HYDERABAD: As she lay on the bed at a hospital, recovering from a caesarean surgery after giving birth to a baby boy, D Poornima had enquired with her husband if she could swap her newborn son for a baby girl. Her husband Sridhar Raju was left speechless.
Such was the desperation to have a girl child that Poornima, who mercilessly slashed the throat of her 23-day-old son, was ready to swap her baby boy for a girl.
On Tuesday evening, she took a used blade and slit her newborn’s throat, killing him.
“About 24 days ago Poornima was shattered after giving birth to a baby boy again. She asked her husband whether she could swap her child with a girl,” said Malkajgiri in-charge deputy commissioner of police E Ramachandra Reddy.
Poornima married Sridhar Raju eight years ago. Their first child, a boy, died due to premature delivery. Their second child was a son, who is 5 years old now and attending nursery class. The couple always wanted a girl child though Sridhar Raju had never imagined that his wife would be so ruthless to kill their son.
Soon after slitting the throat of her 23-day-old boy with a used blade, Poornima got panicky when she saw blood oozing out of his neck and soaking the infant’s shirt. “Perhaps realising the gravity of her diabolical act, she took her newborn son to a private hospital immediately. However, the infant boy, whose naming ceremony was slated to be held 40 days after his birth, died without being named,’’ police officials said.
One would wonder what made the young mother kill her own son though she could have given him away to someone willing to adopt him.
Trimester Syndrome,Say Physchiatrists
Psychiatrists say that when depressive illness affects pregnant women, it becomes severe by trimester. Such could be severity of the depression that people become irrational and hopeless. Any emotional disturbance at such stages will push them to take extreme steps.
In the case of Poornima, after delivery, the family discussed the advisability of her undergoing family planning operation after six months. This possibly made her lose hope of having any more children, a girl child in her case.
Senior consultant psychiatrist at Columbus Hospital in Begumpet, Prof Naresh Vadlamani, said that Poornima might have been suffering from depression from trimester which could have become severe after giving birth to the boy.
He said that about 10 per cent of pregnant patients he treats suffer from post-natal depression which women experience after delivering a baby. He said people become illusioned when they suffer from depressive illness and think illogically.
Dr S Shanta Kumari, senior gynaecologist and secretary of Indian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the problem should be identified and professional help given which might include counselling.
“Else, the problem will grow to serious levels. Women should be given psychological and emotional support after delivery,” she said.