PERAMBALUR: A 29-year-old pregnant nursing graduate in Perambalur died on Sunday after her relatives, who do not trust allopathic medicine, attempted to conduct a home birth. The family had sought no advice from the doctors through the entire course of pregnancy. Doctors later said the 10-month-old baby had been dead in her womb for two days before the attempted delivery.
Alagammal, who married Vijayavarman (35) two years ago, had suffered from stomach pain on Saturday. Assuming she had gone into labour, her husband and father-in-law Veerapandiyan, who reportedly practiced acupuncture, attempted a home birth. However, when the child was crowning, its head seemed lifeless.
Alarmed, father and son called doctors at the Poolambadi Primary Health Centre, and based on their recommendation, took Alagammal to the Perambalur Government Hospital. There, doctors confirmed that the baby had been dead in the womb for at least two days. Observing that Alagammal required advanced treatment, they referred her to Tiruchy Government Hospital to which she was taken by ambulance. At the Tiruchy GH, despite treatment, Alagammal died.
The Perambalur health department lodged a police complaint against Vijayavarman and Veerapandiyan. The father-son duo allegedly claimed to be acupuncture practitioners and refrained from taking any support from the government's health workers or doctors since Alagammal became pregnant. It is alleged that ever since Alagammal’s pregnancy was noted at the Poolambadi PHC, health staff were trying to provide her support, in vain. Although there are maternal benefits available under government schemes, the family allegedly did not take any support, stating that they did not trust allopathy and would only use natural medicine and methods for care and delivery. Because of this, Alagammal was also not taken for scans or ultrasounds to check the health of the foetus.