An unintentional error in marking birth entries in the register by staff created much confusion and chaos at the government Mahatma Gandhi hospital in Banswara for two days, till Thursday. Baffled by swapping of babies, family members scuffled with each other and hospital management, claiming rights over the baby boy while the other infant in question – a baby girl was denied breastfeed by either of the nursing mothers even after 32 hours of birth.
The incident also pointed out the ugly face of the gender-biased society. Both women already being mothers to 3 daughters each were impatient to bear a male child in their fourth attempt. The incident took place on Wednesday, where two women, Neera (26), wife of Karan, resident of Miyapada and Sita (24), wife of Bhanji resident Sandli village had delivered babies through cesarean surgeries. Neera delivered a male child, operated by Dr Phoolchand Yadav while Sita gave birth to baby girl after C-section performed by Dr Jaishree Humad.
As Dr Yadav came to fill in the note of the delivery done, he pointed out the error, which indicated female child born instead of a boy. Meanwhile, staff members had handed the baby boy to Sita and girl child to Neera. However, after rectifying the error when staff members informed Sita that a girl child was born to her, the mother as well as family members refused to accept the girl child. Sita even refused to breastfeed the infant, who was forced to stay under the staff’s care for many hours. Sita’s family also insisted on taking the issue with the Sarpanch to decide on the matter.
Meanwhile, Neera’s family was elated to know that they had got a baby boy instead of a girl and readily agreed to accept the child. Both family members scuffled with each other claiming the rightful ownership of the boy child. Authorities shifted women to separate wards to avoid confrontations.
Later, after much convincing and even offering a DNA test, Sita hesitatingly agreed to feed the baby on Thursday evening. “The issue is sorted, the baby girl is fine and her mother is feeding her now,” said Dr Phool Chand Yadav.
Medical officer Dr Deepak Nema has issued instructions to prevent such incidents in future. The ‘yashodas’ who are in-charge of deliveries and entries here have been asked to be cautious in future since such cases being sensitive and related to public sentiments.