With doctor on video call, neighbours help woman give birth

WhatsApp baby: Women who helped in the delivery. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Remember the scene from the Hindi blockbuster movie 3 Idiots in which the protagonist, an engineering student, along with his friends, helps a woman give birth in a college recreation hall? An equally filmi scene unfolded in real life at Hanagal, a small town in Haveri district of Karnataka, on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, Vasavi Fattepur, a resident of Kittur Chennamma Road in Hanagal, who was expecting her second baby, developed labour pain ahead of the scheduled date. On being alerted by her husband Raghavendra, their neighbours Madhulika Desai, Ankita Vedambhattanavar, Jyoti Madi and others rushed to help.

Labour progressed quickly and the baby was almost delivered by the time the women reached her house. “I rushed home and came back with gloves, mask and took the baby first,” recalled Ms. Desai.

Mr. Raghavendra had, by that time, called the ambulance, only to be informed that it would take at least 30 to 45 minutes as the ambulance had gone on COVID-19 duty. By that time, other women in the neighbourhood — Vijayalaxmi Joshi, Madhuri Kamanahalli, Mukta Kamanahalli and Shivaleela Pattar — too turned up to help.

“We were worried. So we called up Dr. Priyanka Mantagi to seek advice. We made a video call on WhatsApp and she told us what to do. We bought a new blade, followed all the precautions as advised by her, and cut the umbilical cord. All women in the neighbourhood chipped in and we are happy that we saved the baby,” Ms. Desai said.

Dr. Priyanka Mantagi.

Dr. Priyanka Mantagi.  

Dr. Mantagi, a native of Hanagal, is pursuing her postgraduate course in gynaecology and obstetrics at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi. When the call came, she was attending to her duties at the hospital. “In the video call, I could see what the situation was like. I just assured them that there was nothing to worry. I told them how to cut the umbilical cord after tying both the ends,” Dr. Mantagi told The Hindu.

By the time they completed the procedure, cleaned up the baby, covered it in warm clothes and asked the mother to feed the baby, the ambulance and health staff arrived at the spot to take the mother and baby to the hospital.

“We are happy that both the mother and the baby are safe and healthy. They are now in Navalgund, at Vasavi’s parents’ home,” Ms. Desai said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 7:44:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/with-doctor-on-video-call-neighbours-help-woman-give-birth/article32215991.ece

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