Srinagar, Aug 9 - Indian security forces on Sunday battled at two places in Jammu…
Srinagar: Toufiq Rashid,The family of a 25-year-old woman is looking for a house on rent near a private maternity hospital in Srinagar where they
can move in when she enters her ninth month of pregnancy. Her baby is due in October.
The unique arrangement became necessary because of a massive security clampdown after Kashmir Valley plunged into unrest over the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8. The Valley was under curfew for 51 days and 71 people were killed in clashes with security forces.
Caught between stone-throwing protesters, security forces firing pellets, and unprecedented pickets and strikes by separatists, people are forced to adopt desperate measures in times of emergencies.
“We don’t want to get caught between stone-pelters and security men; and travelling in the night can be dangerous,” a member of the pregnant woman’s family said on Thursday.
The family from the outskirts of Srinagar, at least 10km from the hospital, didn’t wish to be identified.
Another young woman from downtown Srinagar lost her child on Wednesday. She was taken to the hospital on a bike when her labour started, but could not reach on time.
“After much argument with security forces and protesters, she made it to a tertiary maternity care hospital in Srinagar. Since her blood pressure was very high, she lost the child,” a neighbour said.
Doctors said high stress levels during the crucial hours can trigger complications for mother and child.
“Psychological stress of any kind, be it a stone, gun or grenade, has a debilitating effect on both mother and child,” said Farhat Jabeen, gynaecologist and head of the department at Lal Ded Hospital, Kashmir’s lone hospital exclusive for maternity care.
Jabeen says pepper and chilli sprays, and tear gas smoke can compromise oxygenation and raise blood pressure level, which can harm the unborn child.