Nourishing the New Mother: Ayurvedic Postnatal Care Practices
The world is full of diverse cultures and traditions regarding the birth of a child. When a baby is born, it is the most overwhelming feeling for the parents. From taking the medical care of the mother and a baby, greeting and attending to family and friends, and ensuring a child's safety, a lot goes on, along with following traditions. Some practices are essential to every cultural system and hold some significance for its people.
Baptism for Catholicism, B'rit Milah in Judaism, Hatsumiyamairi in Shinto tradition and reading of guru Granth sahib in Sikh tradition are all about celebrating the arrival of a newborn and receiving the blessings of elders and deities. One common practice is making a baby have a sweet taste. The belief behind this prelacteal feeding is that letting the baby taste something sweet will make their speech sweet too. In Hinduism, this tradition is called 'Jatakarma'. Scientifically, it activates the five senses independently after a baby separates from his mother.
Remember your mother or grandma telling you that when you were born, your dad made you taste honey on the very first day of your life? Jatakarma is a tradition followed by Hindus. After the mother, it is the father whom a baby knows the world through. The father chants the name of gods or mantras in a baby's ears, promoting positive vibes and prosperity. 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. Ceremony denotes the passing of good traits of elderly individuals to the young ones. The respected individual performs the ceremony to bestow Good luck.
This ceremony is brought to us through tales and fables. Our culture carries its importance and behind them a primary scientific reason that boosts the growth and development of a child in the initial year.