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Foetal Development

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Foetal Development ( 0-3, 4-6, 7-9 Months)

Month ( 0-3, Months) :

Month 1 : Your first month of pregnancy your baby will accomplish many things, first and foremost, conception, fertilization, and implantation. After a woman ovulates, the egg is normally fertilized within 24-48 hours. The single fertilized cell begins to rapidly divide and at this point in time is called a zygote. Many amazing things happen at fertilization. Your baby's entire physical attributes are determined including gender, hair color, and eye color. Between days 7-10 from fertilization implantation usually occurs. Implantation should occur within the uterus if it does not this is considered an ectopic pregnancy. The amniotic sac, umbilical cord and yolk sac are already beginning to form. By the end of this month your baby is approximately 2mm long and beginning early stages of development.

Month 2 : Your baby is now considered a fetus. Her heart, neural tube, arms and legs, liver and other major organs begin to form. By your 6th week, her heart will be beating and visible via ultrasound. The placenta also begins to form as well as the eyes, ears, mouth, and bones. In this month, your baby's fingers and toes will become present, however, they may still be webbed. Her brain and cranial nerves will also begin to form this month. Baby's sex organs begin to become visible. Your baby is approximately 1/2 inch - 3/4 inch long and weighs about 1-2 grams by the end of this month.

Month 3 : If given an ultrasound now, you would be able to see your baby's arms and legs moving. Baby's heartbeat can be detected by doppler beginning in your third month. Development of the heart and all major organs is complete by the end of the third month. Baby's sex organs continue to develop, but it is still too difficult to differentiate gender. Baby's muscles in trunk, limbs, and head are developing. Baby's face is well formed and your baby looks like a baby. By the end of your third month, your baby is 3-4 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.

Month (4-6, Months) :

Month 4 : During your fourth month your baby's hair and teeth begin to form. Your baby will be moving and active now and you may begin to feel baby's movement this month, however, not feeling movements till next month is perfectly normal as well. Your baby's digestive system is forming and the intestines are present. Meconium, your baby's first stool, is present in the intestines as well. By the end of this month it may be possible to determine baby's gender. Your baby is approximately 5-6 inches long and weigh 5-8 ounces by the end of the month.

Month 5 : Your baby is developing a fine hair, called lanugo, which covers the body. Likewise, her eyelashes and eyebrows are developing. Her fingerprints and footprints are now developed. She begins to suck and swallow and may even be found sucking her thumb. Vernix, a white lanolin-like covering, appears on baby to protect her skin. Her ears are developed as well and she may be able to hear you now. Your baby is approximately 7-8 inches long and weighs 3/4-1 pound by the end of this month.

Month 6 : Your baby's immune system is developing and she is beginning to create her own antibodies. She has developed a hand grip reflex and startle reflex. Her lungs are beginning to develop and alveoli are forming. She is growing and filling out. She looks more and more like the person she will be when she is born. By the end of this month, she is approximately 9-10 inches long and weigh in at about 1 1/2-2 1/4 pounds.

Month (7-9 Months) :

Month 7 : Your baby's eyes are open and she is able to cry. She may be very active now and others may be able to see her movements. She may have hiccups which will feel like a jumpy movement. She is increasing in body fat and her bones are fully developed now. By the end of this month, she is approximately 11 inches long and weighs around 3-3 1/2 pounds.

Month 8 : At this point of your pregnancy, there is not a whole lot of new development. However, your baby is growing and maturing and preparing for life outside the womb. Your baby sleeps most of the time now and has periods of REM sleep. Baby is becoming increasingly cramped for space, but she is still very active. Your baby is approximately 13 inches long and weighs around 5-6 pounds at the end of this month.

Month 9 : In your 9th month, which actually extends a little further than 9 calendar months, your baby is preparing for birth. She will spend a lot of time resting, but she should still have plenty of active periods. She should be facing head down in preparation for birth. Babies weight and length vary considerably at birth, but a typical range would be between 7-8 pounds and 19-21 inches in length.

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GarbhSanskar (Pre-birth Sanskar)

Dharma preaches that the purpose of human birth is God-realisation. The religious scriptures therefore impart guidance on how to undertake spiritual practice so as to be able to get closer to God in every incident of life, right from birth till death. Sanskars should be performed to get closer to God in the sixteen rituals in life from conception to marriage. These sanskars later help in improving spiritual practice. The Vedic rituals performed by the mother, father and the Guru on the son or daughter from the time of conception till marriage, so that they may perform balanced sattvik (Sattva-predominant) actions are referred to as the sanskars. There are sixteen important sanskars. This article imparts information on the first three sanskars. These garbhsanskar are performed before the birth of an individual and contribute in begetting a virtuous progeny.

1. Garbhadhan (Rutushanti)

A. Importance

In this sanskar, body purification is achieved with the help of specific mantras and sacrificial fires and through the mantras it is taught how to scientifically and hygienically perform correct intercourse. Necessary guidance is imparted on various sexual matters like reproduction of good offspring, appropriate use and control of sexual desire, not to indulge in sex during the menstrual cycles, various postures at the time of sex and highest happiness etc.

B. Objectives

In the 8th chapter of Bhagvat, there is a mention of ‘Payovrat’. Its essence is that from the point of view of giving birth to a child, the couple that is very particular about a restrained life, sattvik meals and excellent thoughts devoid of sensual enjoyment, gives birth to a brilliant progeny. Deity Aditi had observed this vow and so she could give birth to the Incarnation of God, that was Vaman. A woman is the mother of a Nation. The sanskar of Garbhadhan is meant for her to be more aware about all this.

To overcome any defects in the ovum and the foetus and to purify the womb – Two percent of all physical and psychological problems are because of defects in the ovum and womb, half of them being physical and the other half psychological in nature.

C. Why and when should the sanskar of Garbhadhan be performed ?

The sanskar of Garbhadhan should be performed after marriage for a virtuous progeny. This sanskar is performed from the fifth to the sixteenth day after the first menses after marriage. Excluding the first four, eleventh and thirteenth nights, the other ten nights are considered appropriate to perform this sanskar.

If you wish to have a male child, perform it on an even day (that is, eighth, tenth, twelfth, fourteenth or sixteenth) and if you wish to have a female child, do so on an odd day (that is, seventh, ninth or fifteenth day). Never perform this sanskar on chaturthi, shashthi, ashtami, chaturdashi, amavasya and pournima of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Sankalpa (Resolve) : The male should make the following sankalpa – ‘I am performing the sanskar of Garbhadhan to be blessed with excellent progeny with God’s grace, by destroying defects in my sperms and her ovum and those in her womb as well.’

Sankalpa of Garbhadhan

अस्याःममभार्यायाःतिगर्भसंस्कारातिशयद्वाराअस्यांजनिष्यमाण- सर्वगर्भाणांबीजगर्भसमुद्भवैनोनिबर्हणद्वाराश्रीपरमेश्वरप्रीत्यर्थंगर्भाधानाख्यंकर्म करिष्ये।

Pradhanajyahoma : In a hom, Shrivishnu and Deity Prajapati should be offered oblation amidst recitation of mantras. Squeeze three to four drops of ashwagana or durva juice into the right nostril of the woman. Then, after reciting hymns praising the Sun Deity, offer namaskar to Deities and the elders in the family, and then partake of a meal. In the night, wearing white clothes the woman should sleep on a bed decorated with flowers, and the man should place his hand on her navel and begin the sanskar of Garbhadhan.

Upasthasparshamantra :

ॐगन्धर्वस्यविश्वावसोर्मुखमसि। ॐविष्णुर्योनिंकल्पयतुत्वष्टारूपाणिपिंशतु। आसिञ्चतुजापतिर्धातागर्भंदधातुते॥ ॐगर्भंधेहिसिनीवालिगर्भंधेहिसरस्वति। गर्भंतेअश्विनौदेवावाधत्तांपुष्करदााजा॥ ॐहिरण्ययीअरणीयंनिर्मन्थतोअश्विना। तंतेगर्भंहवामहेदशमेमासिसूतवे॥


Meaning : ‘O woman, you are mouth of VishwavasuGandharva. May Shrivishnu make your birth passage useful for Garbhadhan. May Tvashta nurture your organs. May Prajapati help in coming out of semen and Dhata be useful for conceiving. O Deity Siniwali, please protect this foetus. O Deity Saraswati, please be helpful for conceiving. May Ashwinikumar, who hold golden lotus, stabilise the foetus within you. Since Ashwinikumar created fire by friction for this reason, I establish the foetus within you for ten months.’