India's no-meat, no-lust advice for pregnant women ridiculed

India's no-meat, no-lust advice for pregnant women ridiculed

Women in India are being told to avoid meat, eggs and "impure thoughts" while pregnant and look at pictures of babies instead.

He said the Government's advice to pregnant women showed "backward thinking" and hostility toward evidence-based science.

The advice was featured in a booklet about pregnancy and motherhood issued by part of the lengthily titled Department of 'Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy', or AYUSH for short.

"Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust", the booklet reads.

It says pregnant women should also shun "impure thoughts" and look at pictures of handsome babies to benefit the fetus.

"It also contains wisdom accumulated over many centuries of yogic practice", Naik said.

Doctors said the advice bordered on ridiculous, especially in a country that recorded a staggering 45,000 maternal deaths in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

"The government is doling out unscientific and irrational advice, instead of ensuring that poor pregnant women get to eat a nutritious, high-protein diet", said gynaecologist Arun Gadre.

About one-third of India's 1.3 billion people live below the poverty line and often times women are forced to give up their meal portions for their husbands or children.

Malnourished women are more likely to give birth to underweight babies, who then are in danger of being "stunted" or not growing to their full height and weight.

This latest misogynistic stunt by the Indian ministry has created a furor in the medical community.

'This is a national shame.

Apparently expectant mothers are being told to stay away from meat, eggs, and lust.

India already suffers from malnutrition among pregnant women. Men still rule the Indian home, and women don't always receive the health care they need when they need it.

"This kind of advice is detrimental to women's health", he said.

A full 48 per cent of all Indian children under the age of 5 are considered stunted, according to a 2015 report by UNICEF.

The ministry responded to criticism by claiming the booklet includes "relevant and useful information culled out from many years of clinical practice in the fields of yoga and naturopathy".

Malavika Sabharwal, a gynecologist and obstetrician at Apollo Healthcare Group, said that protein deficiency, malnutrition, and anemia are among the health concerns of pregnant women, and meats are good sources of protein and iron.

The booklet has been viewed as the latest push for vegetarianism by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist government.