The socio-cultural development in the Indian subcontinent dates back to as early as the dawn of civilization. Therefore certain traditions have taken deep roots into the thoughts and ideology of the people living there. One such traditional practice is Garbha Sanskar, which attempts to make the journey of pregnancy easier and happier while nurturing the unborn baby.
Motherhood is a unique journey and an unparalleled experience that nobody can explain in words. Women spend a lot of their time during pregnancy dreaming about their little angels and awaiting their arrival very eagerly. It is an instinct for expecting parents to communicate with their unborn baby and talk with the baby. Many East Asian cultures encourage ante-natal practices that involve communicating with the fetus to create a positive environment for its growth.
Garbha Sanskar is one such ancient custom that involves spiritual practices, physical exercises, and meditation techniques to nurture the growth of the fetus. These practices help the holistic development of the baby on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Garbha is the Sanskrit word for the fetus, and Sanskar roughly translates to education or teachings. Garbha Sanskar practices are based on the ability of the fetus to understand the verbal and touch-based communication by those around it.
Science has proven that the fetus can perceive several stimuli around itself as it develops through the nine months of pregnancy. Thus, Garbha Sanskar is not merely an archaic tradition but a medically approved technique. Women witness a roller-coaster ride of emotions during pregnancy, primarily due to constant hormonal levels. The continuous spikes and drops of the hormones also affect the baby’s development during pregnancy. Garbha Sanskar techniques help expecting mothers to remain calm and composed and enjoy their pregnancy with minimal stress.
What Do Ancient Scriptures Say About Garbha Sanskar?
Several Sanskrit language scriptures explain the concept of Garbha Sanskar and why it is crucial for the development of the fetus. The Garbhopanishad is a part of one of the most ancient Hindu scriptures, titled the Upanishad. The book discusses the fetus’s awareness at various stages of its development and the effects of Garbha Sanskar during these stages. Garbhopanishad also states that the fetus remembers its past life and has a sense of good and bad. However, the book mentions that the fetus forgets about its past life during its development.
Garbhopanishad states that good values, ethics, and morals can be inculcated into your child’s behavior successfully even before its birth. A mother follows a healthy diet and exercise regimen during pregnancy since it directly affects her baby’s growth.
Ayurvedic science also believes in the concept of Garbha Sanskar. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science that explains the various subjects of medical studies like Anatomy, Physiology, Surgery, and even Gynecology. Charaka Samhita is one of Charaka’s oldest pieces of literature, one of the most outstanding Ayurvedic scholars of his time. Almost all Ayurvedic doctors and surgeons revere this book. Charak Samhita advocates that Garbha Sanskar plays a vital role in shaping the overall development of the fetus. Ayurvedic science encourages various practices for pregnant women depending on the stage of pregnancy to promote the physical, mental, and emotional health of the unborn child.
A vast amount of new literature explores the close connection between Garbha Sanskar and fetal development.
Garbha Sanskar Essentials
Imagine a Lamaze class, but it focuses on the baby’s development and trains mothers in practices that will nurture their unborn babies well. That is the exact idea of a typical Garbha Sanskar class. The concept, which finds its roots dating back to a very ancient era, is still followed and accepted by many people.
As more people are learning about the efficacy and scientific base of Garbha Sanskar, its practice is also spreading far and wide.
A few activities are commonly included in the traditional Garbha Sanskar practices and are mentioned below.
Meditation is not only a valuable tool in achieving mental and spiritual growth, but it also has a direct impact on your physical health, to know more about the benefits of meditation. Pregnant women can safely meditate from conception till childbirth unless their doctor suggests otherwise. Reciting the chant of Om while meditating creates positive vibrations that are beneficial for the mental and spiritual development of the fetus. Choose to meditate at a fixed time to increase its efficacy. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and sit in a well-light and airy room devoid of any disturbances while you meditate. It is ideal to sit cross-legged on the floor while meditating, but choose a comfortable sitting position if pregnancy makes it difficult to sit on the floor.
‘Pregnancy Yoga’ is a thing, and more and more women are following it religiously these days. There are Yoga classes that teach Yoga postures, meditation techniques, and Pranayama (breathing) exercises suitable for the mother’s health during pregnancy. There are Yoga postures that help promote the proper growth and development of the uterus during pregnancy, thereby indirectly influencing the physical growth of the fetus. Yoga helps to enhance the mother’s mood, which creates a positive intra-uterine environment for the growing fetus. Yoga also promotes mental calmness and spiritual contentment and eases the process of childbirth. Regular Yoga practice reduces the mental stress that most mothers experience regarding delivery and controls the emotional upheaval due to hormonal changes. Every pregnant woman can perform Yoga safely unless her doctor advises against it for medical reasons.
- Music & Books
Music has the potential to stir positive emotions even in the coldest hearts. Scientists have carried out studies that prove that music affects plants as well. Pregnant women are often advised to listen to soothing music, chants that give out positive vibrations, or soft melodies that tug at the heartstrings.
Fetal medicine experts have deduced that the unborn child can perceive sounds before birth. Hence, pregnant women are often suggested to listen to soft music that relaxes their minds and bodies.
There are many pregnancy books to choose from if you are fond of reading. Apart from pregnancy guides that encourage positive thinking and a healthy lifestyle, you can also read a lovely novel or a story that interests you. Read books that will keep you entertained without stressing you out or making you anxious.
- Positive Thinking
Positive thinking has the power to alter the course of your life for the better. Garbha Sanskar teachings have the potential to influence your unborn child’s thought process by changing the way you think. Pregnant women are always advised to remain happy and avoid stressful situations as much as possible. While you cannot stay cheerful all day, every day, one must try to have a positive aura around themselves during pregnancy. Your Garbha Sanskar class may teach various techniques to remain mentally calm and cheerful during your pregnancy. You can practice these techniques throughout the day without any time restrictions.
You can get a customized Garbha Sanskar class based on your physical health, the stage of pregnancy when you choose to attend the class, and your requirements. Here are some tips and tricks you can follow to make your Garbha Sanskar experience genuinely relaxing and fruitful.
Dos And Donts Of Garbha Sanskar
- Always choose a Garbha Sanskar class managed by a certified Yoga and meditation teacher, a certified prenatal teacher, or a certified life coach.
- Consult with your doctor before beginning Garbha Sanskar practices.
- Learn your exercises only from a fitness trainer or a Yoga teacher, depending on what type of physical workout is suitable for you.
- Please stay away from any form of negativity as it may hamper your Garbha Sanskar practices.
- Encourage your partner to participate in your activities to develop a closer parent-child bond with the baby since before birth.
- Inform your trainer immediately if you experience any discomfort while practicing any of your Garbha Sanskar activities.
- Keep in mind that Garbha Sanskar is an attempt to shape the overall health of the unborn child. However, congenital anomalies and disorders that may develop later in life cannot be controlled with Garbha Sanskar activities.
There are many self-help books you can rely on to learn various Garbha Sanskar activities and practices. However, we highly recommend learning from professionals before you set out on your own.
Garbha Sanskar is a subjective practice, and every expecting mother will have different experiences with it. The results of it are very subtle and may not be starkly evident as soon as the child is born. It is futile to compare your Garbha Sanskar experiences with someone else, as pregnancy is different. Enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest, and trust that good practices like Garbha Sanskar are bound to yield positive results!