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Mother & Child Care

Dr. Vijay Singh Chauhan

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The next samskara, mentioned is termed as Upveshana Samskara. Either in the 5th or 6th month, on an auspicious day and time, after worshipping the God of that particular Nakshatra (constellation); enchanting mantras; and donating food and other materials; the child after having bathed, and dressed in an auspicious manner is made to sit facing east direction on an auspicious place in the center of the house. The child is allowed to sit everyday for sometime. It has been clearly mentioned that the child should not be made to sit before 5 months, because the vertebral column, by then is not properly developed. If made to sit, before 5 months, the child could be prone to various disorders related to bones. According to Acharya Kashyap, even after Upveshana Samskara, a child’s sitting duration should be increased gradually in order to avert orthopedic problems like kyphosis or scoliosis. The next Samskara is called as Karnavedhana Sanskara (piercing the ear). This is done either in the 6th, 7th or 8th month. Initially, the right ear is pierced, at the proper position under aseptic conditions. This Samskara depicts that the child at this stage is getting prepared for the invasion of foreign material and trains him/her for bearing the physical injuries.

Moving further, the demand of proper nutrition in case of a growing child needs a greater attention. Ancient Scholars had always shown a great concern towards the requirement for rapidly growing infant. According to them, the nature itself gives signals about the changing needs of nutrition. 6th month onwards the milk alone although a complete food still, may not fulfil the demand and hence, a child starts licking everything he gets. But the capacity to digest is yet to improve. It is therefore recommended that, 6th month onwards, the fruit juices may be started - known as Phala Prashan whereas the soft food should be offered 8th month onwards, i.e. Anna Prashan Samskara. Why the food is later than fruits! Because, the eruption of teeth is an indicator of the needs of growing age. Viewed from other side, the non-eruption of teeth after 8th month indicates that there is something wrong and the consultation of a physician is required.

Thus these Samskaras help the child to be more adaptable to the atmosphere.

Dantodbhedajanya Vikar

(Teething Disorders)

Teething is often accompanied by unpleasant symptoms in the child. The gums may become hot, swollen and tender and the child may suffer from various disorders like fever, headache, thirst, giddiness, vomiting, cough, bronchitis and diarrhoea. Sometimes disorders like conjunctivitis, trachoma and erysipelas may also appear during the period.

In Ayurveda, it has been termed as "Dantodbhedjanya Vikar" i.e. the disorders, which are seen during the time of eruption of teeth. The period of dentition is claimed to be one of the toughest times in the life of a child during which he / she is vulnerable to all diseases. The concern towards the hazards associated with the dentition period and the observation of the ancient Ayurvedic physicians is exemplary. According to them, the vulnerability of a child to infective, nutritional and metabolic disorders during the teething time is said to be maximum. It is compared with that of the (i) eruption of hump in a growing kitten and the (ii) projection of the crown in male baby peacocks during which period the youngs of both these animals become highly sick and irritable.

If the disorders don’t tend to create severe complications, no measures are to be undertaken. But if the situation is other way round, then the therapeutic measures are to be undertaken symptomatically. Care should be taken not to subject the child to a drastic treatment because the symptoms disappear as soon as the teeth erupt.

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