The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Top hospitals rule out stork’s date with destiny

- For expecting moms, 12.12.12 is a prized day for planned deliveries, but medical opinion divided on ethics

Three 12s in a row is a once-in-a-century birth date what many expectant mothers want to gift their babies. And if the stork doesn’t deliver, the scalpel will, they feel.

Planned Caesareans on special dates, a childbirth fad in recent years, has taken Jamshedpur in its sway. But this year, three leading private hospitals managed by corporate houses are in no mood to indulge numeric whims of parents on the sought-after birth date of December 12, 2012.

Tata Main Hospital, Tinplate Hospital and Tata Motors Hospital have issued stern directives to gynaecologists on their rolls not to pander to the whims of pregnant women and their families but opt for a C-section based only on clinical urgency.

“As a matter of practice, we do not encourage planned deliveries or Caesareans. We have asked our gynaecologists to undertake a C-section delivery only taking into consideration the clinical condition of the mother and infant,” said general manager Tata Main Hospital, T.P. Madhusudanan.

Authorities at Tinplate Hospital, Golmuri, managed by Tinplate Company of India Limited (TCIL), reiterated that health was the only consideration.

“We do not encourage planned Caesarean at any cost. Only if the situation is compelling do we undertake the C-section. Definitely not to give any baby a fancy or unique or astrologically lucky birth date. Strict directives have been issued to this effect,” said Sanjeev Sarkar of Tinplate Hospital administration.

Tata Motors Hospital administrator D.K. Singh said mothers had to understand that a healthy newborn automatically made the date of birth “auspicious”.

“Giving in to requests for C-section so that the infant has a unique birth date is medically and ethically incorrect. In a planned Caesarean, if there is no medical indication before delivery, the baby may be premature and the mother may suffer excessive bleeding,” said Singh.

Those who still want 12.12.12 as their baby’s birth date are now relying on second-rung private nursing homes.

Steel City Nursing Home (Bistupur), Apex Hospital (New Baradwari), Lifeline Nursing Home (Sakchi) and Vardaan Maternity Centre (Baridih) will be venues of planned deliveries on Wednesday.

“We had four such requests, but we had to carry out two deliveries today (Tuesday) in the afternoon due to medical emergency,” said Renuka Choudhary, gynaecologist associated with Apex Hospital.

B.K. Choudhary, a gynaecologist with Steel City Nursing Home, said: “We do get requests for planned deliveries on special dates. There’s no harm in it if clinical conditions are favourable and after 37 weeks, which we consider mature pregnancy.”

An expecting mother from Adityapur who wanted the triple-12 birth date for her infant, said she would have preferred her delivery at Tata Main Hospital, but had to settle for Steel City Nursing Home.

“My husband had consulted the gynaecologist at Tata Main Hospital but he was told that the date of delivery would be determined by panel of doctors and not by us,” the young woman rued.

The only large city hospital with no such evidence of the fad is state-run MGM in Sakchi.

Head of MGM’s gynaecology department Carmela Kujur said: “Seldom do planned deliveries take place in a government hospital. We deal with only emergency delivery cases.”