The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, or Ayush Ministry, wants pregnant women to stop eating meat and having sex, and also asks them to nurture spiritual thoughts and hang beautiful pictures in their rooms to have a healthy baby, reported Hindustan Times.

In its booklet “Mother and Child Care”, the ministry also suggested that they try and avoid feelings like desire and anger, and to keep clear of “bad company”, the report added. Minister of State for Ayush, Shripad Naik, who released the booklet for the upcoming International Yoga Day on June 21, was not available for comments.

Medical practitioners have pointed out that the recommendations are unscientific. “Protein-deficiency malnutrition and anaemia are health concerns for pregnant women and meats are a great source of both protein and iron, which is better absorbed from animal sources than plant sources,” Gynaecologist and Obstetrician Dr Malavika Sabharwal told Hindustan Times.

Another doctor, Suneeta Mittal, further clarified that a woman needs to be cautious during the first trimester. “Caution is advised during the first trimester when the placenta is low-lying and for complicated pregnancies, where there is a miscarriage risk,” she told Hindustan Times.