Nourishing the New Mother: Ayurvedic Postnatal Care Practices
Rituals and development go hand in hand for a child. Every culture follows traditions that are considered essential in their being. They have been present in the system for a long time. Since the internet has made cultural boundaries less strict, conventions are open to all. Then why not know about what other culture has good for your baby? Following are the five sanskaras from Hinduism that ensure a baby's well-being.
Jatakarma (Birth Ritual)
Remember your mother or grandma telling you that when you were born, your dad made you taste honey or ghee on the very first day of your life? The tradition is called Jatakarma! It celebrates the birth of the baby. After the mother, it is the father whom a baby knows the world through. A father chants the name of gods or mantras in a baby's ears, promoting positive vibes. And the ritual is completed by touching honey or ghee to the baby's lips. Hence, this signifies the bond between a father and a baby.
Naamakaran (Name Giving)
For name-giving, Parents perform a Hawan to proliferate positive and healthy vibes. On the auspicious day of Naamkaran, the child dresses in new clothes, and the religious leader prepares a horoscope. This tradition is vital for a child's identity because official announcements about the name are made to friends and family. The decided name is also whispered in the ear of the child by the father.
Nishkrmana (The First Outing)
Approximately in the fourth month, Parents take their little ones out of the home for the first time(Nishkrmana). Five components of nature, like earth, water, air, fire, and space, are introduced to the child. Moon and the sun are also shown and worshipped for the positive growth of the baby. This also indicates that the sense and motor organs of the baby are now strong enough to tolerate the sun's energy. This tradition also demonstrates to parents that a child is never confined to the boundaries and limits of the house.
Annaprashan (The First Solid Food)
After breastfeeding for six months, a child's introduction to solid food is celebrated. This tradition marks the establishment of an adult diet for a baby for the rest of their life. It is essential for physical and mental development as the first teeth also appear at this time…a child learns about the new feeding ways that involve them individually. Popularly, rice grain is fed to the child through kheer. Still, annaprashan is present in different cultures with different names. Hence the food varies accordingly.
Chaul ( Shaving of The Head)
Popularly the tradition is known by the name of Mundan. Or the first haircut of the baby. Hinduism believes that shaving the head is done to eliminate the past life and marks the new beginning of a human life cycle. But, scientifically, it helps absorb vitamin D from sunlight and keeps the baby's head cool in the summer. It also stimulates the proper growth of nerves and the brain. This ceremony is also significant for the baby's cradle cap as it gets removed over time, and the new, healthier growth of hair gets promoted.
Practices are devoted from generation to generation. At the same time, the ways of doing them have been modernized over time. The five essential sanskaras impact a child scientifically and boost healthier development. Every parent may follow these customs, whether in the form of sanskaras or just as a habit. These can be followed by anyone, as they require the bare minimum but play a significant role in a baby's upbringing in the initial year.