Indian ministry denies advising pregnant women to avoid sex

Story highlights

  • Government agency recommended that pregnant women avoid certain foods, including meat
  • Emphasis on yoga can be good for expectant mothers, expert says

(CNN)The Indian government has pushed back against what it calls "inaccurate" media reports that focused on its recent advice to expectant mothers, denying that it recommended pregnant women abstain from sex.

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, or AYUSH, released a statement to clarify the controversial advice it issued to pregnant women last week.
A booklet titled "Mother and Child Care" was put together by India's Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, a body that falls under AYUSH. It offered a range of advice that included avoiding foods such as tea, coffee, oily foods and white flour, as well as avoiding non-vegetables -- meaning meat.
    The ministry confirmed that the latter recommendation was made because a vegetarian diet is central to yoga and naturopathy, and it reiterated the advice about avoiding other foods.
    Early local media reports claimed that the government had recommended that women avoid sex for the duration of their pregnancies.