Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Are you really ready for a baby ?

Many couples wants to have a baby immediately after the marriage, because they are under constant pressure from the relatives and friends. The couples are often tormented by the question “Is there any good news?”

I am writing this blog based on my experience of meeting four patients last week. I want you to ponder over, whether the decision to have a baby is fair in the following cases? 

1. This couple came to meet me from the USA when they were on holiday in Kerala. They were actually forced by the parents to come for a medical checkup, as the lady had not conceived even 2 years after marriage. When I talked with them, I got to know the truth and the fact was that they hardly had any intercourse, as they had lots of problems going on between them and were fighting frequently. This got me thinking, If a child is born to a couple who is constantly fighting, is it fair on the part of the child? Imagine the trauma the child has to go through every day, witnessing the parents quarrel or god forbidden if later the couple decides to separate, what will be the state of the child?  When father is alcoholic, does the child get proper care? I feel that It will be better for a couple to have an emotional bonding and proper understanding, before they plan a baby, as every single child deserves good parental care.

2. Normally I don't meet parents of my patients in my specialty for obvious reasons. This girl (can hardly call her a women) came to me with her parents. She was pregnant, weighed just 38 kg, had a 2 year old child and was mostly depending on parents for financial support. Her father directly asked me the question. “Is she really healthy to have this baby? Anyway her husband wants to keep the baby”. I do not have an answer to this question. In the first place, they should have thought about this before conceiving. Secondly, it is the decision of the couple, a third person cannot decide for them. She is well educated, being an MBA graduate; she can definitely work and be self sufficient, instead of depending on her parents. Being underweight, her case is high risk for a pregnancy.

3. This couple came to us for treatment for repeated miscarriages. She had six instances of miscarriages. They have a 7 year old child, who is healthy. The wife was diagnosed with a thrombotic condition when investigations were done and she also had an episode of thrombosis. Luckily she survived and currently she is on lots of medicines, just to keep her alive. Her husband’s very words were that, “she is lucky to be alive”. But in spite of all this complications, they again wants to try for pregnancy, putting herself at risk and also the potential child. There is a risk for maternal death. It is very difficult to convince patients in such situations. What will happen to the baby if there is maternal death after delivery? Should we give the choice to the baby to have healthy parents to look after them? 

4. Husband had a history of schizophrenia, which is a severe psychiatric disorder with symptoms of emotional instability, detachment from reality, and withdrawal into the self. He was on 8 different antipsychotic drugs daily. If a child is born to them, the child will be at physical risk, as he suffers severe problems and becomes violent if he miss his tablets.  There is also some chance that the child will  inherit the medical condition. Although I counseled them, both are firm in the decision on trying for their own child. How much right do we give to the potential children? 

We have human rights, Women’s rights and even Animal rights? 

But are there not any human rights for the unborn child? 

Who decides that? 

It will be better if the couple is well settled emotionally and financially and are physically and mentally healthy when they plan to have a baby. This will ensure that the child gets a favourable environment to grow.

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre

Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy . Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.

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