Poshan Maah: The Critical Importance of Institutional Delivery

Meenakka is back after a five-month-long gap. Everyone asks her why she hadn’t come to the gathering for so many months. She had been busy at home taking care of her daughter-in-law, who is pregnant and whose due date is coming up soon. After everyone asks her about the delivery arrangements, Meenakka reveals that she doesn’t want to take her daughter-in-law to a hospital as this pregnancy has withstood the 9 months safely. She wants her own mother-in-law, who has successful experience in 300 delivery cases, to help here.

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Sunandakka explains that women nowadays don’t have the requisite strength to deliver a baby at home like earlier years. Some times the blood pressure level can be low and during delivery, chances of blood loss are high, and there won’t be blood available at home to give her. At a hospital, if the delivery gets difficult, the staff can help by making a small cut near the vaginal opening and stitch that part as soon as the baby has come out. Also, at a hospital, a doctor is available to check the baby and the mother immediately. She also gives the example of a neighbourhood girl who had suffered loss of blood and an increase in the sugar level when there had been a delay in taking her to the hospital. Another woman present explains that there is a high number of deaths recorded, both of mothers and babies, because of non-institutional deliveries. A baby should cry within 3 minutes of birth and if this doesn’t happen then doctors make sure it does by using a few external techniques. Doctors also make sure to give the BCG injection as soon as the baby is born. Babies also have a high chance of contracting jaundice during delivery. So, everyone is advised to make sure that deliveries happen at a hospital and not at home.

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