Think of it like a toolkit that has the right tools to sculpt your baby into perfection. It asks for a certain discipline, honouring your body, and nourishing your body & mind with the right inputs. It is now scientifically proven that the unborn baby can not only listen, feel but also respond by using its known way.
What is to be done is called ‘Abhyankar’, that is devoted efforts to stimulate
baby’s senses gently from outside for the maximum developments of its
physical and intellectual ability.
The basic premise is that the baby is not an ‘object’ lying in the womb but a smart, and receptive human-in-development.
The right stimulation from the external world, mainly by the mother, can make a huge development in its mental growth.
When can I start Garbh Sanskar in Pregnancy?
According to the experts, 'Garbh Sanskar' practices should be started three months before conception.
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 “Suprajajanan” or au maternity. It guides couples to prepare for conception not by just working on their fertility but also working on their bodily environments.
The first process is called pindashuddhi 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 (“SathwaGuna”) of mind is closely related to one’s food habits and many other factors.
It calls for a good level of self-control towards abstaining from spicy foods and addictive substances.
This can only happen if we believe that the unborn baby is not just a ball of flesh, but a highly receptive and embryonic human being capable of receiving, perceiving, assimilating and responding to external stimuli.
When you are planning conception, it is ideal to prepare your womb to welcome this new soul. It truly helps, not just in detoxifying, building your fertility, immunity but also mental calmness for flushing your body with positive hormones. How can you prepare your mind and womb? Here are simple steps:
- Listen to holy chants, read spiritual text.
- Eat Satvik foods. Satvik food and Naadi Shuddhi will cleanse and purify your body for a healthy conception.
- Meditate daily.
- Take early-morning walks in the sun.
Do breathing exercises, like:
- Dirga Pranayama 'Three Part Breath'
- Nadi Shodhana 'Alternate Nostril Breathing'
- Shitali Pranayama 'Cooling Breath'
- Ujjayi Pranayama 'Ocean Breath'
- Bhramari Pranayama 'Humming Bee Breath'
- Bhastrika Pranayama 'Bellows Breath'
- Viloma Pranayama 'Against The Wave'
As soon as you get the good news of pregnancy, remember that there is gene environment interaction happening, right away. Your psychological, physiological and genetic environment is impacting the tiny embryo. It’s time to make a schedule of activities to follow Garbh Sanskar practices immediately!
Mother’s bond with the child starts right from the time of conception. The mother can shape up the baby's first impressions. The positive thinking and attitude promote physical wellbeing of the mother and the baby throughout the pregnancy and after.
There is scientific evidence which proves that a baby in the womb can respond to external stimuli that impinge on mum. If she is not happy or is struggling with stress, fear or anxiety during pregnancy it creates negative pressure on the baby’s nervous system.
What are the things to focus on:
- Abhyanga, or oil massage to soothe the mother.
- Healthy, fresh organic food.
- No junk, spicy or sugary food.
- Listening to holy music and chants.
- Mindfulness through meditation.
- Yoga for good blood circulation and oxygenation.
- Positive environment at home.
At week 18, the baby hears sounds inside your body. At week 24, this listening becomes more mature.
A group of pregnant women were encouraged to listen to 20 minutes of Carnatic music everyday. After 20 days, researchers noted advancements in the babies’ reaction times and mobility.
In this trimester, do make a playlist with the Gayatri Mantra/Mantra of your belief in calming raags like raag Yaman and raag Bhairav or a vocal rendition in Raags Bageshri or Bilawal, or a hymn that is family tradition.
Here is a handy list for this trimester. In addition to the suggestions given in previous sections, please add:
- Conversations with the baby.
- Singing to the baby.
- Yoga for pelvic wellness.
- Visualisation exercises during meditation.
- Prayers for the baby that you can write in a journal.
In this trimester, your baby’s hearing capability has developed further. Sounds from outside the mother’s body can also be heard.
Communicating with baby is an important part of Garbha sanskar. Use these techniques:
- Articulating a bright future for the baby in spoken words.
- Visualising the baby inside, getting ready for the correct birth position.
- Listening to classical music.
- Tender massage of the belly.
- Parents talking to each other about the baby.
“Sanskaro hi gunaanttaradhanam” means to substitute bad traits with superior ones. Consider yourself as a scientist in a white coat in a laboratory. Yes, just as that scientist alters the substances he is working with, you too can alter the experiences your baby is getting.
Here is an example to show you how garbha sanskar practices work. When you add even a little bit of curd in milk, that milk loses its character (Prakriti) and is becomes curd which is an abnormal form (Vikruti) but additional when we mix together this curd it additional changes properties to form butter and buttermilk which are still unsteady. After heating the butter, we get a beautiful derivative i.e. ghee.
See how small additions and adjustments keep changing the path of that pot of milk!
Similarly, you too can change your unborn baby’s path by adding sanskars during garbha-vasta (pregnancy).