"They said they were taking care of it.”
An Indian father was arrested on December 18, 2021, after a failed attempt at delivering his wife’s baby at home.
R. Loganathan, a 34-year-old trader from the Ranipet district in Tamil Nadu, attempted to deliver the baby at home with assistance from his sister.
The brother-sister duo used home birth tutorials on YouTube to guide them.
The Indian man’s wife, 28-year-old L. Gomathi, was scheduled to deliver their baby on December 13, 2021, but went into labour five days later than expected due to a pregnancy delay.
The infant was born dead, while the Indian man’s wife was left in critical condition due to a massive loss of blood.
The man’s wife was rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital in Vellore, Tamil Nadu after first being admitted to the Punnai Primary Healthcare Centre.
Dr SN Mohan Kumar, the local government’s medical officer swiftly issued a complaint that led to authorities filing a case against the Indian father.
According to a local police officer, the victim’s family members are not blaming the husband for watching a YouTube home birth tutorial to help deliver his child.
The police officer from Nemili Police Station said:
“The family members said the delivery was done with Gomathi’s permission and that there was nothing wrong on the part of Lokanathan.
“We are conducting the enquiry, further action will be taken based on its outcome.”
Organised by the Ranipet district administration, the incident is currently under investigation by a team under Deputy Director of Helogaalth Services V Manimaran.
D. Bhaskara Pandian, the collector of Ranipet district, said:
“Strict action will be taken against such practices risking the lives of the mother and the infant.
“More awareness on a safe delivery system will be done.”
V Manimaran revealed that the couple refused to attend regular check-up appointments. He said:
“Gomathi became pregnant in March this year. They registered the pregnancy at the Primary Health Centre but didn’t come for any subsequent check-up.
“When the Village Health Nurse (VHN) asked them to come for the check-up, the couple informed that they were taking treatment at the Vellore CMC Hospital.
“They were asked to provide receipts of the check-ups, which they kept delaying.
“The VHN contacted them again when the due date of December 13 neared, but they said they were taking care of it.”
He added that when the VHN visited the couple’s house on December 18, 2021, the Indian man told her that they had admitted his wife into hospital. V Manimaran explained:
“The same day, he took the baby and his bleeding wife to the Punnai PHC.
“When the doctors at Vellore asked them why they didn’t get admitted to the hospital immediately, the family gave evasive replies.
“Gomathi then revealed that they had performed the childbirth by watching a YouTube video.”
The government has since been called upon to tackle the propaganda on YouTube that such birthing procedures can be performed at home without a medical professional.