The “Supraja janan”, as conceptualised in Ayurveda, involves the preparation of the couple planning pregnancy, months prior to conception. The preparation involves austerities, special diet without spices and thought purification processes. The constitution of the child [balance of the Vata-Pitta-Kapha] that determine basic physical and mental characteristics as well as disease tendencies take root at the moment of conception.
The ancient text Charaka Samhita explains, “The aim of Vajikaranam [Pre-Conception Practices] is to enable a couple to produce a healthy progeny, who can assist them to perform their life”s mission (dharma).” About six months before conception, an Ayurvedic physician prescribes a personalized purification and rejuvenation regimen for the couple to ensure optimal ovum and sperm quality and quantity.
The regimen may include lifestyle changes, a nutrition plan, herbs, cleansers, yoga and meditation. The couple avoids chemicals in food or personal care products and wean off pharmaceutical medicine when possible. Energizing exercises also increase fertility and virility, but must be done in moderation. General reproductive tonic foods recommended include warm un-homogenized milk, ghee, yoghurt, black sesame seeds, urad dal, moong dal, honey, dates, almonds, ginger, garlic, onions and saffron. Hot spices should be avoided. Daily self massage and sufficient rest is observed to charge the body with positive hormones.
All this is directed towards pinda shuddhi or the purification of the gametes (sperm and ovum). Couples who share their expectations, excitement and fears about having a child will forge deeper bonds of understanding to sustain them through the experience. Couples who attune their desires for parenthood are more ready mentally, for the new phase of their life and are less likely to resent the compromises and sacrifices.