|The cord is attached to
the rasvaha nadi (maternal part of the placenta) of
the mother and this carries ahararasa-virya
(nutrition) from the mother to the foetus. The foetus
grows by this indirect supply of nutrition.
From the time of conception till the zygote gets
itself attached to uterus, its nutrition depends on
the nutritive parts carried by sperms and ovum.
Charaka says that with the normalcy of all six factors
of conception and use of appropriate diet alongwith
proper mode of life followed by the pregnant woman,
the foetus thus obtaining its nourishment from rasa
(supplied by mother) by the process of upasneha
(attracting moisture) and upasweda (osmosis) and
influenced time factor alongwith its own nature or
desires grows normally. The foetus does not feel
hunger and thirst and is totally dependent upon the
- In initial stage when its specific body parts
though present are not explicit, it obtains its
subsistence by attracting moisture and osmosis.
- Afterwards when body parts are conspicuous, a
part of nourishment is obtained by upasneha
(moisture) permeating through pores of skin
situated in hair roots of the body and a part
through the passage of umbilical cord. The foetal
umbilicus is attached to the umbilical cord,
umbilical cord to the placenta and placenta to the
- The mother's heart immerses the placenta (with
blood) through running and oozing vessels.
- Mother's diet contains all the rasas, thus the
rasa derived from this diet gives strength and
complexion to the foetus, and foetus deriving its
sustenance from this diet remains alive and
develops in the uterus. Caraka further explains
the point that what so ever diet the pregnant
woman consumes, the rasa formed from this performs
- nourishment of the woman's body,
- formation of milk
- nourishment to the foetus.
- Vagbhata I adds that from umbilical cord the
rasa reaches pakwasaya (digestive system) of the
foetus and there with its own kayagni (digestive
fire) it gets metabolized and provides nourishment
to it. Since rasa carries pure nutrients, hence
excreta are not formed.
- Indu has explained that unctuousness is upasneha
and moistening is upasweda.
- Entire foetal nourishment is divided into two
stages, before apparent evidence of organs or upto
three months and after wards.
- Before implantation, zygote gets its nourishment
from exudates of uterine cavity and after
implantation but before complete placenta
formation, through chorionic villi present all
over the embryonic surface. This has very clearly
been mentioned by Sushruta that embryo gets
nourishment from the channels running all around