Taking care of a pregnant woman is a very important and crucial task those days. Since delivery is taken care at home, the period prior to delivery also has the same importance as postnatal period. My periamma worked as a trained staff conducting delivery at home. She shared her experience with me. Also she has to take care of her younger sisters, after her mother’s demise. Her services were extended to the next generation as well, even though the delivery was conducted at Hospital. I am also one among those who enjoyed her pre and post natal care.
Usually, the next of Seemandham the pregnant woman travels to her mother’s home and stay there till 3rd month after delivery. This is traditionally followed allowing the pregnant woman to enjoy the warmth of her mother. Nowadays, if the pregnant woman happens to be in other country, Parents travel all the way to the daughter’s place and conduct all the rituals, stay with them for few months and follow our traditional way of parenting during pregnancy.
Jeera kashayam (Cumin) is most important and it is provided to the pregnant woman to reduce the warmth of the body. This is provided from the 9th month of pregnancy. This is preferably consumed during the morning before breakfast.
1 Tea spoon of Sombu and Jeeragam (Fennel & Cumin seeds) should be roasted till golden brown and pour 1 & ½ cup water. Boil till it comes half cup. Add panakalkandu (optional) and filter the water. Then add 1 teaspoon of butter to the syrup. The syrup is ready to be consumed.
When the pregnant woman experience pain, this kashaayam is given. If the pain settles down, it is believed to be false pain. If the pain gets severe, then it is time to make preparations to take her to the hospital.
Kodhi kanchi is also prepared and consumed from the 5th month of pregnancy. Wash the rice and add water to cook. Then place it on the stove and let it boil. When the water starts boiling and observes the light while color of rice, take ½ cup of water and add 1 Teaspoon of butter and consume when it is warm. This is also consumed to reduce the heat that develops during pregnancy.
And during pregnancy, the woman experiences back pain. Elders advice to apply oil in the hip and pour hot water in bearable heat during the evening. This enables the bones to relax and increase flexibility that enables for easy delivery.
Usually, no new dresses or things that are required for the child are purchased before the baby is born. A used dress of an infant in our family is safely kept and used when the new baby is born. Mine was also kept safely by my Mom and used after 20 years. It is believed that the newly born infant also grows with health and wealth as of the grown one.