Ayush Ministry’s tract for expecting mothers has shocked people who are calling this directive as regressive and one without a scientific basis. A booklet released by government’s AYUSH ministry read: Pregnant women should control lust, hang "beautiful" pictures on the wall and shun non- vegetarian food if they wish to have a healthy baby.
The booklet -- Mother and Child Care -- was distributed at a recent function in Delhi. The event presided over by the Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Naik, ahead of the International Day for Yoga observed on June 21.
"Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust. Avoid bad company and be with good people," the advice, issued by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, says.
Minister Naik said that the booklet, published three years ago, is a compilation of yoga practices that are believed to help pregnant women.
"The Booklet does not contain any advice on abstaining from sex," he said. The booklet has a list of items that it believes pregnant women should steer clear of.
"Avoid tea, coffee, sugar, white flour products, garam masala, fried and oily items, egg and non-veg etc," it says.
It advises them to have "spiritual" thoughts and read the life histories of "great personalities".
The booklet recommends hanging "good and beautiful pictures" on bedroom walls, which, it says, will also have a positive impact on the foetus.
"The booklet puts together relevant facts culled out from clinical practice in the fields of yoga and naturopathy. It also contains wisdom accumulated over many centuries of yogic practice," Naik says.
Fact-check of some of the advice from the booklet
Stay away from meat, eggs
Meat is a source of protein and doctors advice expecting mothers to eat well-cooked meat. Yes, one should stay away from raw and half cooked meat. It may contain bacteria harmful for the body. Consume eggs, it is good for the body. Just avoid semi-cooked or raw eggs as they may contain salmonella that can be poisonous.
Sex is not prohibited by any doctor unless the baby or placenta is extremely low-lying. The uterus muscles and amniotic sac protects the child well. But yes, do stay away from anger and hatred. This is applicable to all.
Look at beautiful pictures
We agree with this directive. Who does not like to look at cute, sweet pictures of babies or animals.
(With PTI inputs)