The Indian History of Prenatal Education

Topics: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Uterus Pages: 3 (736 words) Published: March 9, 2013
Ayurveda and Garbha sanskara (prenatal education)

The Indian History of Prenatal education
The story of Abhimanyu is well known in the Mahabharata. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, learned how to enter the Chakravyuha (the strategic arrangement of warriors to entrap and defeat the enemy) when he was in his mother's womb. Abhimanyu had heard and remembered the narration of the technique.

Ancient Indian medicine has recognized the need for the mental, spiritual and physical preparation of the mother-to-be for the momentous event of childbirth. Ayurveda describes this theory as "Supraja janan" or eu-maternity This "Supraja janan", as conceptualised in Ayurveda, involves the preparation of the couple planning pregnancy, three months prior to conception. Pregnancy should be by choice, and not by chance. The beginning is by pinda shuddhi or the purification of the gametes (sperm and ovum). If the couple is not in a state of mental stability and calmness, even if they are physically fit, they cannot give birth to a healthy child. This mental calmness and stability ("Sathwa Guna") of mind is closely related to ones food habits and many other factors. Abstinence from spicy foods and addictive substances is advised. It is now universally proven that the fetus is not just a mindless mass of flesh, but a highly responsive and evolving human being, capable of receiving, understanding and responding to external stimuli. It, therefore, follows that the fetus has a right to receive positive and enriching feedback or garbha sanskar.

Ayurveda prescribe a particular daily practice for the pregnant woman. Along with the prescription for diet, Yoga and routine body care, instructions are also given for reading material, subjects of discussion, and music and mantras to be listened to.

Development of parent-fetus bonding :
The techniques involve meditation, auto suggestion, self-hypnosis, and visualization (including the highly-effective white light visualization and...
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