From the point of view of modern science, this section of Ayurvedic medicine can be divided into two parts: pediatrics and obstetrics. The word “kaumara” means “child”, “bhriya” – “care and hygiene.” Kaumarabhritya includes preventive and therapeutic measures from fertilization of the egg to the development of children under the age of 16 years. It is during this period that care is the foundation of all human life. This is described in the ancient treatise “Kashyapa Samhita.”
Kashyap – the author of the treatise – one of the seven sages who brought people knowledge of Ayurveda. About how a new life is born, the sage says the following: “From Avyakta (spiritual being) Mahat (thought) appears, from Mahat Akhankara (false ego) appears, from Akhankara Akasha (thought form) appears. Then there are eight Bhutas of prakriti (the combination of which leads to the formation of 144 types of constitutions of the physical body), five senses (eyesight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) and sensory organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. And also five organs of cognition arise: arms, legs, anus, genitals, and tongue. Color and images, sounds, tastes, smells and tactile objects are the five objects of feelings. Manas (mind) is the leader of the senses. Only under the influence of the mind do feelings reach their objects. Akasha (ether), vayu (air), tejas (fire), jala (water) and prithvi (earth), uniting together, form a physical body. Some people think that the body, feelings, psyche and soul (atma) are Purusha (personality), while others believe that purusha is only atma. ”
A child’s childhood does not begin at the moment of his birth. It is divided into three stages:
garbha (period of fetal development)
The first period – garbha – begins from the moment of conception. Kashyapa believes that since the embryo is a product of several interrelated causes, the development, formation of organs and the health of the child are predetermined. When the various material elements that make up the germ cells bind to the Atma (soul), a tiny jelly-like clot is formed – Khet bhuta. Then prana enters the fetal body through the umbilical cord.
In the second month of development, the embryo’s body begins to condense, in the third – the head, upper and lower limbs become visible, in the fourth – the fetus wakes up consciousness and it begins to show interest in the objects of feelings. From this time, the work of the heart begins to be noticeable. In the fifth month, he develops a consciousness of his position in this world, in the sixth there arises an understanding of his mother and the objects of the world around him, in the seventh – organs and tissues are completely separated and specialize, in the eighth month the control over vital energy is finally established – Ojas, who until then the moment is still “unstable,” and therefore premature birth can make the baby weakened or unviable. At the ninth month, the child prepares to exit the womb of the mother.
It is very important in what physical and psychological condition the pregnant woman is, how clean her food and clothes are, how good thoughts and deeds are. The woman should be surrounded by people close to her. Any negative impression can have a bad effect not only on the successful development of the fetus, but also on the entire subsequent life of the child. This is the most critical period when a woman can influence the formation of the qualities desired by the child.
The Kashyapa-Samhita treatise describes in detail all the stages of fetal development and all stages of subsequent childbirth. It considers possible complications during this period, situations that can lead to premature termination of pregnancy, all the factors that can cause a baby trauma during childbirth, and the means that a doctor should use if all complications arise.
Kashyapa gave ready-made recipes and recommendations for caring for a woman after childbirth, as well as for a newborn, how to protect him from any adverse physical and psychological factors.
An interesting fact: at certain times, according to astrological prescriptions, the doctor must pierce the ears of the child – both girls and boys, according to a certain pattern. Puncture of vital points on the earlobe with subsequent wearing of earrings made it possible to protect the senses (mainly the eyes) from various diseases.