AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE to Ms SANCHITA SHARMA - Science and Health Editor’s Article

Prenatal and Perinatal Educator and Member of APPPAH,
Mentor at the “Temple of Excellence” – A school for the Unborn Child, Bangalore.

Ms Sanchita Sharma , the Science and Health Editor Of Hindustan Times has written an article on 13th June 2017 under the headline of “No meat, no sex, pure thoughts: Modi’s Ayush ministry gives tips to would-be moms for healthy baby”.
 I understand similar articles have appeared in the Times of India and Indian Express.
 Any reader will notice the articles’ tone is jeering, mocking and ridiculing right from the headline. The tenor of the Articles are certainly offensive (notwithstanding the Gynaecologists quoted therein). I begin by wondering why she invokes the Prime Minister’s reference in the headline.  
The recommendations mentioned in the media articles are part of a booklet called Mother and Child Care released by India’s minister of state for AYUSH, Mr. Shripad Naik in the run-up to International Day for Yoga on June 21.
I would like to ask the media, what research has been done to make the articles truly relevant? Are they aware of an organisations called Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) based in California, USA and another called OMEAP which works with United Nations to promote Prenatal and Perinatal Education? First, I suggest media persons should read books like Secret Life of an Unborn Child – by Dr Thomas Verny, Windows to the Womb by David Chamberlain, Birth Models that work by Dr Robbie Davis Floyd and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Dr Gabor Mate. These authoritative works will open their eyes. Next, I suggest they listen to a Ted Talk by Annie Murphy Paul, a prominent Science Reporter, and their knowledge levels will surely improve in these matters. If media would like to be truly scientific, they should not merely mock, but learn and understand the new sciences and facts!
The impact during the Preconception, Prenatal (Pregnancy) and Infancy (up to 2 years after birth) produces life-long consequences. It affects the Health, Immunity, Diseases (associated Heart, Lung, Liver, Brain, Kidneys and major organs), Social attitudes including relationship with parents, school mates, family and society, Learning abilities at schools and later stages, Proclivity to Depression, ADD, ADHD, Substance Abuse, Drugs, Alcohol and many other behaviours, Worksite behaviour, Absenteeism. Virtually every aspect of life! Babies in the womb during the 9/11 attacks experienced severe trauma and suffer today. Is the reverse not possible with a conducive environment?
The entire body of scientific and evidence available with APPPAH, based on knowledge gathered by Doctors, Researches, Obstetricians, Sociologists, Neurologists, Biologists and Social workers has been given a flamboyant go by media responses to the government publication. In a truly pseudo-intellectual style! There is a primary body of evidence in the ACEs research done in the USA, hailed as an authentic and landmark study, that adverse early period experiences (including womb experiences) manifest into major problems and complications later in life. The evidence with APPPAH and gathered by luminaries like Dr Thomas Verny, Dr William Emerson, Dr. Robbie Davis Floyd, Dr Marshal Klaus, Dr. Gabor Mate and many others have gone to systematically prove that Pregnancy and Infancy needs to be handled with awareness. But not the kind prescribed in media articles !
Food should be nutritious, but laced with love and affection. Sex is not forbidden, but one should be aware that the baby in the womb reacts to every move – its heartbeat goes up manifold times during orgasm. Is this an act that should be promoted as a happy and enjoyable activity in such a critical period? What about the non-medical aspects of pregnancy? Is “science”, as known today, the only basis in life? The national pledge of India says …”I shall respect my parents and teachers…” - what is scientific about it? And if not, is it not needed today? Is Santa Claus scientific?  True science is an open quest for truth and does not mock or speak loosely about other bodies of knowledge.
Simple things like beautiful surroundings including pictures, nature, food, sounds (including music), make a big difference in making a healthy environment in the womb. Research has now proved babies hear and react in the womb from the early days. Does the media know know that when babies in the mother’s uterus listen to Mozart, Brahms and Vivaldi’s music, they appreciate in the womb (evidenced by lowering of heart rate) and in just the same way, babies show their disgust when other compositions of Brahms, Beethoven and rock music are played by kicking the mothers stomach violently. Should the mother enjoy herself listening to appropriate music or only what she enjoys? Simple and effective prescriptions like these are advised by doctors and knowledgeable sources who advocate Prenatal and Perinatal Sciences. Many obstetrical practices in India and the world are definitely anti-baby and are painful, stressful and harmful to the mother and baby.
There is a huge body of knowledge and evidence in our scriptures (Garbhopanishad, Garuda Purana , Prasuti Tantra in Ayurveda ) which speak of the needs, necessities, situations and prescriptions during pregnancy, conception and infancy. And these are dated many thousands of years ago! Quantum sciences, Advanced Neurosciences, Epigenetics, Signal Transduction and Authoritative Psychological studies today have also contributed to the body of knowledge available with APPPAH. These are now in consonance with what our scriptures said. One can only hope that media and intellectuals appraise themselves of this body of knowledge before calling something weird or unscientific.
Pregnancy is not just a medical event; it is largely natural, cultural, spiritual, social and familial event. The medical part could be taken care of by doctors and other parts by people who are competent to do those. Is the media aware that there are many knowledgeable doctors in India are taking to Holistic Practices in the context of Pregnancy? They should look up the website of Dr BM Hegde or Virtue Baby of Dr Nitika Sobti, a Senior Practicing Gynaecologist at Max Hospitals, Delhi
Vedic and Scriptural treasures including Ayurveda of India should not be belittled. Suggestions by AYUSH or Modi should not be mocked at because they don’t appeal to an intellectual mind. They should at least be researched and understood before being scoffed at. One can only hope that a truly open and scientific approach will be taken by the media, doctors in India and society at large. If this does not happen, the distance between the common masses and intellectuals, journalists & doctors will only widen. And this is not healthy for babies in the womb, mothers, families and society as a whole. Doctors and Media do have a big responsibility in spreading awareness of the right kind !!!