Garbh Sanskar is part of Ayurvedic medicine, one of the world’s oldest medical systems. The words mean education of a baby’s mind in the womb. The practice is so old that it is written in the 3,000-year-old Indian language Sanskrit. Any practice that has lasted that long is worth a look.
If you are pregnant, you are probably amazed by how early in pregnancy you started to bond with your baby. Garbh Sanskar is all about bonding with your baby. The theory is quite simple and logical. Putting yourself in the best possible physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states during pregnancy is stimulating for your baby’s developing mind.
There is real research to back up this theory. When you are an optimal state of physical and emotional health, your body produces beneficial hormones that can pass through your placenta to your baby. These benefits do stimulate brain development in ways that last through and continue after pregnancy.
A good example is listening to music. A study published in the International Journal of Pediatrics had over 100 women listen to about 170 hours of relaxing music during pregnancy, in addition to their routine prenatal care. These women were compared to a similar number of women who only had routine prenatal care.
After delivery, all the babies were tested for mental and emotional development and stability with newborn testing called the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (BNBAS). Babies in the music group scored significantly higher on the BNBAS. The researchers concluded that music had a positive effect on the babies and the probable cause was hormone changes produced in the mother that influenced neurodevelopment in the fetus.
How to Practice Garbh Sanskar
In Ayurvedic medicine, Garbh Sanskar can start up to one year before pregnancy. There are 10 basic practices that are simple, easy, and healthy at any time.
- Healthy eating. An Ayurvedic pregnancy diet features freshly prepared organic foods that include stimulation of the five taste senses, sweet, salty, pungent, bitter, and sour. Examples include clarified butter (ghee), yogurt, whole milk, honey, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. A favored drink is warmed milk with cardamom and turmeric.
- Positive thinking. Avoid sending your baby negative thoughts or emotions.
- Yoga. Take a pregnancy yoga class or do another light exercise that focuses on flexibility and mindfulness, like Tai Chi.
- Meditation. Take a meditation class or do some guided mediation on a daily basis to calm and quiet your mind.
- Prayer. Ayurveda uses mantras and chants from ancient scriptures. Find your own way to develop a deeper spirituality.
- Music. Listen to music that calms you and inspires you. Garbh Sanskar favors music performed on a flute or the Indian string instrument called veena. There is a Garbh Sanskar CD available online.
- Reading. Garbh Sanskar recommends spiritual, moral, and educational readings.
- Avoiding stress. Avoid any stressful exposures that interfere with a happy and relaxed mind. This could mean avoiding stressful activities, disturbing media, or just not watching the news.
- Herbal Ghee. Garbh Sanskar recommends drinking cow’s milk herbal ghee in the second and third trimester for mental and physical development of your baby. Herbal ghee is sold online and in health stores.
- Creativity. Being creative during pregnancy can pass on creativity to your baby. Find your creative skills in drawing, writing, painting, knitting, gardening, or whatever settles your mind and feels good.
It’s hard to argue with Garbh Sanskar. Being in an optimal state of physical and emotional health during pregnancy makes good sense for you and your baby. If you want to learn more, it is easy to find Garbh Sanskar books and CDs online. There are some good YouTube videos and there is even an app for your phone. Your smart baby will thank you for all the good hormones you send.