They have already learned that the fetus is suspended in the amniotic fluid present in the uterus. When small in size, the fetus moves in all directions: up, down, sideways, and even turns upside down. As its size increases, however, its movement become more restricted. The primary reason for mood hgarbha is the mother moving incorrectly or inappropriately during the pregnancy. Several cause are listed below.
- Too much physical work.
- Lifting heavy objects.
- Too much travelling.
- Inappropriate or excess exercise, too much walking or running.
- Trauma to the abdomen due to a fall, or injury caused otherwise.
- Severe jolts, possibly due to swinging of the legs while sitting, swinging on a swing, or travelling on bad or pot-holed roads.
- Sitting incorrectly or squatting when not required.
- Attempted abortion.
If you suppress natural urges such as urination and bowel movements, eat very dry or very spicy or any other gas producing foods, you could prompt moodgarbha. Another instance in which a normal vaginal birth may be difficult is if the placenta is attached to the lower rather than upper part of the uterus.
As explained above, the easiest position for delivery is when the fetus head is downwards with the face turned towards the mother’s spine. If, instead of the head, the face, shoulders, or hands are lowest, it is called moodhgarbha. In some cases, during childbirth, the buttocks, knees or legs emerge first instead of the head, a situation referred to as ‘breech’. Sometimes the fetus lies horizontally (parallel to the ground) in the uterus. Ayurved calls this condition parigh (transverse presentation) and it is the most difficult presentation for labour.
The natural position of the fetus is important because it helps the head to become engaged in the pelvic area (brim), during the eighth or the ninth month of pregnancy. This engagement means that the baby’s head actually gets fixed into the area meant for it, just before delivery. The position does not change thereafter and then the head can emerge first during delivery.
Once the baby’s head is engaged, its movements naturally decrease. This may cause some concern at first, but it is natural. The reduction in movement helps to ensure a proper delivery and there is usually no need t worry.
The pregnant woman should continue to take regular walks towards the end of pregnancy to help the baby’s head descend and fit into the pelvic brim. In case of a primigravida (first pregnancy), the head usually engages in the eighth month, and the expectant mother should take longer walks from this month onwards. In the case of second or subsequent pregnancies, the head usually engages in the ninth month, so she could extend her walks during this time. When apanavayu gets disturbed and enters the birth canal, it causes several different types of mood garbha.
In this context, I recall a patient who has been one of many who was under my care for the entire duration of their pregnancy. Till the seventh or eighth month, the development, weight, and position of the fetus was perfect. In the eighth month, she inadvertently moved a heavy box, and immediately felt the baby turn inside her abdomen. A visit to the gynaecologist confirmed that the fetus had shifted from its original position and had become slightly horizontal. This incident occurred some time ago, and the treatment then consisted of administering gentle abdominal massage, to slowly move the baby back to its correct position. The woman subsequently delivered at full term, without any further complication . In this manner, it is possible for experienced doctors or midwives to correct minor problems. More serious problems could, however, require surgery, and extreme care should be taken to prevent such situations occurring at all.
Delivery is much easier if the mother can, through her breathing, control the speed of the baby’s descent and her contractions, during a particular stage of labour. Earlier, midwives would generally take care of this, motivating and instructing the expectant mother accordingly. As this has now become rare, the mother-to-be should make an effort to learn these breathing techniques from trained teachers during the ninth month.
In the ninth month, the woman should mentally prepare herself and her baby for the coming birth. A fully grown nine-month fetus is now a ‘baby’, has an independent identity, and is sensitive. So the mother can, and should, interact with her baby during this month. She should tune in to her inner self and talk to the baby as if it were there in front of her, telling it how eager the entire family is to welcome it. She should also tell the baby that being born vaginally (the natural birth process) will make it easier for both of them. She should explain that everything is going to be simple and easy. Some readers may find these points ridiculous, but those who have actually gone through this process, and experienced it, know how true and important this is. Such an inner dialogue is made clearer with the help of regular meditation and listening to healing music. Both these activities should be done more frequently in the ninth month The mother should devote maximum time to the coming child. It goes without saying, that leaving the house should be avoided unless necessary. The mother should not involve herself in unnecessary activities.
The attendant doctor, and the lying-in hospital have a vital role to play in the natural delivery process. They should be selected carefully.
Natural labour is beneficial for both the mother and baby, and the appropriate diet, behavior and exercises, which facilitate this, have already been described. Besides these, the following measures should be followed in the ninth month.
A cotton swab soaked in Santulan Femisan Oil should be applied to the vagina. Application of Santulan Kundalini Oil (containing herbs which pacify vata), from the tail-bone to the waist. Massaging the breasts with Santulan Suhrud Oil and the lower part of the abdomen with Santulan Rose Beauty Oil. A light diet, and early dinners (by 7 p.m.). Ensure that bowel movements are regular.
If the guidelines outlined for every month are followed properly, the muscles of the lumbar, pelvic region and the back, become supple, lubricated, and flexible. All of this will lead to the birth of a healthy and illness-free child, can occur naturally at full term, without any problems.
All the above-mentioned guidelines, help to balance vata dosha, and maintain apanvayu, and so, contribute to an easy and timely delivery.