(Last Updated on : 12/09/2009)
The Indian customs in pregnancy are strictly not followed as before but however, they are given far more importance than the other customs in the Hindu society. The pregnant women should never go close to a dead body, even if it's her near relative. She should never cross a stream, especially in the dark or in the evenings, or else the water spirit can give an evil influence on her. The pregnant woman should not visit a woman who has delivered a child recently. In all these cases, the danger feared is abortion from the influence of evil spirits. If a snake appears in front of the woman and tries to escape, it confirms her pregnancy. The people believed that the shadow of a pregnant woman once falling on a snake, will cause it to crawl slowly to any other direction.
During pregnancy, both the parents are surely vulnerable to the effects of an eclipse. Thus it is safest for the wife to keep to her bed and not even catch a glimpse of the eclipse. But the father is however not under any such strict prohibitions. During an eclipse, application of antimony by the wife to her eyes and the marking of tilak by the husband should be avoided or else the child may be similarly marked.
Extremists consider that the mother should not do locking and unlocking or else the fingers of the child can be born bent and become powerless. If the wife cuts any plank of wood with an axe or breaks anything that is made of wood, the fingers of the child shall be marked. Any activity like stamping or printing is done during an eclipse is thus responsible to leave an impression on the child's body. To turn away ill luck on a child the mother has to follow certain rules before the birth of the child. During an eclipse practice in vogue, from his birth that an image in gold connected with the asterism, in which the eclipse occurred, which can be solar or lunar. On the day of eclipse, the image of Rahu is also revered. A hawan or Agni jagey is also performed during proper intervals to ensure the well being of the child. The particular type of wood-AK wood for solar and Plas wood for lunar eclipse are used in this particular yageye. Like other unlucky children, a child born during the eclipse is weighed every month. Especially on the day of Sankrant (in the months of October-November) day, the child is weighed against seven kinds of grains and these grains are given away in charity.