Prasoothi Tantra refers to the care given to pregnant woman. Prasoothi literally means an expecting woman. Prasoothi tantra refers to the health conditions, diseases and their treatments, and special treatment food and lifestyle modification that lead to the birth of a healthy child.
Prasoothi Tantra has three divisions
Garbhini Paricharanam (Garbhini Paricharya) or Ante-natal phase which denotes to diagnosis of pregnancy and the care for a garbhini (pregnant woman).
Prasava Kaala Paricharanam (Prasava Kaala Paricharya) or natal phase starts with labour pains and ends with delivery of placenta.
Soothika Paricharanam (Soothika Paricharya) or Post Natal Phase – deals with the care of the newborn baby and the nursing mother.
Identification of Pregnancy
There are signs to look for immediately after union, within a week or a month.
Sadhyogruheeta or Sadyogruheeta garbha lakshana (probable signs of Pregnancy)
The woman will experience drowsiness, uneasiness, feeling of something pulled into the body, repeated spitting, pain in chest, more semen remains in the vagina without flowing out – etc are symptoms that show very low probability of pregnancy.
Vyaktha Garbhalakshana/Dowhrudya Lakshana (Positive signs of Pregnancy)
These are clear indications of pregnancy – they are missing periods, vomiting without any reason, newfound fondness towards sour food items, darkening of lips and areola, milk secretion in breast etc. Repeated drooping of eyes, aversion to good smells, tiredness, etc are the other symptoms. Acharyas like Sushrutha, Bhaavamisra, Vagbhata, etc suggests that the nutrients that the mother takes are diverted to the development of embryo, hence the signs of drowsiness and tiredness.
Garbhini Parcharya insists good ahara (food), vihara (daily routine – lifestyle) and vichara (thoughts). All the three will have effect on the expected child.
Wholesome diet has prime concern in garbhini paricharya as the development of the baby depends solely on the nourishment that the woman takes. The first three months of pregnancy and the months after seventh one are considered to be extremely important.
First three months mark the formation of foetus (or fetus). The expecting woman wants to take lot of fruits or juice, coconut water, milk, and food items in liquid or easily digestible form. Apart from the healthy diet, certain medicinal preparations are also recommended. One example is sukhaprasava ghritam (medicated ghee that facilitates easy delivery).
Keywords: garbhini parcharya, garbhini paricharanam, prasooothi tantra and prasoothika tantra