Why do city's pregnant women want 1/11/11 babies?

Gynaecologists in the city are inundated with requests from mothers who want to deliver their babies on 1/11/2011

There was a time when booking VIP numbers for cars was the 'in' thing. Today, a similar fad has overtaken expectant parents who are looking at booking unique dates for their child's birth. Maternity homes in the city are currently inundated with requests from expecting mothers and eager families to deliver their babies on astrologically favourable dates, 1/11/2011 and 11/11/2011, through procedures like 'induction of labour'.

Induction of labour is a procedure in which medicines are administered to the expecting mother, leading to the enlargement of her cervix (opening of the uterus) which finally leads to the uterus muscles pushing the baby out.

Gynaecologist Dr Meera Agarwal, who runs a maternity home in Bandra said, "So far, I have received three such delivery requests for November 1 and November 11, and the numbers are sure to rise. Delivering babies on unique dates is a fad that is catching on."

Dr Rishma Pai from Lilavati Hospital said she has been getting a lot of delivery requests for November 1 and November 11 too. "People want to make use of latest technological advances and ensure that their baby is born on an astrologically favourable day," she said. Dr Anita Soni from L H Hiranandani Hospital has received six such requests.

According to Dr Swarna Goyal, more than the expecting mothers, it's the in-laws who are eager to have children born on "astrologically lucky" dates. "We try to convince families that it is best not to interfere with nature. However, if they remain adamant, we go ahead with the delivery using procedures like induction of labour," said Dr Goyal.

However, there are chances that the patient might develop complications during the procedure and doctors might have to perform an emergency C-section, Goyal added.

Before considering delivery requests on certain dates, most doctors keep several factors in mind. "We ensure that the expecting mother has completed 38 weeks of pregnancy and we consider factors like height of the mother, obesity, the position and growth of the baby inside the womb. Thorough tests are conducted to ensure that the baby's bio-physical systems are in good shape. We go ahead with the delivery only after we are completely convinced. If any of the above factors are against having a premature delivery, then we counsel the family to change their decision," said Dr Agarwal.

In case of women who have had a previous C-section or are expected to have a complicated delivery, doctors directly plan a C-section on the required date. "However, if the mother is expected to have a normal delivery, we use the induction of labour method," she added.

However, the medical fraternity is divided over the usage for procedures like induction of labour. Dr Balkrishna Inamdar discourages expecting mothers who come to him requesting delivery on a particular date. It's best to let nature take its course, he says.

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