After the completion of the Seemantham function, the next day is considered to be an apt day for the woman to leave her spouse’s house and go to her Mom’s house for delivery. Even though the next calendar day is not that great, usually this day is considered suitable to start. Nowadays, since women also balance their career along with their house hold responsibilities, they do not start immediately after the next day of Seemantham. Hence an auspicious day is chosen to start from her MIL’s Home.
Before the pregnant woman leaves home she has to perform Namaskaran to the cooking stove. She should dip her hand with oil (if not fully slightly rub oil) and place a mark on the wall near the cooking stove. We believe that cooking stove is goddess Lakshmi. Hence it is a formal way of saying that she will leave her home for delivery and come back to take care of her responsibilities in her spouse’s house as a mother.
The pregnant woman while travelling has to carry some cooked food that includes salt. Usually a small portion of curd rice or idly is preferred. Believe this is required since, our grandpas and grandmas have to travel long hours to reach their home. This food would be useful while travelling. However, even though the mothers’ house is in the next street, this ritual is followed.
The pregnant woman should carry a small bunch of Veppaillai (Neem leaf) while traveling. This is usually followed, whenever the pregnant woman goes out of her house. This is also a must when she travels for delivery.
Most importantly, her husband should not come forward to send off when she leaves to her mom’s home for delivery.
After delivery, an auspicious day during the 3rd or 5th month (odd) is selected by elders, when she is coming back to her MIL’s home. If the Pregnant woman starts from her Mil’s house during the odd month, then travelling back also should be odd month and the same with even month as well.
Whoever is accompanying the infant and the mother while returning back to her MIL’s house after delivery should be honored with a small gift that is usually a Saree. This is considered as an honor to the Sampandhi for safely taking care of the mother and child during and after delivery.
I will share about the detailing of how to take care of a pregnant woman before delivery and the infant mother after delivery shortly.