NEW DELHI: Allopathic doctors today disagreed with the recommendations of a government research body on yoga to pregnant women, which asked them to control lust and shun non-vegetarian food, saying there was no rationale behind it.
The doctors instead maintained that consuming non-vegetarian food and eggs during pregnancy was "highly" recommended as they were rich sources of protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for development of a baby.
According to a booklet 'Mother and Child Care' released by the AYUSH Ministry recently, pregnant women should "detach themselves from desire and lust, and avoid eggs and non-vegetarian food if they wish to have a healthy baby.
The booklet was issued by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy.
It advises them to avoid bad company and have "spiritual" thoughts besides reading 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.
"People can have their dietary preferences but there is no reason why one should deliberately avoid non-vegetarian food and eggs. They are good sources of iron and protein.
"For example, fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty and docosahexaenoic acid which helps in the development of the brain of baby," said Loveleena Nadir, senior consultant at Fortis Hospital.
But if a woman is vegetarian, then they should supplement their meals with enough sprouts, lentils, paneer and milk products, Nadir said.
Professor of Gynaecology at AIIMS, Neerja Bhatla said there was also scientific study which says that women during their pregnancy should abstain from sex and or should control their sexual feelings and behaviour.
"It is true that there are some high-risk pregnancies in which the women may be advised not to indulge in intercourse but otherwise in normal cases there is no such restriction,"
As far as controlling lust is concerned, Bhatla said sexual behaviour is a part of normal life and therefore such recommendations have no "rationale".
Supporting Bhatla, Dr H P Anand from Safdarjung Hospital said that such recommendations were irrational and without any evidence.
Bhatla, however, supported the recommendations like avoiding tea, coffee, fried and oily items during pregnancy and said it is always advised that the pregnant women should control their anger and live in a positive environment, think positive and remain happy and peaceful.