NAARI | Jan-Mar 2021

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INDIE KAUR, DIRECTOR MIDWIFERYSERVICES, GIVES DETAILS ON THE PRACTICES INITIATEDAT FERNANDEZ HOSPITAL, BOGULKUNTAAND STORK HOME, BANJARAHILLS TO ENSURE THE SAFETYOF STAFF, MOTHERS-TO-BE AND OTHERS,WHEN THE LOCKDOWN BEGAN

My baby was placed against my skin and it felt so natural. After 20 minutes or so, I felt the urge to push again and the placenta fell into the water. My husband cut the umbilical cord and all I can say is that it was a blissful experience, so unlike my first one

In the first week of the lockdown, only emergency cases were allowed in the hospital Fernandez has 900 antenatal reviews a day during the week and 1,200 on Saturdays and appointments were booked until April 15 We had to reach 800 couples under women’s health to reassure them with calls, after the government announced the lockdown for an initial period of three weeks. In the first three weeks of the lockdown, we had informed all the mothers At least, 4,000 mothers were contacted in the first ten days of the lockdown The foetal medicine unit had to reschedule 2,900 scan appointments We were fortunate that we had an electronicmedical records system in place in the hospital to keep track We have reviewed women via tele-consultations so that they do not have to come into the hospital Only selected visits with scans or any other review had appointments

Mothers were reassured and we continued to offer them antenatal classes online to prepare them for birth Mothers were worried that they will not be able to bring their birth companions when they are in labour. At Fernandez, we continue to encourage them to bring a birth companion of their choice All women were screened to check if they had temperature, cough or cold and if they were feeling unwell

Covid testing was not available in Telangana until June

Women were afraid that they would have to transfer to another hospital, if they were Covid positive The government had identified some hospitals to be Covid centres Women who had symptoms were treated in a separate section, and even had to access the hospital from a different entrance to minimise the spread of infection Women were supported in their choice of birth and normal births were encouraged, Covid was not an indication for CS The midwives and doulas team supported women who opted for water births and hydrotherapy

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