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Piyara Bibi’s Story

Piyara Bibi's Story

Piyara Bibi lives in a village in West Bengal, India. She is eight months pregnant, and has a four-year-old daughter. Six years ago she lost her first baby in childbirth.

We are very poor. We could not afford to use a medical facility in my first pregnancy, and we couldn’t reach the doctor or the hospital anyway. The baby was delivered at home, but because of the prolonged labour and lack of medical support, he died during childbirth. There was no ambulance facility at that time.

I feel it was our negligence that led to my first child’s death. Before that day my baby was absolutely fine. His movement was good and there were no complications.

I had serious complications and health problems afterwards. I was unconscious for the whole day of the birth. For two months afterwards, I was very weak, almost bedridden.

Since then, things have changed. Now facilities are available and the quality of care is good. The first time I was pregnant, I had no proper antenatal care check-ups.

My second baby was born in a hospital. I had regular check-ups. For the delivery, my family hired a car to take me to the hospital because there was no free transportation.

I was happy with the hospital with my second delivery, but we had to purchase the prescribed medicines outside of the hospital, they weren’t free, and three or four delivery patients shared a single bed.

This time, I plan to deliver in the same public hospital. We can’t afford a private clinic. The whole family made the decision together. We chose to deliver in the hospital for my own safety and the benefit of my baby. Everybody said that because our first child had died due to the home delivery, I must go to the hospital.

I am hoping for better quality of care this time. More than four years have passed. The medicine supply is good now. There are good doctors, and they are providing better quality care for patients. I do not expect to have to share the bed this time.

The perfect fantasy would be to have warm water from time to time, good treatment and care, check-ups, good food, and medicine.