No sex, No meat during pregnancy: Ayush Ministry Advisory draws flak
New Delhi: Surprising doctors and patients alike, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) recently issued an advisory telling the pregnant women not have sex, meat and bad company during pregnancy.
The ministry's advice, given in a booklet, that pregnant women should read life histories of great personalities, stay calm, and avoid anger or lust.The booklet was released by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik during the National Health Editors' Conference on Yoga on June 9 in the run-up to the International Yoga Day.
"Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred, and lust," the booklet published by AYUSH Ministry-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy says.
"Hang some good and beautiful pictures in bedroom, which will have an effect on the (unborn) child also... during pregnancy, women have to do self-study, should have spiritual thoughts, should read the life histories of great personalities and should keep themselves in peace," it added.
Here is an excerpt of the AYUSH Ministry's booklet
Contradicting AYUSH Ministry's advice, Professor Alka Kriplani, Gynaecology Department, head at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences told IANS, there is a specific reason, a pregnant woman should continue with all activities she routinely indulges in, including sex, "unless there is a high-risk factor.But there is no such thing that one should avoid meat during pregnancy. It is a good source of protein and those who consume it can continue to do so."
"Also, protein intake should be higher during pregnancy. While I'm not saying that those who are vegetarians should start consuming non-vegetarian protein, but those who usually consume it should continue to do so to fulfil their protein intake," Dr Kriplani added.
AYUSH Ministry's Explanation
With backlash over the media reports regarding the advisory The Ministry of AYUSH soon came out with an explanation to clear the air on 'no sex, meat or bad company' during pregnancy and said that this was just a suggestion or an advisory, it's not a prescription.
Speaking to ANI, Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, Dr. Ishwara Acharya, said, "This was just a suggestion or an advisory, it's not a prescription for pregnant women in India to not have sex, meat or be in bad company if you want to have healthy babies".
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shaina NC also said that nobody is forcing anyone to follow these rules.
"I do not think this is to be said loud and clear. It is a thought process which should be practiced by one self. Nobody is forcing anyone to follow these rules, it is just a guideline," Shaina told ANI.