( By LSPSS )

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The area of Mother and Child Health is of particular importance, since this has the largest body of specialised traditional practitioner namely dais. This is also an unique area in as much as this is the only field where the government has taken notes of existence of traditional practitioners namely dais - dai training is now an important part of the official package of Mother and Child care. In 1988-89 the LSPSS in collaboration with CHETNA had taken up a detailed survey of Traditional practices relating to Mother and Child Health in various parts of the country. The findings of this survey were evaluated by Aachaaryaas from the viewpoint of Aayurveda. The results of these findings were shared with community health workers, modern medical practioners etc. in a National convention on the Mother and Child Health in Traditional Medicine which was held at New Delhi in the December 1989.

In this publication we have tried to present an over-view. of the Traditional Practices of Mother and Child care presenting the view of Aayurveda as well as assessment of some traditional practices from Aayurvedic viewpoint. This is essentially a compilation from the results of the field survey and the material presented at the Delhi meeting. Since the subject is quite vast we have restricted ourselves in this monograph - i.e. Part I, to the subject of Garbhinicharya (i.e.) the care of the pregnant woman. Part II of this title will be published subsequently and will the practices relating to childbirth as well as the care of the Mother and child after delivery.

The author are thankful to Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala (IIT, Madras) for his help with the layout and Miss. R. Rama for typing the drafts of the manuscripts and for preparing the final text. Above all we are grateful to the voluntary agencies who did the survey and the Aachaaryaas who evaluated the data.

July 1990

A V Balasubramanian
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