Jaggi Vasudev On Breast Milk: Can Godmen Steer Clear Of Biology?
Every time a video of godman Jaggi Vasudev surfaces on my timeline, my heart skips a beat. No, it is not out of fondness for him, but because I quickly begin to anticipate what fresh misplaced logics, masquerading as “rational” pravachans will I have to endure now. In yet another video doing rounds on social media, Vasudev claims that a woman’s breasts will “ooze” two different types of milk, in case she gives birth to twins, one boy and one girl.
- A video of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is doing rounds on social media in which he says that women with twins of different sex “ooze different types of milk”.
- There have been some researches that claim that the composition of mother’s milk does differ for male and female children.
- However, no study has proven that a woman can “ooze” two different types of milk from her two breasts.
- Is there no onus on Vasudev or any other godmen to speak responsibly, considering how influential they are?
First things first, Vasudev may not be entirely wrong. Studies have indicated that the composition of mother’s milk in terms of levels of nutrients, does vary, depending on the sex of the baby.
“If a woman delivers a male child, the quality of the milk that she produces is in a certain way. If she delivers a female child the quality of the milk is totally different. If she delivers twins, one male and one female, one breast will ‘ooze’ a certain type of milk, another breast will ooze another kind of milk. This is the level of intelligence invested in this body,” the Isha Foundation founder can be seen saying in the video. So does this mean that a woman with boy-girl twins should get her breasts checked to verify which breast is “oozing” what “type” of milk? Can he further elaborate on any pattern seen in “oozing” of this milk from breasts? Does the left breast “ooze” milk for the boy child, since girls are always right?
First things first, Vasudev may not be entirely wrong, maybe. Studies have indicated that the composition of mother’s milk in terms of levels of nutrients, does vary, depending on the sex of the baby. In 2014, The Guardian published results of a study that found a “consistent” difference in the milk produced for male and female children by moms. In 2018, ResearchGate published another study titled Biochemical Differences in Human Breast: Milk Contents According to Infant’s Gender, according to which “breast milk is more dynamic than previously thought”.
When it comes to science, saying something for which you do not have any concrete proof sets up a dangerous precedent. Especially godmen like Vasudev, who enjoy a large following.
However, NCBI published a report titled Sex-Specific Human Milk Composition: The Role of Infant Sex in Determining Early Life Nutrition the same year, which called such findings “limited and conflicting”. Bottom line here is that more research is needed to understand and be sure of the compositional difference in mother’s milk according to an infant’s sex. And while researchers are still unsure, Jaggi Vasudev went ahead and affirmed that women with twins of different sexes somehow compartmentalise their milk production for each baby. What was the basis of this comment exactly? Is Vasudev privy to some research findings that are yet to make it to the general public? How can he be so confident about his different milk from different breasts theory when doctors, researchers and scientists themselves aren’t?
I am not saying Vasudev is wrong, because I do not have any research at hand to quote from to prove that the godman is incorrect. However, there is no research to back his different type of milk comment either. And that’s the whole point. When it comes to science, saying something for which you do not have any concrete proof sets up a dangerous precedent. Especially for godmen like Vasudev, who enjoy a large following. Breastfeeding and early motherhood already heavily stigmatised in our society. Women have to endure numerous restrictions based on cultural norms and it is an exhausting and frustrating ordeal. Do they seriously need such half-bakes conceptions in their lives, with relatives and well-wishers filling their heads with suggestions and tips?
The most amusing information to have surfaced about this video is that is it apparently from a 2017 conference for gynaecologists, where Vasudev was a guest speaker. Did no one in a conference hall full of doctors find his remarks objectionable? If someone did, did they challenge him? There are just too many questions that are unanswered around this statement made by Jaggi Vasudev. However, the question that bothers me the most is, why is there so little accountability when it comes to risque public speaking in our country?
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.