In the run-up to International Day for Yoga on June 21, India’s minister of state for Ayush, Shripad Naik released a booklet called Mother and Child Care. In a country where 26 million babies are born each year, the ministry’s prescription to pregnant women as mentioned in the handout is to avoid meat, say no to sex after conception and have only spiritual thoughts to have a healthy child.
Reportedly been compiled by the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, the booklet’s other weird suggestions include hanging good and beautiful pictures in the bedroom and abstaining from attachment, and hatred.
According to a Hindustan Times report, senior gynaecologist and obstetrician with the Apollo Healthcare Group, Dr Malavika Sabharwal contradicted the advice saying, “The advice is unscientific. Protein-deficiency malnutrition and anaemia are health concerns for pregnant women and meats are a great source of both protein and iron, which is better absorbed from animal sources than plant sources.”
“Pregnant women need to be happy and instead of being prescriptive about what they should think and do to be happy, we must urge them to do things they enjoy and strongly advise the family be to supportive,” she added.
As far as sex is concerned caution is advised during the first trimester. However, if the pregnancy is normal, there is no need for abstinence.
This is not the first time weird suggestions have been made. Last month, Garbhvigyan Anusandhan Kendra, a Jamnagar-based antenatal care centre came into the limelight for advising couples to conceive a child by having sex on auspicious days and abstinence after conception.
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