What are Hindu views on conception and childbirth?
Marriage brings a man and woman together and they start a new life where one complements the other. Hindus believe that neither the man nor the woman is complete. Together they project the complete picture. This is the first step in establishing a new family.
An important purpose of marriage is to have children. Every couple looks forward to having capable, healthy, intelligent children who learn good moral values and bring home honour and happiness. It is natural that when a man and woman are physically intimate, al an appropriate time the woman will conceive and eventually bear a child. But not all children possess the qualities parents desire. There is a belief that if the man and woman desire 2 capable child it must be well planned.
Planning does not only imply the time when the couple are ready to have the child, bi also the physical and emotional harmony between the couple. Both must look forward t starting a happy family. This emotional harmony passes on to the child. It is for this reason that Hindus call a son atmaj and a daughter atmaja, both words being derived from the word atma - the soul or self. Both the son and daughter pertain to the self.