South India’s first test tube baby turns mother

Dr. Kamala Selvaraj with the mother and child — Photo: K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

At 4.24 p.m. on Thursday, the first cry of a newborn brought back memories of an unforgettable day in 1990 for doctors at GG Hospital and a family from Tirunelveli.

Twenty four years after she was born at the hospital, south India’s first test tube baby — Kamala Rathinam — delivered a girl at the same hospital. “She got married on September 8, 2013 and conceived naturally. She endured heavy labour pain this morning. We tried for seven hours to ensure a normal delivery but there was difficulty in opening of the mouth of the cervix. She underwent a caesarean section. She was due a week later but we did not want to take a chance,” Kamala Selvaraj, obstetrician and gynaecologist, GG Hospital, said.

The baby weighed 2.8 kg and both mother and child are healthy, she added. An excited Dr. Selvaraj said that this case will remove any doubts in people’s minds about whether test tube babies can lead a normal life. Ms. Rathinam and her husband Rajesh Hariharan are software engineers working in Bangalore.

“I was keen on bringing her to GG Hospital for delivery. We had ante natal check-ups done in Bangalore and came to Chennai during her eighth month of pregnancy,” Mr. Rajesh says.

Kamala’s birth on August 1, 1990 marked a milestone in Assisted Reproductive Technology in south India, recall doctors. Her father Ramamurthy (70) wishes his wife was alive to see their granddaughter. “She died last year when my daughter had just conceived,” he said. He was 46 when Kamala Rathinam was born. “I knew that this procedure was new but they explained everything to me, and I was not afraid,” he said.

Kamala was named after Dr. Selvaraj and his mother Ramarathinam, he said.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 12:02:22 AM |

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