Punjab government will launch ‘Birth Companion Scheme’ in the state to reduce the “stress” that a pregnant woman undergoes during delivery and provide her emotional support, a senior official said in Chandigarh.
The scheme will be implemented in state government hospitals as part of which a pregnant woman can be accompanied by a female companion, who herself is a mother, inside the labour room during delivery, Health & Family Welfare Principal Secretary Vini Mahajan said.
She also said that under this initiative only a female companion, as per choice of the pregnant woman, and who is willing to stay with the pregnant woman throughout the process, will be allowed. Mahajan further said such a practice is advocated by World Health Organization (WHO) and supported by Union Ministry of Health.
However, to maintain hygiene and avoid infections, it will be ensured that the accompanying woman is wearing clean clothes and follows the medical protocols, she said. Mahajan, however, made it clear that such birth companions shall in no manner be allowed to interfere with the medical procedures during the delivery.
According to PTI, the motive behind the scheme is to reduce the stress that a pregnant woman undergoes during delivery, assist in early initiation of breast feeding, reduce postpartum depression and provide better care to the new born, she said. The move is also aimed at boosting the overall confidence of community in the public health care system, she said.
It is already being followed in some developed countries successfully, she said, adding that this model is being successfully implemented in Tamil Nadu also.
Image Credit : Shutterstock