Counselling for new mothers launched at Government Maternity Hospital
n a first of its kind services at any of the Staterun maternity hospitals, citybased NGO, Helping Hand Foundation HHF in collaboration with Modern Government Maternity Hospital MGMH at Petlaburj started counselling services for pregnant women
Hyderabad: In a first of its kind services at any of the State-run maternity hospitals, city-based NGO, Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) in collaboration with Modern Government Maternity Hospital (MGMH) at Petlaburj started counselling services for pregnant women.
The services include enabling and encouraging first hour breast-feeding, teaching new mothers on breast-feeding techniques, Kangaroo Care for extreme low birth weight babies, Counselling on Post-Partum depression and nutritional support as part of ante & post-natal care. Dr Lavanya Mirala, a clinical psychologist from HHF will be counselling patients on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm.
The counselling services are broadly in 3 categories – The counsellors from the NGO will help mothers in breast-feeding the new born babies in the first hour of birth, 3 counsellors will on a daily basis attend to 150 – 175 mothers post delivery and encourage them to breast-feed their babies and show them various scientifically proven positions of expressing milk and it is aimed at improving the yield and ensuring babies are fed time to time. It may be noted that first hour breast-feeding is a WHO recommended protocol that helps the child develop immunity and fight infections.
The second area of counselling is called ‘Kangaroo Care’ wherein the children born with extremely low birth weight (ELBW) need to be breast-fed using Kangaroo straps, low birth weight children are typically kept in the SNICU (Surgical and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit) of the Hospital and the counsellors will explain mothers in understanding how to use the Kangaroo straps and ensuring that no baby is missed out on breast-feeding, said Dr Nagamani, superintendent, State Maternity Hospital, Petlaburj.
Another key area of partnership will be to introduce ‘Clinical Psychologist’ who will counsel patients on social issues and post-partum depression. As many patients are from weaker sections and there are issues related to domestic violence, gender-based violence, husband with alcohol abuse etc where the patients need counselling and secondly post-partum depression also needs to be tackled effectively in women from weaker sections.
For high risk newborn babies like LBW (low birth weight) preterm babies and with perinatal asphyxia developmental assessment will be done with the help of the psychologist which will be useful for early intervention in these babies, said Dr Anitha Shetty, Professor & HOD of Paediatric Department at MGMH.
For the first time in the history of the Hospital 100 - 200 pregnant women undergoing antenatal check-ups are being given bananas and dates 3 times in a week, the idea is to inculcate healthy eating habits among the women and improve their nutritional status, said Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand