A woman in Kodangipatti, Theni district, reportedly delivered her child at home with the help of her husband and mother-in-law, on August 2.
However, when health officers got wind of the incident and reached the house, Kannan, the husband, refused to let them take the mother Mahalakshmi and the baby to a hospital or cut the umbilical cord.
According to a police officer involved in the case, the issue began when the husband refused to cut the umbilical cord, saying that cutting the cord will lead to a weak immune system. However, when the dean from Theni Government Hospital tried convincing him to cut the cord, Kannanâ€™s father Danushkodi and his mother verbally abused the dean.
The dean went to the PC Patti police station and filed a complaint against Danushkodi, stating that the family did not allow a government servant to do his duty and insulted him. Danushkodi was then remanded by the police.
â€śThe FIR filed against him is not for allowing home birth, but for abusing the doctor who only had good intentions while advising the couple,â€ť said the police official.
Kannan finally agreed to let the health officers provide medical assistance after arguing with them for a few hours.
Speaking to Puthiya Thalaimurai, Kannan said that he did not allow the health officers to do their duty as his wife did not want their medical assistance. He also claimed that he and his wife decided to have a home birth after thoroughly understanding the procedure. He also said that his wife and child are well.
In an interview to Thanthi TV, Kannan said: â€śThere are no complications in this procedure. We agree now that our age-old food habits and diet are good for us. Why are we rejecting traditional medical practices? My wife and I have been taking only healthy food with the least processing for the past two years. Our ancestors ate healthy food and had a healthy childbirth. Did they have hospitals? You only need hospitals when you cannot deal with your situation. I made sure my wife had a healthy labour and delivered a healthy baby, through a healthy diet.â€ť
He also said that contrary to reports, he did not assist or oversee the delivery. â€śI just took the baby in my hands after my wife delivered it,â€ť Kannan said.
He also claimed that his wife was back to normal the next day and got back to routine.
In light of the recent incident where a woman died after attempting home birth in Tirupur, the Tamil Nadu government has announced that home birthing and preventing pregnant women from accessing medical care are punishable offences.