Hyderabad, July, 2018: In first of its kind, city-based NGO, Helping Hand Foundation has collaborated with the largest state run Modern Government Maternity Hospital (MGMH) at Petlaburj to provide counselling services for pregnant women which includes enabling and encouraging first hour breast feeding, teaching mothers on breast feeding techniques for expressing milk, Kangaroo Care for extreme low birth weight babies, Counselling on Post-Partum depression and nutritional support as part of ante & post-natal care.
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 through breast feeding that 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 in 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 of the Hospital and the counsellors will 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.
The SNICU accommodates 30 – 40 children with extremely low birth weight at any given time.
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 baby like LBW(low birth weight) preterm babies and with perinatal asphyxia developmental assessment will be done with the help of the pschycologist which will be useful for early intervention in these babies, said Dr. Anitha Shetty Proffessor & HOD of Paediatric Department at MGMH.
Dr. Lavanya Mirala clinical psychologist from HHF will be counselling patients 2 days in a week (Tues & Fridays) between 10 am to 1pm.
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 Mr. Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation.
Good Nutrition during ante natal period is critical for expecting mothers and can potentially reduce the risk of Conginental diseases in new born said doctors at the State-run facility.
HHF is also providing counsellors in Emergency Care to handle referral cases from other hospitals, several patients are referred to Petlaburj hospital for management of complication both pre and post delivery and the counsellors in the Emergency care provide guidance on treatment protocol planned by the doctors and help bridge the communication gap between the doctor and the patient.