.
- For fumigation of clothing’s, cots, beddings and coverings the drugs like yava, sarshapa, atasi, hingu, guggulu, vacha, choraka, vayastha, golomi, jataila, palamkasha, ashokarohini and slough of serpent mixed with ghee are used.
- Amulets made of the tip of the right horn of an alive rhinoceros or deer or wild bull should be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka or whatever indicated by the brahmanas conversant in Atharvaveda may also be used for wearing.
- Toys for the child should be of various shapes, sound producing, beautiful, not heavy, without sharp edges, big (so that can not enter into the mouth) and should not be terrifying.
Behaviour of other people with the child:
- The child should not be frightened. Hence when the cries or does not eat or is attracted to some other things, one should not try to subside him by frightening by calling the names of rakshasas, pishachas, putanas, etc.
- If the child falls sick, then the physician should start the treatment after examining cautiously the constitution, etiology, premonitory symptoms, symptoms and therapeutic suitability. The drugs selected should be sweet, mild, light, fragrant, cold in nature. Because the children are suited to such measures and they get cured from the same.
- In case of healthy baby, he should be maintained on the code of conduct for healthy and using the things contrary to the place, time and his self constitution.
- The unwholesome habits should be gradually changed to the wholesome ones and thus all unwholesome should be avoided. Thus he attains the excellence of strength, complexion, physique and lifespan.
- In this way the child should be looked after till he is an adult and gets the skills to acquire virtue and means of sustenance.
- As soon as the child is born, the child is born the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
- His body should be applied with bala thaila.
- A sound should be produced by striking two stones together near the base of the new born’s ear.
- If the child does not show any movement, he should be fanned with a winnowing basket, till he recovers and chant mantras in his right ear.
- Once the child regains breath and becomes normal or looks healthy, his umbilical cord should be cut by tying it in two points with a silk thread 4 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus. The cord is cut with a sharp edged instrument. The stump is tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
- The umbilicus is anointed with Kushta thaila.
- Then a warm water shower is given using water processed with any one of the drugs like ksheerivriksha or sarva gandha dravyas or red hot gold or silver or kapittha patra.
- The newborn’s tongue, throat and lips should be cleaned gently with the tip of tarjani(fore finger) wrapped with cotton.
- One harenu matra of paste of indri, brahmi, shankhapushpi, vacha, honey and ghee is taken on a golden spoon or aswattha leaf , chanted with mantras by touching it with the tip of kusha is given to the new born. This helps to improve the medha(intelligence), aayu(life span), bala(strength) of the new born.
- Similarly the powder of brahmi, bala, ananta, shatavari can also be given to the new born.
- Then the newborn is made to vomit by giving saindhvalavana and ghee. This emesis helps to clear the chest, throat and it makes the child’s body lighter and improves the appetite.
- Then jatakarma should be done according to the praajapatya vidhi.
- Achaya vagbhata says that the breast milk secretion starts on 3rd or 4th day of the delivery. So what should be given to the newborn for those 3 days? He says On the first day ananta mixed with honey and ghee after purifying with mantras. On the 2nd and 3rdday lakshmana processed with honey and ghee is given. On 4th day ghee should be given two times and the breast feeding should be started. The quantity of the ghee on 4th day should be equal lent to the quantity that can be held in child’s own palm(panitala).
- Every day a cotton swab dipped in oil should be kept in the ear passage and on the shringataka region.
- The child should be made to sleep on a soft cloth bed with head pointing east or north direction. A pot filled with water and cleansed with mantras is placed on the head side. Similarly two more pots should be placed on both sides of the entrance door.
- The branches of aadari, vidari, badari, khadira, nimba, peelu, parushaka are used for fanning child. Branches of the same drugs should be placed on all four sides of the maternity home.
- The seeds like sarshapa, atasi, kanakanika are scattered inside as well as out side of the maternity home.
- The oblation should be done in the morning and evening.
- Maternity home should be fumigated using guggulwdi dhoopa explained in vranatreatment.
- The brahmanas who are proficient in atharvaveda should chant maayuri, mahamaayuri, aaryaa, ratnaketu, dhaarini in the morning and evening.
- The drugs like hingu, vacha, turushkara, rakshoghna(mustard) are well tied in a cloth bag and tied on the front door. The same should worn by the newborn and mother in the neck.
- Similarly mantras like aaryaa, parna shabari, aarya aparaajita are written on the bhoorja patra with gorochana, tied in a piece of cloth and worn by newborn child and mother. The same should be tied on the sides of the cot.
- At the entrance door of the maternity home , a pestle should be kept obliquely.
- A holy fire should be lit using tinduka woods and mustard, kandaka(rice) should be offered to this fire in the morning and evening.
- Friendly and pleasant ladies should stay inside the maternity home.
- On the sixth night, a special care should be taken to protect the newborn child by doing bali(religious offering) and homa(oblations to god by putting ghee into the fire). All friends and relatives should keep up on this night.
- On the 10th or 12th day depending on their kula, gotra, aachara, etc the father should do the namakarana samskara.
- Naming ceremony can be done on 10th,12th or 100th day or after one year. On the day of naming ceremony , a paste of manahshila, haratala, gorochana, agaru, chandana should be applied on child’s body.
- The rules for selection of the name is similar to Acharya Charaka’s explanations.
- After the naming ceremony the child should be examined for the knowledge of the span of life.
- It should be well planed by an architect , completely equipped, clean, well ventilated and lighted. Elderly ladies and a physician should be there inside the nursery. It should be free from insects, rodents, etc.
- Nursery should have distinct places for bathing, etc.
- The mattress, bed covering, etc of the child should be soft, washed and dried fumigated with the rakshoghna dravyas ( drugs that protect from the evil spirits).
- The cloths and beddings should be fumigated with vacha, ghee, kushta, shreevestaka, sarshapa.
- One should not suddenly wake up the sleeping baby.
- Soon after waking up one should not lift him high, by doing so he will be frightened and his urine and stools will be obstructed.
- The paste of honey, amalaki, vyosha, brihatimoola, saindhava lavana should be applied into the oral cavity to reduce the salivation of the child.
- Amulets made of tip of right horn of the alive rhinoceroses, deer or wild bull to be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka can also be used for wearing in the hands, head and neck. These things will improve the aayu(life span), medhaa(intelligence), smriti(memory) and swsthya(health) of the child. It also protects the child from raakshasas(evil spirits).
- In the 4th month the child should be brought out of the maternity home. The child should be well dressed and should do namaskar(showing respect by bowing down) to the devatas(gods) before going out. The child should follow agni and skandha.
- In the fifth month the child should be made to sit on the floor which is smeared with gomaya(cow dung) and offered oblations.
- While sitting the child’s back should be supported and the back, hips should be gently massaged.
- In the 6th month Annaprashana samskara should be done. As the quantity solid food intake increases the breast feeding should be reduced gradually.
- In 6th, 7th or 8th month ear piercing should be done.
- Up to one year the child should not be taken for outing in hot or bright sun. Any kind of shining objects, lightning and fire should not be shown to the child.
- When the teething process starts, gradually the breastfeeding should be weaned off. Weaning off should be tried with sneha(love) and prema(affection), when these does not work out, pastes should applied on the nipples which looks like a wound .
- Once the weaning process is started the milk processed with laghu panchamoola should be given to the child. Light and nourishing foods should be started gradually.
- When the breastfeeding is completely stopped the child should be given a modaka(laddoo) prepared with priyalamajja, madhuka, madhu, laaja, sitopala.
- Saktu(the fried barley flour) of baala bilwa, ela, sharkara, laja also can be used. This preparation acts as agnideepaka.
- A tarpana of dhaataki pushpa, sharkara, laaja is used as sangrahi
- After weaning if the child’s appetite increases abnormally, treatments of atyagni roga or paarigarbhika roga are done.
- Then aacharya explains the quality of the care taker of the child.
- If the child does not listen to his elders or throws tantrums, the child should not be scared by parents.
- One should protect the child from jumping from heights and from the cloths falling on the face.
- The place where the child plays should be free from metal pieces, stones, weapons, mud dust, etc. The play area should be sprinkled with water processed with vidanga or maricha or nimba.
- The toys should make pleasant noise, should have pictures/ drawings on them, They should not be scary ones, should be huge, should not have sharp edges, should have the shapes of cow, horse, etc, animals or fruits.
- When the child attains the appropriate age to pursue the education , he should be taught dharma(customary observances of a caste, etc), vinaya(discipline), etc which helps him to control his horse like indriyas(sense organs) during his yauvanavastha(young age).
- Abhyanga(oil application on the body), udwarthana( rubbing the body with powders) and snana(shower) are done everyday.
- Oil for Abhyanga is prepared using sahadeva, shaliparni, harenu, shwetakamala, chandana, brihati phala, tarkari, sarshapa, kushta, saindhava, ashwagandha, eranda, tila, apaamarga tandula, aatmagupta phala and goat’s milk. This oil helps to keep away all evil spirits and it is balya(that which improves the strength).
- Powder for udwarthana:- The powder of same drugs are used along with 3 parts of chikkisa(fried yava choorna), curd and honey.
- Powder of moorva moola, rajani dwaya, yava or kulattha powder or ashwagandha powder can also be used for udvarthana.
- Water for bath:- The water for bath should be processed with sarvaoushdhi (eladi gana) paste.
Seasonwise care for the child:
- In cold season (sheetakala) and Vasanta ritu the water for bathing should be processed with aaragwadhadi gana drugs. The ghee processed with vatsakadi gana drugs should be used internally for the child.
- In greeshma ritu due to wind, hot sun(aatapa), sweat the child will attain klama(tiredness). So the milk processed with jeevaneeya gana drugs is to be given to the child in the morning. Or Saktu(fried barley flour) with adequate quantity of ghee and sita(candy sugar) can be given to the child.
- If the child has the habit to drink more water then the ghee should not be given.
- If the plain ghee is saatmya for the child, the ghee should be processed with kakoli, shrkara, meda, vamshalochana, yastimadhu and jeevaka.
- A lepa(application of the paste) of kutannata or any cooling herb is applied on the child’s forehead.
- Ghee processed with vidaryadi gana decoction, raasna, sarala, varshbhu, hingu, saindhava, devadaru can also used for internal use.
- In sharad ritu ghee extracted from milk and processed with prapaundareeka, madhuka, soopyaparni, duralabha, priyalamajja, kakoli, vidari, katphala, amruta, draksha, ajashringi, dugdhika, ksheerashukla, ashwagandha, shringi, madhooka kusuma, meda, rishabhaka, jeevaka is used internally.
- Brahmi gritha or saraswata gritha also can be used.
- Powders of vacha, little swarna bhasma mixed with honey and ghee is made to lick by the child till he becomes one year old to develop his medha(intelligence), vani(speech) and agni(digestive fire).
- Powders of hareetaki, pippali, kushta, haridra, sariva, vacha, mamsi, kaidarya in equal proportions are mixed with equal quantity of brahmi choorna. This mixture of powders should be given to the child with ghee up to one year.
- Powder of above said drugs are mixed with the powder of any one of the drugs like doorva, moorva, brahma suvarchala, lakshmana, shwetakantakari, avyanda, shweta sarshapa, sahasraveerya, phalini, brihatipakwa phala, rohisha in equal quantity and used for children as well as adults.
- One should protect the child from eating mud. Mud eating leads to paandu, shopha, shwasa, kasa, atisara, krimi, vamana, moorcha, agnimaandya, stanya dwesha, angaruk and bhrama.
- The brush should not be used to child till his gums become strong(sthira).
- As soon as the child comes out the jarayu(amniotic membrane) sticking to the face and oral cavity is removed and the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
- A cotton swab dipped in ghee is kept over the brahma randhra/ anterior fontanel.
- Then the umbilical cord should be cut 8angulas away from the umbilicus after tying it with a thread. The stump should be tied to the neck of the newborn.
- After cutting the umbilical cord the child’s face should be sprinkled with cold water. Once the child looks comfortable jaatakarma should be done.
- The mixture of honey, ghee and ananta choorna(gold powder) should be taken in the tip of the anamika(ring finger) and rubbed on the newborn’s tongue.
- Full body abhyanga should be done with bala thaila and washed with warm water processed with one of the drugs like Ksheerivriksha, Sarvagandhodaka(eladi gana or chaturjataka), kapittha pattra or water dipped with hot silver or gold foil.
- According to aacharya sushruta also describes that the breast milk secretion starts on the 4th day. So he advices to give a mixture honey, ghee and ananta powder after chanting mantras, three times a day on the first day. On 2nd and 3rd day ghee processed with lakshmana. On the 4th day a mixture of honey and ghee should be given in swapaanitala matra and the breast feeding should be started.
- The child should be wrapped with silk cloth and made to sleep on a soft bed covered with silk cloth.
- The child should be fanned with peelu, badari, nimba, parushaka branches.
- A cotton swab soaked in oil is kept on the child’s forehead.
- Fumigation should be done with rakshoghna dhoopa.
- The drugs of rakshoghna dhoopa should be tied on hands, legs, neck and head of the newborn.
- Tila, atasi, sarshapa should be scattered inside the maternity home.
- A sacred fire should be lit inside the maternity home.
- The regimens explained in vranitipasaneeya chapter should be followed.
- On the 10th day the newborn’s parents should name the child according to the nakshtra.
How to behave with child?
- The child should be lifted or handled gently as not to cause any discomfort.
- The child should not be scolded nor suddenly roused up from sleep, as it might get frightened.
- The baby should not be suddenly drawn up or suddenly laid down. This may result in the derangement of bodily wind.
- The child should not be made to sit for long time as it might cause kaubjya(short stature).
- The child should be fondled and amused with toys and play things. A child unruffled by these methods becomes healthy, cheerful, intelligent as he grows older.
- The infant should be guarded against exposure to the rain, sun, bright light, lightning, grhachayas and dusta grahas. He should not be taken under the trees/ creepers, into empty houses, nimna sthanas like cave, well, etc.
- The child should not be left alone in an unclean, unholy place nor under the sky(lonely or open place), uneven places. He should not be exposed to heat, cold, storm, rain, dust, smoke and water.
- In the absence of mother’s milk, cow’s milk or goat’s milk should be given to the child in the proper quantity.
- In the 6th month the child should be fed with light and wholesome food.
- The child should protected from evil spirits by keeping him inside the house and by doing the religious rites.
- The education of the child should be commenced at a suitable age and with suitable subjects according to his social varna(caste) or order he belongs to.
- On attaining 25th year he should marry a girl of 12 years.
Drugs to improve the immunity:
The growth, memory, strength, intellect of the child can be improved by using the following medicinal mixtures.
- Swarna powder, kushta, vacha, honey, ghee.
- Mastyakshaka, shankhapushpi, swarna bhasma, honey, ghee.
- Arkapushpi, vacha, swaena powder, honey and ghee.
- Swarna powder, kaidarya, shweta doorva, honey and ghee.
Caesarian section in Ayurveda:
In Sushruta chikista sthana 15th chapter he explains about extraction of garbha shalya(dead foetus) with surgical intervention or decapitation of the foetus.
The live fetus should be delivered with various manipulations.
While explaining the causes for Moodha garbha in Nidana sthana 8th chapter there is a verse saying that if the mother is dead and the foetus is alive then the foetus should be delivered by doing udara vipaatana ( opening the abdomen by putting an incision). But there no description about the udara vipatana on living mother by aacharyas like Sushruta, Vagbhata and Charaka.