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Health ministry denies rumour of "natural birth" death

Update: March, 15/2018 - 18:00
Doctors take care of pregnant women. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health (MoH) said on Thursday that no woman and newborn died in HCM City due to birth complications at home.

A press conference was held in HCM City on Thursday following rumours that a woman and her newborn had died after she gave birth at home in District 2. The rumours started spreading on social media late Wednesday.

According to a post on social media by a user, the mother died of exhaustion, while the child died from suffocation. The mother was said to have attended a training workshop on giving birth naturally at the cost of VNĐ15 million (US$659).

Nguyễn Đức Vinh, director of the MoH’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, said at the press conference that such information was “unfounded”.

“The health ministry immediately requested HCM City’s health department and Từ Dũ Hospital authorities to come to District 2 to verify the information,” he said. “No mother and newborn were found dead in the district, therefore, the health ministry declared the information unfounded.”

The health ministry has also requested the city’s health department to find out if such a case has happened in the city, Vinh said.

“We will propose the Ministry of Information and Communications to impose strict measures against individuals who take advantage of social media to upload misleading and harmful information,” he said, adding that the health ministry does not encourage citizens to follow the “natural birth” trend that has been perpetuated on social media as an advanced birth-giving option.

The trend advises women to give birth at home and not cut the baby’s umbilical cord right after birth but wait for the placenta (to which the cord is attached) to self-decompose in 3-10 days, or even in two weeks, when the cord will fall off itself.

This is a “dangerous and unscientific” trend that can prove fatal for the mother and child or cause serious medical complications, said Nguyễn Bá Mỹ Nhi, deputy director of Từ Dũ Hospital.

“Several hospitals do perform delayed umbilical cord clamping to allow more blood to flow from the placenta to the baby. But this procedure must be timed carefully because placentas, when left outside for too long, may get infected and affect the baby, which can be fatal,” she said. — VNS

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