Author recollects reading a book 'Manovanchhit Santati' by Swami Sivananda (Devine life society, Rishikesh, India) about thirty years ago. The title translates "The children confirming to your expectations". The book describes how the pregnancy should be planned and achieved. Many ancient texts in Ayurveda and scriptures treat this subject.
 
Pregnancy itself is a showering of gift from super power. Author has seen childless couples beyond age 40 in deep depression. The baby inside the womb is "Brahmand" (Macrocosm) in the form of Pinda  (Microcosm). If one reads books by 'Osho' pregnancy amounts to meeting God in living form after 9 months. Perhaps that is the reason, one way to self realisation is through Tantra and sex.
 
Prakruti of the child is nothing but the combination of Prakruti and Vikruti of parents at the time of conception. Since ancient times, it has been known that the child in the womb adopts impressions from its surroundings and the behaviour of its mother, and also starts learning things. This fact has now been confirmed by modem science.  Mythology is also full of such examples. The intentional teaching to the womb is termed 'Garbh Sanska' and now at least in Mumbai, India,
there are some centres where this training is given.
 
The well-known story of Abhimanyu from Mahabharat tells us that he learned the art of entering Chakravyuha (a special war formation) while he was in the womb, when his mother Subhadra was listening to the technique told to her by Lord Shri Krishna. Abhimanyu had heard and remembered the narration of the technique by Krishna to Subhadra  during her pregnancy. When Pralhad's mother was pregnant with him, she used to listen to devotional songs. Therefore, even though Pralhad took birth in a Rakshasa(demonic) family, he became a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
 
Mother of the great Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar used to read the courageous stories from the Ramayana and Maharana Pratap to her son when he was in her womb. Warrior king Shivaji's mother wished her son to fight and liberate the state from bad administrators, when Shivaji was in her womb.
 
The health of the parents is directly responsible for the health of a child. Not only their physical health, but also their psychological and spiritual health affects the child in the womb. The surrounding environment, the food, the activities, in fact everything the mother is exposed to during pregnancy directly affects the child.
 
The ancient scriptures and Ayurveda prescribe a particular daily practice for the pregnant woman. Along with the prescription for diet, Yoga and routine body care, instructions are also given for reading material, subjects of discussion, and music and mantras to be listened to. It is also proved that foetus also responds to the
music. From 5 Th month foetus can hear the sounds from mothers womb and from the surroundings of mother and also responds to them. Sound of mother's heartbeats is the first and nearest sound heard by the foetus and hence when the mother takes her crying child close to her the child stops crying and becomes calm. It is possible to give energy for the development of body mind and sole of the child in the womb by listening to special music.
 
The sound of the veena (Indian string instrument which is held by the Goddess Saraswati), flute and Samaveda mantras gives health to the pregnant woman and the child within. [http://www.indiayogi.com/eshop/mdetail.asp?id=1442]
 
Ancient Indian medicine has recognized the need for the mental, spiritual and physical preparation of the mother-to-be for the momentous event of childbirth. Ayurveda describes this theory as "Supraja janan" or eu-maternity This "Supraja janan", as conceptualised in Ayurveda, involves the preparation of the couple
planning pregnancy, three months prior to conception. Pregnancy should be by choice, and not by chance. The beginning is by pinda shuddhi or the purification of the gametes (sperm and ovum). If the couple is not in a state of mental stability and calmness, even if they are physically fit, they cannot give birth to a healthy child.
This mental calmness and stability ("Sathwa Guna") of mind is closely  related to ones food habits and many other factors. Abstinence from spicy foods and addictive substances is advised.
 
It is now universally proven that the foetus is not just a mindless mass of flesh, but a highly responsive and evolving human being, capable of receiving, understanding and responding to external stimuli. It, therefore, follows that the foetus has a right to receive positive and enriching feedback or garbha sanskar. In order to transmit 'good values' is to establish communication with  the baby in the womb. Thoughts and feelings of the parents affect the baby. Even before the thought is expressed, it remains in an unexpressed form in the mind. At that time, its wavelength is the shortest and its energy is at the maximum level. Intentional, directed, selfless, unspoken thoughts lead to maximum sanskar on the foetus.
 
In India, it is a common sight to find parents forcing children to abstain watching violence/wrestling channels on TV. Now if you wish to restrain them when they understand watching TV, should mother watch such things on TV or in movies, when same child is in womb?
 
It is unadvisable for the pregnant woman to watch the films depicting scenes of horror, murder, and violence. It can produce negative effect on the child's character in future. During pregnancy she should keep company only with people who have a favorable influence over her. She should read fine literature, look at the beautiful
works of art, listen to soft music, contemplate pleasant landscapes and have only positive and constructive thoughts.  
[source> http://ayurveda-foryou.com/women/garbhasanskar.html]
 
The parikramas at temple having seven holy cows (representing seven colors of rainbow) gives easy birth and fair skin child.Unfortunately, it may take at least another ten years till such temples can come to every city in India. It is left to parents how far to go in the process of showering love on each other. But one fact must be borne in mind. The sex involves dhatus and those are very expensively built. Agni converts todays food into veerya (semen) after 49 days. Since there are no menses during pregnancy, mother stores all her dhatus, which show as glow on her face during pregnancy. The same gets converted to milk after baby is
born. Most ancient texts recommend abstinence. She is no more wife, she is on way to Godhood. But of course if she does not realize this according to prevailing culture, it is culture that needs to be corrected.
 
Many traditional rules (Ashouchya, Sutaka etc) have been brought in so that future society is improved. e.g. Avoiding sex during menses, sending wife to her mother during certain months of the year, abstaining from sex during certain months of the year, etc. If one goes to the deep underlying reasons, one finds that forcing rules
through "religious" customs was best way to ensure strict confirmance. Adhering to those rules is anachronistic since society is now no more agriculturists.
 
In conclusion, parents should decide what they want to make the baby. A warrior, yogi, king or addict? Mother has a greater responsibility and attachment to the baby.
 
Dr Bhate