Don't blindly trust online pregnancy counselling: Chennai doctor in viral video

Dr Karthika Krishnamoorthy, a consultant obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility specialist, happens to be actor Dhanush's sister.
Dr Karthika Krishnamoorthy
Dr Karthika Krishnamoorthy
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In a seven-minute video posted on her social media channels that has now gone viral, Dr Karthika Krishnamoorthy, a consultant obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility specialist, has spoken on the dangers of online prenatal and ‘pregnancy’ counselling conducted by non-medical professionals and pregnancy coaches. Explaining that she has been seeing a rise in instances where pregnant women tend to put their own health at risk by following advice given by such online programs, especially after COVID-19 lockdown, Dr Karthika says the idea behind making the video was to only raise awareness and not to criticise pregnancy ‘counselling’ on the whole. Dr Karthika, a gynaecologist, happens to be the sister of actor Dhanush and director Selvaraghavan.

“Such sessions are meant to be held after assessing the patient’s past history, present condition, etc. I don’t understand how it can be done online for about 200 participants without taking such conditions into consideration?” she asks.

Dr Karthika also goes on to talk about a particular case where she alleges that advise against induced labour from an online ‘counselling’ session resulted in a risky situation for the patient. “They portray doctors in a very bad light and that is what I’m against. Education is different from brainwashing. They defame doctors and some seem to be doing it with an intent,” she tells TNM.

“The situation (online counselling) looked harmless at first but we are now facing a dangerous situation. Just today I delivered a baby where I thought if only I had induced pregnancy a week ago, the birth need not have been so difficult. Patients are being told not to agree for induced pregnancy by such online counsellors.  Normal delivery vs Caesarean is a controversial topic, yes, but doctors are never going to put their patient’s life at risk,” she says.

According to Dr Karthika, this is an ongoing conversation among gynaecologists and obstetricians. “Off late we have noticed that such instances where patients tend to ignore doctor’s advice, at their own risk have been higher,” she alleges.

Having posted this a few days ago, Dr Karthika shares that feedback on the video has mostly positive. “I am not against anyone in particular and I have not named any names in my video either. I am not against such classes either. But I am happy it is reaching out to many people. The main aim of this video is ‘trust your doctors’ and to follow ethics in one’s profession,” she says. 

“A pregnant woman will have many questions. But following the right advice is most important,” she adds.

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