Nature is the first mother of this body made of five elements. Children with mental and physical stability are an asset for the society and a great strength for the country. In Ayurveda, “Kaumarabhritya” is the branch of medicine that deals with understanding of child and adolescent anatomy, physiology, treatment and pharmacology. This branch of the science begins from the birth of the child itself.
One of the basic principles of Child health is that infants require a good amount of sleep to remain healthy throughout their life. This was scientifically validated by a study conducted in the University of Hoston which concluded that more than 11 hours of sleep per day is important for infants (upto 3 years of age) and also that lack of sleep during infanthood resulted in depression and anxiety disorders in later life. Surprisingly Ayurvedic literatures documented centuries ago say the same – Nidrayattam sukham duhkham. – Happiness (pleasure) and depression (pain) are dependent on quality of sleep. Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 21/36.
The Child of the present is the future of the world, who shall play multiple roles including family responsibility and self-sustenance. The quality of life that an infant leads speaks a lot about the child’s life till the end. Proper nutrition and lifestyle practices during childhood lays a strong foundation for accurate decision making, intelligent quotient, ability to fight against diseases and so on.
The most vital factor that influences a child health is its “mother”. The health of a mother is directly proportional to the health of the child. Hence care of the mother is automatically linked with child’s quality of life as right from pregnancy, breast feeding and the major part of nutrition is highly influenced by the mother. Depriving the mother of good nutritious foods, physical well-being and mental peace has multifold effects on respective planes of consciousness in the child too . Brain development that is vital in intellectual development of the child which helps in strengthening power of intellect is very rapid from intrauterine life (pregnancy) till the age of 2 yr after birth. If proper nutrition is not available to foetus or later during infancy, the mental growth shall be slower proportionately to the nutrition.
The child may look healthy physically if gets proper diet in later life but memory, knowledge and importance to capacity shall remain lower than expected. Ayurveda has provided so much importance to child that even the care related to female and its disorders are described under “Kaumarbhritya” (care of children), which is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda.
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