Hindu Customs on Child Birth

Several Hindu samskars or scripture based rites are associated with birth of a child. These samskars include:

Garbhadana (conception) : or fervent prayer for a child in order to fulfill the parental obligation to continue the human race.

Punsavana (fetus protection) : Performed during the third or fourth month of pregnancy and prior to consciousness of fetus, to invoke divine qualities in the child.

Simantonnayana (satisfying the craving of the pregnant mother) : similar to baby shower, performed during the seventh month of pregnency, prayers offered for to God for healthy physical and mental growth of a child

Jatakarma (child birth) : welcomes the child into the family; mantras are recited for a healthy and long life. Samskar is performed to create a pleasant atmosphere for both the newly born child and mother.

Namakarna (Naming the child) : "Naming" according to scriptural procedures Nishkarmana (taking the child outdoors for the first time)  performed four months after birth.

Annaprasana (giving the child first solid food): Performed in the seventh or eight month after birth. There are detail instruction regarding what food to give etc., in scriptures (Grihyasutra)