Though our holistic whatsapp group consist of majority of parents, we do have yet-to-be parents also in our group. We do often get requests in our group and in private chat, asking about the preparations for a holistic conception. This blog is dedicated to those couples, and for existing parents who are planning for next conception. We will cover the pregnancy and post delivery later.
Garbhadhana as mentioned in ancient Indian texts means gifting the womb or attaining the wealth of womb. It is more of a spiritual act designed in a scientific manner and calculated the best way to produce a healthy, intellectual, beautiful offspring with a long life and best progeny. It was considered as a duty of the married couple to bring into this world such spiritually aware children who are beneficial to parents as well as society.
The garbhadhana is the science by which a human population of civilized, cultured, brilliant disease free offspring with physical strength and other qualities like humanity, sincerity, compassion, spirituality, loyalty, courage that could be generated. The man places his seed in woman to conceive virtuous children. This was practiced as a ceremony – the garbhadhana samskara mostly as private rite of passage. It is one of the sixteen samskaras which are carried out as rituals and regimen representing the symbolic change in the life of individual. Garbha Samskara is made of two words Garbha and Samskara.
Garbha means fetus and Samskara means to replace bad qualities by good ones. It is proposed to impart changes at physical, mental, spiritual and emotional level in the developing embryo.
Susruta says the child born by Garbhadhana samskara will be physically fit, have attractive features and long life and capable of repaying the debts born by the father and helpful to father. The progeny with bad character even if born in high family destroys the reputation of whole family. The method of Garbhadhan samskar for a worth full child, endow future generations with good health, noble quality, high intelligence and improve the innate quality of mankind.
Pre-conceptional care in Ayurveda
In the ancient days, the selection of partners was done using their birth chart, clan, age and maturity of the all Chatus (seven body tissues). They do this to make sure their offspring is free from diseases.
Pre-conceptional care comprises of certain rituals and regime with do’s and dont’s that are to be followed strictly by the father to be & mother. All efforts are taken to provide the best environment for the foetal development.
There are several factors involved in this process including diet & appropriate activities and raising the level of spiritual consciousness. The powerful intention for a baby from both the parents attracts the soul to enter the womb.
Just as healthy plant needs appropriate season, good soil, water, good quality seeds to grow there are four major factors in the couples that makes the conception possible and essentially determine the nature and growth of child. If these four necessities are not fulfilled properly, it may lead to infertility or complications during pregnancy.
Four essential folds for getting Pregnant mentioned by Acharya Sushruta:
- Rutu (Cycle) Shuddhi
The biological clock of the body is related with the reproductive system.The inharmony of the biological cycle leads to many disorders of the reproductive cycle and becomes major concern of infertility. Before conceiving any reasons for infertility (Menstrual cycle disorders, PCOD, Hypothyroidism, Oligospermia in males or any other sexdysfunction) should be corrected and managed
- Kshetra Shuddhi
As a healthy seed needs a fertile soil to grow, a healthy foetus needs a healthy womb to get implanted. The body and mind of the mother needs to be wholesome and purified. The garbhashaya or the womb (Uterus, Ovaries, Vagina) must be purified and healthy ready to receive the baby
- Ambu- Nutritional Mechanism
Before conception the nutritional status of the mother should be ensured. Any metabolic or nutritional disorder for eg anaemia that might affect the baby’s development should be corrected. The nutritional mechanism should be purified so as to fulfill the needs of baby during the nine months of pregnancy
- Bija Shudhi
It is the purification of male and female gametes (sperm and ovum). Garbhanda samskara is said to have its effect on the genetic type of foetus. Prevention of hereditary disorders and congenital anomalies is be achieved along with happy and healthy children by this method.
Before conception, the couple is advised to perform a personalized purification and rejuvenation to product an optimal quantity and quality of ovum and sperm. This process is performed at least six month ahead of conception. The doshas are brought to normalcy and body and mind are well prepared for conception by panchakarma and the following methods:
As a first step the couples undergo detoxifying therapy the panchakarma like vamana virechana basti and uttaravasti to remove the vitialted doshas and any reason for illness
Charaka mentions rejuvenation regime before conception called vajeekarnam for ensuring happy and healthy progeny. The ancient text Charaka Samhita explains- “The aim of vajikaranam is to enable a couple to produce healthy progeny who can assist them to perform their life’s mission (dharma).”
After the panchakarma many formulations such as different medicated ghee are given to male and female to improve their fertility. Men are given medicated ghee and milk preparations. Herbs such as Aswagandha, Kapikachu are generally advised. Women are given preparation of sesame seeds and black gram to enhance ovulation and proper implantation of foetus
- Sattvic diet
The diet should be essentially satvik which is rich in calcium, magnesium, folic acid, B12. Oily, Spicy and processed should be avoided as much as possible. General reproductive foods include Desi milk, Urad dhal, Mung dhal, Honey, Dates, Almonds. Man should take food more with ghee and milk and women should use sesame oil more in her diet
Pujas and homam are performed for getting rid of the complications during pregnancy or problems in conceiving. Couple who wish to beget a healthy and intelligent child can perform homas like purusha sukta homam and santhanagopala homam dedicated to lord Mahavishnu and Gopala Krishna.
Those who are expecting can also perform these puja for healthy and intelligent children and those with children perform it for all round progress and benefit of children. Putra kameshti yagna is mentioned in Ramayana. King Dasaratha performed this yagna to begot his sons
Celibacy of 3 months is suggested before conception especially during the first three days of menstruation. It’s followed to ensure the best quality of male and female gametes. (shukra and rajah). Ayurveda says children conceived during menstruation will have less longevity and deformities such as blindness, deafness, skin diseases and many more consequences even intrauterine death of foetus
- Regimen during menstruation
During her menstruation the lady should observe the Rajaswala paricharya regimen prescribed strictly. All her activities are essentially reduced to provide maximum rest and allow the body to empty and renew itself. She should not indulge in any fatiguing work or exercise. During this period body and mind will be very fragile and this time should be utilized to take rest with least degree of interference physically and mentally. She should not indulge in loud and excessive noise nor hear loud noises. Quick warm showers are advised as the appropriate means of body cleansing. Day sleep and intercourse are straitly avoided. Food should be easily digestible, not too heavy and oily, nor too dry and cold
- Best period for conception
The best period for conception is ritukala that is 12 days from 4th day of menstruation. Selected days for coitus, odd days for achieving female progeny and even days for male progeny (except 11th day and 13th day) are to be considered. The good date for conception is fixed through astrology. Swaathi or Kettai or Chathayam Nakshatra is best for period for conception, provided the couple’s birthday is not on these days. One of the sex selection methods adopted for achieving desired sex of fetus as in Shettles method is days of performing intercourse.
- Rituals and hymn during coitus
Bathed and dressed in fresh white clothes the couples applied with essential oils and flower garland should do the prayers. Following hymn from charaka samhita can be recited in unison to achieve diving blessings from Brahma, Vishnu, Soma and Surya to procure a courageous son.
Aum ahirasi ayurasi sarvata pratishthasi dhaata tvam,dadhaatu vidhaata tvam, dadhatu bramhavarcasa bhava,Brahama brhaspatir vishnu soma surya tatha asvinau, Bhagotha mitra varunau veeram daddaatu me sutaam
This is translated as “O creator and the cosmic truth! Please bless us with a courageous/strong child with a long life and health, with the qualities of Brahma (power to create), Brhaspati (power to alter the future), Vishnu (power to maintain), Soma (power to flourish), Surya (power to be succeed), Mitra (power to love) and Varuna (power to nurture)”.
Observance of all these methods before conception ensure having a good quality sperm and ovum and emotionally and physically healthy child
In Sushruta Samhita 2/46/50 it is said:
Aahaar-aachaara-cheshtaabhir-yaadrisobhih samanvitee |
Stree-pumso samupeyaatam tayoh puthro-api taadrisah ||
In conclusion, diet, temperament and behavior, of the man and woman at the time of physical intimacy, the baby born of such a union will also have a similar temperament. If the couple are not in a state of mental stability and calmness, even if they are physically fit, they cannot give birth to a healthy child. In the end, the objective of practicing a holistic planned approach is to attract a higher soul in a healthy body so that they are blessed with good, virtuous next generous children’s.
In continuation of this I will share some thoughts on pregnancy till delivery and post delivery.