Some reports have appeared in the print and electronic media since June 13, 2017 concerning the publication “Mother and Child Care” of Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy CCRYN, an autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH. Unfortunately, many of these reports are seen to be inaccurate, and some are even seen to misrepresent facts. Hence, the Ministry of AYUSH hereby issues the following clarifications:
(i) The said booklet puts together relevant and useful information culled out from many years of clinical practice in the fields of Yoga and Naturopathy. It aims to take the well-known health benefits of Yoga and Naturopathy to expecting mothers and new mothers in a simple booklet format.
(ii) This publication has been in distribution through the units of the erstwhile Department of AYUSH and CCRYN since 2013. The report that it was released by the Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH in the recent past is incorrect.
(iii) The booklet contains general guidelines for pregnant women, which are based on the principles and concepts of Yoga & Naturopathy. Many new mothers and families have appreciated that information relevant to the different phases of pregnancy has been made available in a simple format in the booklet. The information provided includes diet plans based on clinical experience, simple naturopathy treatments and tips for remaining stress-free during pregnancy.
(iv) The suggestion on page 14 of the booklet regarding avoiding certain types of food like tea, coffee, white flour products, fried and oily items and non-veg during pregnancy, is seen to have received selective attention. The suggestion that non-vegetarian food may be avoided (as Yoga & Naturopathy doesn’t advocate non-vegetarian food in its practice) has been singled out for high-lighting in some reports, omitting the mention of white flour products, fried and oily items etc.
(v) Some news reports carry an assertion that the booklet puts forward the “prescription” that “pregnant women in India” should “say no to sex after conception”. This is far from the truth. In fact, the words “no sex” do not feature at all in the booklet.
As noted by the UNESCO, Yoga consists of techniques “designed to help individuals build self-realization, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation”. It is now widely accepted across the world that practice of Yoga under expert supervision can be immensely beneficial to the expecting mother. The Ministry of AYUSH urges the media to view the efforts of CCRYN to take the preventive health benefits of Yoga to all sections of the population (including expecting mothers) in the right perspective and requests them to support such initiatives in the larger interest of the nation.