Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Delhi's first water baby surfaces

The normal versus caesarean delivery debate now has a new angle to it: Water. Water birthing, a procedure in which a woman delivers in a basin or tub of warm water, is becoming increasingly popular in the west. It recently made its first inroad in Delhi when a city hospital conducted its first ‘experiment’ with water birth. And doctors at the hospital say one of the factors that caused them to try it out, albeit with the mother’s consent, is the rising rate of C-secs in the city. Charlotte Walter, a city-based British national, delivered underwater at Phoenix Hospital in Greater Kailash under the supervision of gynaecologist and infertility expert Dr Urvashi Sehgal on April 28. Both mother and baby – a bonny girl who weighed 2.9 kilograms at birth – are reported to be doing fine. Charlotte, according to Dr Sehgal, was in labour for five hours. "The rates of caesarean sections in the city are higher than ever before. This is a situation which has been bothering me for quite a while and I believe one important factor in this is the fear of prolonged labour pain. Water birthing can go a long way in assuring women who go for voluntary C-secs to ensure better health for themselves and their babies," Dr Sehgal said. The hospital had been toying with the idea of water birthing for three years now, said child birth educator Divya Deshpande, who works with the hospital. "Initially we did not have the infrastructure. The pool is a little different from a normal one because the height has to be enough for the women to be completely submerged to get the buoyancy," said Divya.


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