Mumbai's first test tube baby becomes a mother at 30

Thirty years after being born in an era unfamiliar with in vitro fertilisation technique, Mumbai's first and India's second test-tube baby, Harsha Chawda-Shah, delivered a healthy baby boy of her own on Monday.

Representative image. Reuters

Representative image. Reuters

According to a report by The Times of India, the boy was delivered using Cesarean-section by the same team of doctors who had helped Harsha's parents conceive her in 1986.

"I am God's gift and I believe my baby is also special," Harsha said in the report while she was still recovering from the surgery at Jaslok Hospital. "My baby is a blessing for me and there are no words to explain what I feel at this moment."

In the same report, infertility specialist Dr Indira Hinduja said delivering the baby felt like life has come a full circle for her team.
Harsha was born eight years after Durga alias Kanupriya Agarwal's birth in Kolkata that was embroiled in controversy for decades. Dr Subhash Mukhopadhyay was given the honour of making India's first test-tube baby, long after he had killed himself, unable to take the ostracism and criticism from the medical community.
On speaking to The Quint, Dr Hinduja confirmed that both the mother and the child were doing great. Dr Kusum Zaveri, who was also a part of both the teams said, "Harsha has always been in touch with us. We meet and interact on a regular basis. It is but natural that she chose us to help deliver her baby."
Harsha's husband Divyapal, a businessman, in a report by DNA, said he was happy to become a father and could not wait to take Harsha and the baby home. The couple had tied the knot on 14 May, 2012, the report said.

Dr Hinduja, who was part of both the deliveries was quoted by DNA saying, "There is no reason why test tube babies cannot conceive normally. In Harsha's case, we had to do a C-section because it indicated a breach presentation."

Harsha's mother Mani Chawda, a Jogeshwari resident, was sure her child will lead a normal, healthy life. On speaking to The Hindu, Mani, who was now a grandmother said, “I had been married for five years, but didn’t conceive. That’s when my family doctor referred me to Dr Hinduja. He even showed me an article in a Gujarati magazine on children born with assisted reproduction techniques. I visited Dr Hinduja then."

Though the test tube baby technique was in practice in the western world, it was not popular back then in India. "We had to take so many permissions — from the Ethics committee of KEM Hospital, ICMR,” said Dr Hinduja, who has delivered more than 15,000 test tube babies after Harsha, in the same report by The Hindu.

Updated Date: Mar 08, 2016 15:20 PM

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