Some traditions can help a woman through pregnancy and childbirth, but others do not. Photo: iStock

A new government information booklet for expectant mothers offers some rather peculiar advice: don’t eat meat, abstain from sex, don’t get angry or hate people, hang beautiful pictures on the wall, and have spiritual thoughts, according to India Today.

The booklet, Mother and Child Care, which was released by Union Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Naik ahead of International Yoga Day, also advises expectant mothers to be careful when socializing, as they should only mix with “good people in stable and peaceful conditions only.”

Not everyone agrees with the government’s advice. The Hindustan Times quoted senior gynecologist and obstetrician Dr Malavika Sabharwal as saying, “The advice is unscientific. Protein-deficiency malnutrition and anemia 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.”

She added: “Pregnant women need to be happy and instead of being prescriptive about what they should think and do to be happy, we must urge them to do things they enjoy and strongly advise the family to be supportive.”