Garbhasamskar in Ayurveda: the development of the unborn child
Garbhasamskar- Garbha- Womb/Fetus/Space for the beginning of Life, Samskara- processes/ interventions/ therapies/ treatments for a healthy mother and a healthy fetus.
"Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam" (conserve the health of a healthy person)
The aim of Ayurveda has been very clearly defined in texts dating back thousands of years. Its first and foremost goal is to conserve the health of an individual. That is why this system of medicine goes into the details of the body constitution of each and every individual. An individual comes into existence from the time that he or she is conceived and thus it is important to work on the health of that person right from the time of conception.
The steps to ensure a healthy conception and to maintain the mental and physical health of an unborn child along with the pregnant mother are known as Garbhasamskar. It can be literally translated as samskaras on the garbha or processes that have a positive impact on the fetus.
The word samskara is difficult to translate into English. It can be defined as processes used to change/balance the energy or form of an object. The processes could be related to time, heat, external stimuli, food, sound etc. In the case of Garbhasamskar, they are time, meditation, yoga, pranayam, medicine, diet, garbha samvad (conversation with the fetus), music, Japa yoga, etc.
A healthy pregnancy is a product of planning and not an accident. The treatment for preparing the couple for a planned conception and pregnancy starts 3 months prior to the pregnancy.
The four factors that affect fetal growth are Rutu, Kshetra, Ambu and Beej.
Rutu literally means season. In Ayurveda, it is considered as a combination of the menstrual cycle of the mother-to-be and the season in which the couple plans to conceive.
Kshetra means land, broadly defining environment. In Ayurveda, it is considered as the reproductive system of the woman which includes the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. A healthy reproductive system ensures a healthy environment for the growth of the fetus.
Ambu means water. In Ayurveda, it is considered as the nourishment that the fetus receives. In the first three months, the nourishment is received from the secretions of the uterus itself. Once the placenta is formed, an intricate system of nourishment develops.
Beej means seed. In Ayurveda, it is the male sperm and female ova which carry the genetic material of the parents. Healthy sperms and ova ensure a healthy fetus.
Apart from this, the month-by-month development of the fetus is mentioned in detail in the ancient texts and journals including the time when the fetus can perceive sound, respond to stimuli, etc. This information is used by an Ayurvedic doctor to prepare for the different medicines formulated for the optimum development of the fetus and the health & fitness of the mother. The probability of a healthy baby increases exponentially if the mother stays healthy.
The mental state of the mother affects the baby through her own hormones. Practices like yoga help improve the concentration and intelligence of the baby. Pranayam prepares the mother’s body for labour pains and delivery, increasing her stamina.
In cases where the size of the fetus is smaller than the mother’s pelvis, I have been able to help my patients undergo normal deliveries even though they were advised Caesarean sections due to the position of the fetus.
All my patients who have undergone a Grabhasamskar vouch for the treatment. They have observed a high level of grasping capabilities and concentration levels in their children as well as strong social and interpersonal skills development. Children who have been able to enjoy a Garbhasamskar treatment while they were still in their fetal state are active and fast learners. Although we cannot treat hereditary disorders or congenital anomalies, timely intervention can ensure a reduction in the probability of congenital anomalies. The probability of a child’s ability to deal with hereditary disorders improves.