Ayurvedic scriptures state that Garbha Sanskar is essential for creating an intelligent, attractive and healthy baby. From my experience, Garbha Sanskar is a great way to keep you positive and focused during your pregnancy, you can bring these practices to your attention to when the hormones and symptoms start to get you down.
What is Garbha Sanskar?
Garbha Sanskar literally means ‘education in the womb’ in Sanskrit. According to this philosophy, the mother’s emotional well-being during pregnancy influences the baby’s future personality.
Traditional Garbha Sanskar activities:
- Listening to Garbha Sanskar music.
Mother-in-law gave me a really nice CD (US, UK, India). This was so helpful. The music helped me to relax and reassured me that everything would be alright, especially during my first trimester when I was anxious about the twelve week scan as well as vomiting everywhere.
- A positive and stress free environment.
My husband and mother-in-law took this very seriously. The television would be turned off when a violent scene popped up and no one would talk to me about anything upsetting (which turned out to be a little bit frustrating as I was shielded from seemingly everything). My mother-in-law and her friends also organised some parties to celebrate the special time, which were so sweet.
- Yoga, Chanting, Meditation and Positive Affirmations.
Not only great during pregnancy, all are really helpful when preparing emotionally and physically for childbirth! You can write positive affirmations on index cards and keep them with you (even when you’re in labour!).
- Communicating with baby.
You can start to bond with your baby before it’s born, I found myself in conversation with my bump all the time. My Grandmother-in-law was quite anxious for my husband to speak Marathi to my bump, worrying that the baby would only understand English.
- Your womb as a classroom.
Many ladies told me that I should read the Ramayana (the story of Lord Ram) during my pregnancy, it is said that reading such stories will transfer the wisdom and character traits to your unborn child. I was also given critical thinking puzzles to help my baby’s brain grow! I ended up rereading the Harry Potter books, maybe Rohan will become a wizard?
As well as the Indian traditions I have mentioned above, I have my own additions which I think follow same Garbha Sanskar philosophy:
- Spending time with animals
- Star gazing
- Listening to classical music
- Reading children’s stories to my baby
Experiencing some stressful moments during pregnancy is completely normal, understandable and nothing to feel guilty about, but when I discovered I was pregnant, I read several scientific articles about how chronic stress during pregnancy can negatively affect baby. So I did try my best to stay happy and calm. There is definitely something to this ancient Indian wisdom!
I’m not sure if these practices did increase my baby’s intelligence or attractiveness (he sure is gorgeous though), but they helped this mummy stay calm and happy during those forty weeks. The Garbha Sanskar philosophy gave me something to focus on during any uncomfortable or worrying moments of my pregnancy.
If you want to know more about Garbha Sanskar, I can recommend the following book. Originally in Marathi, it’s been translated into English. You can learn what Ayurveda prescribes for preconception, diet during pregnancy, yoga poses and postpartum care. Available here… US, UK and India.