It is quite interesting that most of the pregnant ladies develop craving for particular foods, habits, places, dresses and ornaments. This is observed commonly on 3rd month onward. Many a time those cravings are so unpredictable that it leaves her caretakers in soup. Some believe that it is indeed a pious work if one satisfies the cravings of the pregnant. In Ayurveda we get detail description regarding such a phenomenon.
Pregnant after a period of 4 months called as Douhridini in Ayurveda.
Dau refers to two.
Hrudini – heart.
According to Ayurvedic text books, 4th month onwards heart of the fetus is activated. As the mother possesses the desires of Two hearts (hrit refers to heart; her own and of the fetus), she is known as Dou hridini.
Dohada means desire. As the pregnant lady gets special desires/longings she is known as Douhridini. It is the reason for some kind of celebrations or parties arranged on account of pregnancy after 4-5 month’s period.
Even though this time period may vary from 8 weeks of pregnancy to 20 weeks of pregnancy most commonly we find such special longings in the month of 3-4. Such a difference in the exhibition of the longings may be because of relative sensitivity of the pregnant for feeling of quickening (feeling fetal movements by the mother).
Why the pregnant gets special craving/desires in this time?-Ancient classical view:
According to Acharya Charaka, when the sense organs of the fetus becomes prominent and active, the mind of the fetus gets feelings of happiness and sorrow. Due to this, the fetus exhibits the desires through the mother.
Secondly, fetal heart is formed by the maternal components (matrija bhava) attached to the mothers heart through the minute nutritional transferring channels, namely Rasavahi srotas. Thus through these channels the desires of the fetus are exhibited.
Acharya Sushruta further adds that as the consciousness of the heart of the fetus is evident it gets the desire of the objects like sound, touch, smell, taste, vision etc. Due to this the mother seeks those objects.
Response/management of the pregnancy cravings:
As it is the expression of the fetus through the mother it should be fulfilled affectionately, except the things that are likely to cause injury or disturbance to the health of mother / child.
Suppression of strong desires will increase Vata in the body and may cause various Vata imbalance. Hence, it is not recommended to suppress those cravings. The Ancient seers opined that forceful suppression of healthier mother cravings may cause physical / mental abnormalities in the fetus.
However, care should also be taken that those cravings are only on the healthier norms.
Ayurveda explains the probable character of the child, based upon the type of desires of the pregnant mother:
1. To look at the King/ministerial people/great personalities etc – Rich and lucky child
2. To wear very grand and rich garments and ornaments – Handsome and fond of ornaments and luxury
3. To live in Ashram (sacred places) – Religious, pious, philosopher, has good control over the sense organs.
4. To look at an idol of a diety – Extremely courteous
5. To look at snake etc wild creatures – Ferocious or ruthless
6. To eat meat of iguana – Sleepy, lazy, introverted etc
7. To eat buffalo’s meat – Brave, red eyes, excessive hair in the body
8. To eat hog’s meat – Sleepy, brave and bold
9. To eat deer’s meat – Industrious, hurried , runner
Desire for special things or food is common in the pregnant. It is always recommended to fulfill the desires as they are getting such longings in rare time period of life. Secondly fulfillment of those desires surely builds up good relation and those moments are also memorable. But it is very important to remember that proper food and healthy food and habits are the tools which keeps the fetus healthy.
Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar