What Covid? Birth date still matters

In the times of Covid-19, what has not changed are the date and time when a newborn infant is born and doctors cannot argue about it as the pregnant woman is their major concern. These dictates are still being noted in maternity hospitals as the time and day of birthing is a priority for families and their astrological calendars. A C-Section delivery, very high in both Telugu-speaking states, is still a preference during these times too.

Only corporate and big nursing homes are operational and all the load of affluent patients is on them.

A senior doctor, on condition of anonymity, explained, “We have a virus around us but that does not stop people from arguing over the time and day of the delivery. These beliefs are strong and with a newborn baby, no risks in astrology are to be taken.”

Doctors are keen that pregnant women are safe and for that reason normal delivery is carried out by junior doctors and senior doctors are around for supervision. Earlier, they would all crowd around the patient along with the nurses but now social distance is maintained. “It is like going back to old times where the woman has to push the baby down and from far, we would give instructions,” explained a senior doctor.

C-sections are done by wearing personal protective equipment as due to Covid-19 these extra precautionary measures have to be taken during the birthing process. The biggest challenge stated doctors are the scans as they are not being carried out for all pregnant women.

“We are going back to times when there were no ultrasound scans. This is because it would unnecessarily expose a pregnant woman to risk. Hence only if there is a clinical indication of anomaly in foetal movement then scans are being done. It is one in 2000 cases and, mostly, not required.”

Scanning was a major part of all the three trimesters but doctors now do not want to risk their patients. The husband was a part of the birthing process but that also is not allowed as it is not safe. Similarly, those in the first and second trimesters of the pregnancy are not called to hospitals for routine checks but video conferencing is provided to clear their doubts. Tele-medicine and email are also used by patients to check on substitutes for medicines as there is a crisis of brands.

Dr Sri Latha Gorthi, gynaecologist, explained, “So far we have dealt with patients who have been seeing us from first day. Hence we know their history. Yet we check with them if they have come in contact with anyone who has travelled from abroad. There has not been a single case so far but precautions of checking travel history are mandatory for us too.”

Pregnant women are already immune-compromised and hence precautions in terms of social distancing, hygiene, avoiding contact with people from Covid-19-affected countries and also within the community is important, stated Dr Kavitha Naragoni, senior gynecologist and infertility specialist at Continental Hospitals.

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