Speaking on astrology, I think I can give here some tips on conception of a healthy child as given by Varahamihira and others.
According to them the onset of menses follows certain planetary positions. Conception is successful in certain months only in which the menses has occurred under certain combinations.
The moon sign of the girl must be noted. The monthly movement of the moon with reference to this sign must be noted.
The 3rd, 6th, 10th and 11th houses from moon sign are known as Upachayas.
The other houses (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th) are known as anupachayas or non-upachayas.
Usually menses occurs when the moon transits non-upachaya signs. If at the time, moon receives the aspect of Mars (Mars aspects 4th, 7th and 8th houses from itself), that menses will facilitate conception in that cycle. This is applicable to girls of child-bearing age.
Sometimes menses may occur when the moon transits upachaya signs. It won't facilitate conception even if Martian aspect is there on the moon.
So the moon's position (in non-upachaya) at the time of occurrence of menses is the primary requisite. Martian aspect is a facilitating factor for conception in that monthly cycle.
Texts then proceed to analyze the conditions required for men also. For the man, the moon must be in 'reverse' – that is in upachaya rasi from his moon sign and aspected by Jupiter or other friends of moon (sun, Mars) or Venus. When these conditions are present in a month for the man and woman, conception is more likely.
At the time of intercourse (lagna / ascendant) in such a month, there must not be melefics in the 7th house, for a healthy fertilization. There must be no planet in the 8th house.
The lunar day (Thithi) of that time must not be Amavasya / Pournami / chathurthi (4th lunar phase) / ashtami (8th) / navami (9th) / chathurdasi (14th)
The day at that time (day starts at sunrise according to vedic astrology) can be Monday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday. Other days don't ensure formation of a healthy embryo.
The favorable asterisms are Sravana, Rohini, Anuradha, Swati, Revathi, Moola, Uttara, Uttrashada, Uttrabhadrapada and Satabhishak.
Pushya, Dhanishta, Mrigashira, Ashwini, Chiitra and Punarvasu are average. If all the other combinations (Thithi, day) are present, the days of these stars are ok. Rest of the stars is not favored for conception.
Since the moment of conception determines the nature of fertilization and the growth of the embryo into a healthy being, these astrological combinations were followed in Vedic system. Proper dieting and body cleansing methods of Ayurveda are needed as complementary requisites to ensure birth of a healthy child. In these modern times of non-belief in Vedic system, it is a wonder that someone had thought about them and had recommended them for practice. The news item below gives the details. Pumsavana (sex selection) is given in that article. I will write about it in a separate post.
Plan your pregnancy through the Vedic way
"And emboldened by the success of the practice which is inherent in Vedic form of living, eight to ten couples (from cross sections of society) are now registering selves annually with the hospital to deliver an out and out healthy progeny through the oriental way," Gupta added. Entire process of planned pregnancy starts with Panchkarma Therapy (to purify the couple of any physical or mental health problems/defects), followed by a strictly followed month long schedule of Bramhacharya (celibacy) during which Rasayan Aushadhies of Ayurveda are administered to them.
It's during the month of strictly followed celibacy that qualified astrologers at Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vibhag of the parent institute, JS Ayurveda College (Nadiad), on the basis of meticulous planetary calculations fix the dates for a fruitful sexual intercourse between the couple, so as to lead to the best planned pregnancy, said Gupta, a professor at Dept of Kaya Chikitsa in the college. Just after the process of conception is detected by Prasuti Tantra experts (Ayurvedic gyaenecologists), the priests from the Sanskrit section of the college go for necessary rituals and yajnas to ensure a healthy conception.
Even as the rituals and yajnas go on, the experts of Ayurveda ensure a perfectly healthy dietary schedule for the pregnant woman along with necessary herbal medicines during various stages of pregnancy. During the period of pregnancy, while the Vedic Karmakanda specialists perform Punsavan Sanskar (for spiritual awakening of the would be mother) special herbal medicines too are administered to her for a side effect free immune enhancement, which will lead to the birth of a healthy child without any congenital problems, Gupta said.
And the newborn too is welcomed in the world with process of Jata Karma, where Rasayan Aushadhies are delivered to the baby amid chanting of Vedic mantras, followed by Nishkrama Sanskar when the baby is exposed to sunlight for the first time. The entire process of having an ideal/healthy progeny doesn't end with Nishkraman Sanskar, but is capped by Annaprashan, a ceremony where the baby consumes first morsels of staple food amid Vedic rituals to ensure healthy future for the baby, he added.