‘Pregnancy should be by Choice, not by Chance’ – this statement holds true for having a healthy progeny and safe pregnancy. As the ultimate constitution of an individual is determined by the chromosomes of sperm and ovum destined to unite and form zygote from which organism develops, the health status of both the partners is very important for conception.
Normal menstrual cycle, healthy female reproductive system, proper maternal nutrition and healthy sperm and ovum are requisite for conception and healthy child. Photo from Flickr
Ayurveda describes that as proper season, fertile field, water and good quality seeds are essential for good crop, similarly the normal menstrual cycle, healthy female reproductive system, proper maternal nutrition and healthy sperm and ovum are requisite for conception and healthy child.
The regimen followed during pre pregnancy period to achieve conception is called “Garbhadhan Vidhi”.
Specific guidelines have been laid in Ayurveda for Pre pregnancy or Pre conception care.
Suitable partner for marriage
- Should not belong to the same family or caste.
- Should not suffer from infectious diseases including sexually transmitted diseases.
- Should not have anatomical anomalies.
- Should be healthy.
Factors vital for conception
- Healthy uterus, cervix and vaginal canal without vitiation of doshas.
- Normal menstrual cycle and healthy ovum.
- Healthy sperm.
- Equipoise Vata dosha or neurotransmission, hormonal and regulatory mechanism of the body .
- Both the partners should be psychologically happy and mature, as happy mood is essential for achievement of conception .
Regimen for couple
Panchkarma (Purification Measures): The couple should be purified with oleation, sudation, emesis, purgation, enema. After this, they are brought to normal physiological status with dietetics . These are meant to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins .
For Male: Ghrita (clarified butter) and milk medicated with anabolic herbs are given to improve the quality of sperms. Herbs such as Ashwagandha (Withania somniferum) , Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) , Musali (Curculigo orchioides), Kaunchbeej (Mucuna pruriens), Shilajeet (Asphaltum), drugs of Shukrajanan (Spermatopoietic) group should be taken for 4 – 6 months prior to conception. Diet should be healthy and balanced.
For Female: Sesamum oil and Black gram should be taken along with the balanced diet. Sesamum seeds possess excellent antioxidant property. They are a good source of zinc which in turn is important for the formation of folic acid. Herbs such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa ) , Mulethi (Glycerrhiza glabra), Bala (Abutilon indicum), Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica), drugs of Prajasthapana (Procreants) group should be taken.
Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts , Cabbage , Carrots , Cauliflower , Green beans , Peas, Potatoes, Spinach, Sweet corn, Raw lettuce, Raw tomatoes, Leeks, Kale etc.
Fruits :Mainly Banana, Apple, Orange, Grapes.
Cereals : White rice, Brown rice, Branflakes, Wheat, Oats, Barley.
These should be included in diet.
After having propitious nourishment and feeling contended, the couple should prepare for coitus. Recital of hymns, pleasant fragrance and comfortable bed are required during coitus. After this, they should wash with cold water. Coitus is not meant just for pleasure but through this the divine, creative and vital energy is directed for procreation.
Importance of Regimen : The couple conforms to the type of nutritional regimen, demeanour and deeds at the time of coitus, the child possesses similar characters.
The timing of embryonic and fetal development is important. The pre embryonic phase lasts from day 1 until 17 days post conception, the embryonic phase is from 18 – 55 days post conception and this is followed by the period of organogenesis and post organogenesis.
Since conception occurs in mid cycle i.e between 8th – 20th day from 1st day of menstruation, so by the time pregnancy is confirmed, the life within has started and foundation has been laid.
It has been proved that poor nutrition and dietary deficiencies in proteins, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids adversely affect the fetal growth and brain development. It also affects maternal body composition which favors hyperglycemia, hypoproteinemia, hypertension, anemia etc.
The Pre pregnancy Care (Garbhadhan Vidhi) through Ayurveda prepares the couple to welcome a new life and to contribute towards healthy society.
- Drugs in pregnancy by R.S.Ledward, Progress in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol 12.
- Scientific foundation of Ayurveda by Dr H.S.Palep.
- Charak Samhita.