Baby, it’s time to get moving!

Pregnant women performing simple exercises with the help of midwives at the Health Education Room of Area Hospital in Nampally, on Monday.

Pregnant women performing simple exercises with the help of midwives at the Health Education Room of Area Hospital in Nampally, on Monday. | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

Posters displaying various positions to comfortably deliver a baby, body movements and exercises to perform during different stages of pregnancy are plastered across a room on the ground floor of Area Hospital, Nampally. One of the charts titled ‘Antenatal Exercises’ exhibits the right way to stretch, do butterfly pose, and how to squat using a chair.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, a Health Education Room had been opened at this State-run hospital in Hyderabad a few months ago. Now, demand for the service is picking up.

Apart from exercises, the pregnant women are explained various aspects to be considered during birth planning — deciding the hospital for delivery, attendants to accompany them, mode of transportation in case the expecting woman has to be rushed to a hospital for childbirth, expenses in various stages of pregnancy and during delivery, and requirement of blood in case of an emergency.

Midwives there said the aim is to support women emotionally, physiologically, and psychologically during normal delivery. Warning signs during pregnancy such as persistent severe headache, visual disturbances (blurry vision, flashes of light), and the importance of monitoring fetal movements are explained to the mothers to-be.

Hospital superintendent P. Sunitha said the exercise training is part of Midwives Training Programme initiated three years ago. As part of that, training is provided to staff nurses to help women in various stages of pregnancy till labour. 

“The pregnant women are taken care of right from the time they step into a hospital. They are advised what to eat, when to eat, precautions to be taken, and educated about antenatal check-ups among other aspects. Besides, trained midwives have been teaching them exercises that can be performed to facilitate normal delivery. Nearly three months ago, we designated a separate room for the training,” said Dr Sunitha. 

An out-patient room is also alloted to consult the midwives. Midwife Educators Priskilla Darbar and V. Priyadarshini said they speak to the women about minor health issues faced during pregnancy such as nausea, backache, acidity, constipation, and cramps. Non-pharmacologically remedies are explained to them. If the health ailments need further attention, the patients are directed to obstetrician-gynecologists at the hospital.

Ms Priskilla said they also advise the expecting women to prepare a birth bag containing clothes for themselves and the newborn, apart from hospital records.

The focus, ultimately, is on respectful maternity care. Pregnant women consulting the midwives are also made aware of the choices in birth plan, birthing positions and methods to relieve pain.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2022 12:43:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/baby-its-time-to-get-moving/article65454046.ece