Child Development

Child Development

Maternal Stress and Baby’s GUT-Brain disturbances

This is the reason we have सीमन्तोन्नयन Samskar. Once the pregnant lady crosses 6th or 7th month, she becomes अगृहिणी (Temporary relief from household chores) and stops worrying about her duties towards family. No one then gives her any responsibility.

Stress-free life -> Rich Gut bacteria -> Rich brain formation for fetus

Up to सीमन्तोन्नयन Samskar, pregnant mother lives routine life as गृहिणी and she takes care home as head of the family. After सीमन्तोन्नयन samskar, mother becomes अगृहिणी and relieves from daily chores. Generally, this samskar is performed around 6 or 7th month. Last 2-3 months are critical for brain and mind development. This is the time when pregnant mother must live stress-free life.

Stress-free life -> Rich Gut bacteria -> Rich brain formation for fetus
Now slap all dumb driven cattle who debate with you that dharmic rituals are useless.

Becoming अगृहिणी plays CRITICAL role in development of healthy brain and gut for newborn.
Same role is played by breast-feeding.
For reference, read article shared in comment.

Hint: Ideal stress-free life is possible when you live with mother i.e. Pregnant’s mother and/or mother nature. Farm life. Jungle life. Mother’s home.

If you are pregnant or expecting soon, take care! No stress of whatsoever!! Even if a building collapses in front of you, smile! 🙂 Develop that level of intolerance towards stress. 🙂



Pregnant mother’s stress affects baby’s gut and brain

Pregnant women may pass on the effects of stress to their fetus by way of bacterial changes in their vagina, suggests a study in mice. It may affect how well their baby’s brain is equipped to deal with stress in adulthood.

The bacteria in our body outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1, with most of them found in our gut. Over the last few years, it has become clear that the bacterial ecosystem in our body – our microbiome – is essential for developing and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Our gut bugs also help to prevent germs from invading our bodies, and help to absorb nutrients from food.

A baby gets its first major dose of bacteria in life as it passes through its mother’s birth canal. En route, the baby ingests the mother’s vaginal microbes, which begin to colonise the newborn’s gut.

Chris Howerton, then at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and his colleagues wanted to know if this initial population of bacteria is important in shaping a baby’s neurological development, and whether that population is influenced by stress during pregnancy.

Stressful pregnancy

The first step was to figure out what features of the mother’s vaginal microbiome might be altered by stress, and then see if any of those changes were transmitted to the offspring’s gut.

To do this, the team exposed 10 pregnant mice to a different psychologically stressful experience, such as exposing them to fox odour, keeping their cages lit at night, or temporarily restraining them every day for what would be the equivalent of the first trimester of their pregnancy. Another 10 pregnant mice were housed normally during the same time.

The team took samples of their vaginal bacteria throughout the pregnancy and again just after the mice had given birth. These samples were genetically sequenced to see what types of bacteria were present.

The microbiomes of the stressed mice were remarkably different to those of the unstressed mice after they had each given birth. There were more types of bacteria present, and the proportion of one common gut bacteria, Lactobacillus, was significantly reduced.


You are what your father ate: Father’s diet before conception


Child Development is a fundamental duty. Do not ignore.

You are what your father ate
You are what your father ate

Most child-seeking couple take care of would-be mothers. No one really talk about father’s role. As if father has nothing to do with the creation process. 😀

And so mother may take care of low hemoglobin, low folic acid, low calcium etc during and before pregnancy based on Gynecologist’s advice but father? He will eat anything and everything! He will smoke and drink! Who cares? 🙂

Ideally, if you are planning a child, both would-be mother-father should have conscious diet plan with healthy living habits.

Of course, above all cares we take (or don’t care at all) , it is all karma.

Old friends may recall that we discussed this in past. To all my young friends, I suggest to regulate diet (that you offer to senses, not limited to physical food you eat) at least 6 months before planning child. At least make sure that you are not Vata heavy on the day of planning.

72 days long spermatogenesis
72 days long spermatogenesis

Would be father’s diet for 72 days nurtures sperms (Development of immature sperm to mature sperm takes 72 days.) until they are sent out on mission. As per Ayurveda, it takes almost a month to convert your food into Shukra (शुक्र) (Google 7 Dhatu process to know more) so Day 1 for immature sperm gets शुक्र emergy from the food digested month back. So 72 + 30 days. For roughly 90 days before planning day, both couple should eat same diet and on same time together joyously. For 90 days, do not do stressful job. For 90 days, sleep well. Pray daily to your pitru(s). Do daily Sandhya. To practice this, at least train your body for another 90 days. So 180 days before actual conception, fix image of child in mind and start preparing for them.

If you are doing root cause analysis of growing number of cancer/diabetes and other diseases, you must go back to era of Green revolution. Because seeds were sown then by replacing traditional farming by chemical farming. What your grand-father ate, you represent now! Same will go on with your future generations.


Low paternal dietary folate alters the mouse sperm epigenome and is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes

Epidemiological studies suggest that a father’s diet can influence offspring health. A proposed mechanism for paternal transmission of environmental information is via the sperm epigenome. The epigenome includes heritable information such as DNA methylation. We hypothesize that the dietary supply of methyl donors will alter epigenetic reprogramming in sperm. Here we feed male mice either a folate-deficient or folate-sufficient diet throughout life. Paternal folate deficiency is associated with increased birth defects in the offspring, which include craniofacial and musculoskeletal malformations. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis and the subsequent functional analysis identify differential methylation in sperm of genes implicated in development, chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. While >300 genes are differentially expressed in offspring placenta, only two correspond to genes with differential methylation in sperm. This model suggests epigenetic transmission may involve sperm histone H3 methylation or DNA methylation and that adequate paternal dietary folate is essential for offspring health.

You are what your father eats

Mothers get all the attention. But a study led by McGill researcher Sarah Kimmins suggests that the father’s diet before conception may play an equally important role in the health of their offspring. It also raises concerns about the long-term effects of current Western diets and of food insecurity.

The research focused on vitamin B9, alsocalled folate, which is found in a range of green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and meats. It is well known that in order to prevent miscarriages and birth defects mothers need to get adequate amounts of folate in their diet. But the way that a father’s diet can influence the health and development of their offspring has received almost no attention. Now research from the Kimmins group shows for the first time that the father’s folate levels may be just as important to the development and health of their offspring as are those of the mother.Indeed, the study suggests that fathers should pay as much attention to their lifestyle and diet before they set out to conceive a child as mothers do.

“Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to a variety of foods, fathers who are eating high-fat, fast food diets or who are obese may not be able to use or  metabolize folate in the same way as those with adequate levels of the vitamin,” says Kimmins. “People who live in the Canadian North or in other parts of the world where there is food insecurity may also be particularly at risk for folate deficiency. And we now know that this information will be passed on from the father to the embryo with consequences that may be quite serious.”

The researchers arrived at this conclusion by working with mice, and comparing the offspring of fathers with insufficient folate in their diets with the offspring of fathers whose diets contained sufficient levels of the vitamin. They found that paternal folate deficiency was associated with an increase in birth defects of various kinds in the offspring, compared to the offspring of mice whose fathers were fed a diet with sufficient folate.

Year-End Sales: Save your kids from marketing perverts


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There is marketing lesson taught in many MBA schools. ==> “Pick them early. As early as you can. By hook or crook. By toys, cartoons and movies.”

This is not festival celebration. This is process of making consumers out of innocent kids. Future customer base creation.

We also played with गुड्डा/गुडिया but not under such intense marketing gimmicks.

In name of toys, little girls are brainwashed to make up like imaginary character. Behave like adults. Talk and walk like adults.

Child body is not Adult body
Child mind is not adult mind
Do we realize the havoc when we force kids to imitate adults?
Do we realize the impact of media, entertainment and so called liberal product marketing impact?

Even though, they share same human body, Children are not “Little Adults”. 🙂 Their state of living is radically different from adult needs.
Our highly mechanized and materialistic living ignore this.

The radical difference is not just growing body vs aging body but the re-sketching (because I believe in re-birth) of mind from the scratch. And we treat them with same sick adult food and entertainment. 🙂

Can you imagine the impact? You and me won’t realize the pain of early puberty (as we had relatively better mind-space in absence of Television and mobile) but our kids will. Grown up adult body with same growing mind/psyche. 🙁 Thanks to food for body and mind we can best offer to them in present urban environment.

No wonder why we had Gurukul, away from Grihasthi life, in jungles, protecting childhood innocence and nurturing it by mother nature’s magic wands.

They are shown dreams to buy merchandise associated with doll. From make up to bed to fans to TV to what not! Consumer more! And live in imaginary world!

Things don’t stop here. When kids grow up, they become faithful customers of the system.

Being part of the same system, I see my son slowly getting consumed 🙁 Feeling helpless?

Take radical steps. Alone, you cannot. Form a tribe of like-minded parents. Spend spare time together, away from toxic influence of entertainment and market.


Baby Walkers : Unsafe and Growth limiting luxury



Two things are happening in India that controls parenting actions. 1) Increasing middle income group 2) Cheap toys dumping by China

On top of it, thanks to communication revolution (TV, Media, Mobile, Internet), majority are now connected to global world and hence there is continuous mimicry going on to ape the western world.

One such blind choice parents make is : Present walker to infant.

During infancy, kid has infinite learning assignments. Their uncontrolled energy is exploring world beyond womb. It is the time when mind is developing with this fresh new body.

We usually think our mind is in control and telling our body what to do. But there is a lot of scientific evidence that shows the chatter between mind and body goes two ways, and the body is an integral part of how we think.

For infants, it is body under the control of mother nature, shaping mind!

University of Chicago Professor Sian Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, believes the body-mind connection starts early.

“Movement matters with everyone, but it is especially important for babies and young children,” said Beilock. “Mobile kids hit cognitive milestones faster.” She said that simple steps like allowing babies to run around naked — when appropriate — can help them explore their worlds. Beilock said wearing diapers and using baby walkers can limit a baby’s ability to interact with the world and hinder the process of learning how to walk. The more quickly children learn how to walk and explore, the faster their cognitive development.


Beilock said wearing diapers and using baby walkers can limit a baby’s ability to interact with the world and hinder the process of learning how to walk.


Initial years of childhood is the time of play, and as mammals, we are actually designed to learn through play, which is how we gather information. Let your child enjoy care-free world of learning.

This is not limited infant age.

Incorporating physical activity into more subjects can help kids learn in school, according to Beilock.

“We can’t just keep students confined to their chairs — we have to get them up, out and moving,” Beilock said. “When the subjects are math or physics, getting students to actually physically experience some of the concepts they’re learning about changes how their brains process the information and can lead to better performance on a test.” Movement also helps explain the connection between music and math. Why do kids tend to excel in both? It’s because the brain areas controlling finger dexterity and number largely overlap. Beilock unpacks the latest research showing that when kids exercise their fingers through regular piano play, their grasp of numbers improves.

Exercise can aid mental health as well as academic achievement, according to Beilock. “The research shows that getting kids moving is important not only for their physical well-being, but for their mental well-being, too.” She said schools need to emphasize “the “4 Rs” — reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic and recess. Boys’ academic achievement may especially benefit from recess, she added. [1]

Now again back to topic of walkers.

In 2001, American Association of pediatrics published a statement on walkers. Here are some numbers

  1. In 1999, an estimated 8800 children younger than 15 months were treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States for injuries associated with infant walkers.
  2. Thirty-four infant walker-related deaths were reported from 1973 through 1998. The vast majority of injuries occur from falls down stairs, and head injuries are common.
  3. Walkers do not help a child learn to walk; indeed, they can delay normal motor and mental development. 
  4. Because data indicate a considerable risk of major and minor injury and even death from the use of infant walkers, and because there is no clear benefit from their use, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a ban on the manufacture and sale of mobile infant walkers. 

Please don’t act like a villain for your kid. Let it be in free-flow of life!

If you really wish to aid your kid about walking skills, below is the better option. It is designed to serve the real purpoe i.e. free flow learning.



[1] Mind-body connection not a one-way street

New book shares science on how the body can influence the mind

How the Body Knows Its Mind provides many tips on how to use one’s body, actions or surroundings to stimulate the mind and to influence those around you. She offered a few suggestions to improve the body-mind connection:

  • Take active breaks from work or vexing problems to give your brain a chance to regroup and reboot. Physically walking away from the problem for a few minutes may help you solve it.
  • Your body’s posture and expressions are not just reflections of your mind—they can influence your mood. Stand tall to help give yourself confidence and to send a signal to those around you that you have brought your “A” game to the table. And be mindful of your facial expressions. Your brain uses your expressions as cues to feel emotions. Smiling can actually make you feel happier.
  • Practice in the real conditions under which you will have to perform—whether it’s public speaking, a test or an important match. It’s also good to practice in front of others so when all eyes are on you, it’s nothing new.
  • Write it out. Journaling can help you deal with the stress of a test or your worries in daily life. Physically downloading worries from your mind (by putting pen to paper) has positive performance outcomes and reducing that stress affects your health in good ways, too.
  • Spend time in nature as often as you can, and find time to meditate. New science shows that a walk in the woods rejuvenates our minds and improves our ability to pay attention and focus. Meditation for even a few minutes a day can help alleviate anxiety and chronic pain. It also can help with self-control that may be helpful for working to break bad habits, like smoking.

[2] Injuries Associated With Infant Walkers

Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention

Unfortunate infants and Feeding Formula


Every time I see infants left to the bottle, for all silly reasons (parents busy in window shopping, went for movie, for party etc), it is extremely painful sight. 🙁

Infant Milk

Breast-fed is not just about nutrition but vital immune memories!

And there are some anxious parents who strive physical growth for their kids, on prescription of doctor, start feeding formula.

To Anxious parents who feed formula powders to kids :

रानी लक्ष्मी बाई, महाराणा प्रताप, भगत सिंह, सुभाष चन्द्र बोस, गुरु गोबिंद सिंह जी आदि महावीरों ने कौन सा बेबी पाउडर पीया था?

Stop torturing your kid’s digestion track by artificial nonsense processed food!

Educate parents around you!


Breast vs. bottle feeding in rhesus monkeys

Infants receiving different diets after birth develop distinct immune systems


While the researchers expected different diets would promote different intestinal bacteria (microbiota), they were surprised at how dramatically these microbes shaped immunologic development. Specifically, breast-fed macaques had more “memory” T cells and T helper 17 (TH17) cells, which are known to fight salmonella and other pathogens.

These differences persisted for months after the macaques had been weaned and placed on identical diets, indicating that variations in early diet may have long-lasting effects.

“We saw two different immune systems develop: one in animals fed mother’s milk and another in those fed formula,” said Dennis Hartigan-O’Connor, a CNPRC scientist in the Infectious Diseases Unit and Reproductive Sciences and Regenerative Medicine Unit, and an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at UC Davis.

“But what’s most startling is the durability of these differences. Infant microbes could leave a long-lasting imprint on immune function,” he said.

Never Ignore Roots : Pregnancy, Mother’s attitude and Child Development Impact


Recently, due to some family emergency, I visited near by hospital. There, I saw expectant mothers waiting for their sonography round! While waiting, all of them were engaged in super critical talk on whatsapp! 🙁

Yes, it may be difficult to spend time but then who stops mothers to divert mind in productive activities like reading Ramayana to the child? If not that, why not learn knitting or other activities related to child?

Child neglect starts very early in life. All in the womb! Modern mothers have hardly any time left to think about the womb. Talk with the child. Conversations! Instead of talking with child in womb, she is driven by entertainment! TV to whatsapp and whatsapp to HotStar! As if, chatting on whatsapp is more important than talking with kid!

No Garbha Sanskar music or seminar or super food will help if you can’t connect and communicate with your kid inside!!

I have written in past, how neglect will cause damage to brain. Read them here:

Never compromise motherhood! Be with your child!

Your Child Demands Yashoda Care : Neuroscience of parenting

Now, read this latest research


Mothers who ‘connect’ with their baby during pregnancy are more likely to interact in a more positive way with their infant after it is born, according to a study carried out at the University of Cambridge. Interaction is important for helping infants learn and develop.

Researchers at the Centre for Family Research carried out a meta-analysis, reviewing all published studies in the field, in an attempt to demonstrate conclusively whether there was a link with the way parents think about their child during pregnancy and their behaviour towards them postnatally.

The results of their work, which draws data from 14 studies involving 1,862 mothers and fathers, are published in the journal Developmental Review.

Studies included in the meta-analysis examined parents’ thoughts and feelings about their child during pregnancy through interviews and questionnaires. For example, in interviews expectant parents were considered to have a ‘balanced’ representation of their child if they showed positive anticipation of their relationship with the child or showed ‘mind-mindedness’ – a propensity to see their child as an individual, with its own thoughts and feelings. This was contrasted by parents who had a ‘distorted’ representation of their child, with a narrow, idealised description of their child, and incomplete or inconsistent descriptions of them.

Once the child had been born, researchers in these studies would observe the interactions between parent and child. One measure they were looking for was ‘sensitivity’ – the ability to notice, interpret and respond in a  timely and appropriate manner to children’s signals, for example if the baby was upset.

Combining the results from all 14 studies, the Cambridge team showed a modest association between positive thoughts and feelings about the infant during pregnancy and later interaction with the infant, but only in mothers.

“Studies have shown that parent-child interaction is crucial for a child’s development and learning, so we wanted to understand if there were prenatal signs that might predict a parent’s behaviour,” says Dr Sarah Foley, the study’s first author, who carried out the research as part of her PhD.

“Although we found a relationship between a mother’s attitude towards her baby during pregnancy and her later interactions, this link was only modest. This suggests it is likely to be a part of the jigsaw, rather than the whole story.”

Research has also shown that increased awareness of the baby during pregnancy is associated with healthy behaviours during pregnancy, such as giving up smoking or attending antenatal appointments.

While more work is needed to determine what form such interventions might take, options might include the midwife encouraging the mother to think about what her baby may be like, or asking the mother to imagine activities they think she and her baby might like to do together.

“This is a relatively new area of research, but could have important implications for children’s development,” adds Dr Foley. “We need more research in this area, but hope it will inform new interventions that could help new mothers engage more with their children.”


What Baby seek? Magical motherly smell



I raised this point sometime back with breast feeding reference. Read one interesting research so sharing it again.

Imagine infants long for their mothers and mothers are away working in sweat shops, (So called $ minting machines i.e. service industry) slogging for more than 8 hrs.

Can this longing be fulfilled by hefty salary or your personal career ambition?

I understand. You are trapped in so called ‘विकास’ or vicious cycle of having more and more.(Rat race?) I completely understand your pain.

That’s where, I expect so called revolutionary govt to steps in. Is it not possible to pay working mothers full salary for full 1 year so that she can stay with her infant little longer?

Shopping with Children: Imposing Adulthood and Killing Childhood

Shopping malls - Making of future consumers
Shopping malls – Making of future consumers by arranging kids events like fashion shows, dance shows, talent hunt etc.

Shopping is an adult habit. Especially, modern shopping is very much,exclusive, recently developed (Post 1991 liberalization) habit in society where majority of us are now surrounded by tsunami of choices. We now buy things that are not at all required for living. So basically, it is secondary life habit. One can live without it.

Super markets and modern FMCG companies want to sell things so they use children as Ad actors. And there is no TV restriction at home for children and hence children also force parents to allow them for shopping.

In short, kids (Age below 10 or 7) go to shopping with parents.

When I see, so many parents going to supermarket with their kids, I worry for kids as they are slowly being poisoned to become consumers of the future.

Children carry fragile minds. They learn from environment quickly. They learn from you at rocket speed. And they keep these habits (Good or bad, you decide) forever as they become primary habits.

Unknowingly, when you bring your kids to store, you train them for an unnecessary shopping habit. Their mind becomes confused seeing all choices. It affects their data processing. It affects their ability to take decision as they have not yet learnt to decide by discrimination of right vs wrong. So they exhibit uncontrolled refractoriness(दुराग्रह/जिद). They want all toys. They want all chocolates.


Bad food habits. Bad behaviour. Faulty development. Uncontrolled teens.

Stop bombarding consumer attitude upon developing mind in growing age. Stop them becoming future consumers. Too many choices are not good for adults too! Why expose kids to tsunami of alternatives? Why kill their development?

And if you really want them to learn shopping, take them to local farm or Gau shala and buy things afresh. Take them to local sabji mandi where choices are limited. Super market for kids as any day bad idea in my humble opinion.

Oh yes, when your kid turns 9 or 10. Do go to shopping with them. It is right time for them to learn लेन-देन/खरीदारी/shopping/हिसाब/money matters.

Purpose of Education : Mastering dinacharyA

dincharyA education
dincharyA education

Our body is a clock. In fact, several billion clocks together, each in individual cell, each for community of cells i.e. organs. Unfortunately, they are not like mechanical clocks.

Organ level clocks have varied sunrise point (time when it is active most for designated activity). Morning time is the lung time. Midday is stomach time, when we feel hungry. Afternoon is liver time, and late afternoon is when the colon and kidneys operate at their peak.

Not only organs, our vital energy (Prana) also work on its own sunrise time. Our constitution also has different sunrise time. For example, 6 A.M.–10 A.M. is kapha time, 10 A.M.–2 P.M. is pitta time and so on.

Based on these clocks, one should design daily routine i.e. दिनचर्या. Daily routine helps us to maintian harmony among all vital forces working to keep our identity alive (cells, prana, swabhav, ahmkara etc).

Student life is dedicated to learn all of this by self-realization so that one can live Grihasthi jivan with minimal struggles.

Do our schools teach this? Oh no, our schools teach how to help NGOs. How to take care of patients and such after-shock care plans. Prevention is not in syllabus.

Pre-school: toddler’s old-age home.


Many early experiences that guide brain development occur in the warm and secure relationship between a young child and her/his parents. The emotional security that young children get from their parents encourages them to explore their environment with confidence. Parents provide a sense of security by helping children manage their emotions (when they become upset) and by limiting their exposure to situations that are too much for their coping skills. This sense of security supports growth of slowly developing structures in the brain that control self-regulation and self-control.

Can a paid caregiver of 21st century replace this warm and secure relationship? Can artificial school environment provide this? No. Not all. Paid-teachers without selfless and pure heart cannot provide such security.

Then why so many parents rush to put children below age 6/7 to school? Why compromise with natural development for imparting some bread-churning skills like learning foreign language alphabets?

Why such carelessness? Why escapism from responsibilities? If at all you want your children to join pre-schools, get yourselves involved in all activities.

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