VietnamNet Bridge – The quintuplets of Mrs. Le Huynh Anh Thu, in District 5, HCM City will be raised by the Kangaroo mother care technique, with the participation of up to 15 people. This is just one of the difficulties that the family of the quintuplets will have to face.
Doctor Vu Te Dang, Deputy Chief of the Neonatology Ward of the Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital, says that a premature baby needs up to three relatives to incubate him/her a day. Hence, the above family will have to find at least 15 relatives.
“I don’t know how they can deal with this. They will surely have to ask for help from their relatives of both sides. It is also not to mention that the premature babies do not have the suckling reflex. The family will have to learn how to feed them by cylinders. Thus, even when the babies go home, if they aren’t fed properly, their health will be at risk,” the doctor says.
The family of the quintuplets says they do not know about the future but they will try their best to raise the babies. However, only with the 24/7 Kangaroo care technique, this family will be in trouble. At present, Thu is unemployed while her husband, Hieu, is a taxi driver.
In latest news, the baby girl weighing 1.3 kg can breathe and eat without support from machines while the baby boy with same weight is still fed intravenously and supported by respiratory machine. The three other babies have been transferred from the nursing room to their mother’s room.
One boy baby suffers from respiratory failure but doctor Dang says that the child’s survival ability is above 90 percent.
Kangaroo care is a technique practiced on newborn, usually preterm, infants wherein the infant is held, skin-to-skin, with an adult. Kangaroo care for pre-term infants may be restricted to a few hours per day, but if they are medically stable that time may be extended. Kangaroo care, named for the similarity to how certain marsupials carry their young, was initially developed to care for preterm infants in areas where incubators are either unavailable or unreliable. The method was initiated by doctors in Colombia in 1979. It has been used at the Tu Du Hospital since 1997.
In the case of the quintuplets, they need to be incubated by their parents and relatives 2/47, for at least several weeks.
Giving birth to quintuplets – medical success or failure?
The quintuplet at Tu Du Hospital on March 17 attracts public attention because this is the first quintuplets case by artificial insemination at this hospital; and the five babies – even weighing 1.3 – 2 kg – are healthy.
However, the approach of the local media to this case is mainly the praise of a “medical success,” not mentioning the heavy downside of multiple pregnancies.
Dr. Vo Duc Tri, Vice chief of the Neonatology Word of HCM City Children’s Hospital 1, said: “Having a multiple pregnancy is very dangerous to the mother and her babies. For the mother, multiple pregnancy increases the risk of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth. If being pregnant with twins only, the risk of preterm birth increases by 66 percent compared to normal pregnancy. If being pregnant with triplets or more, this ratio is much higher. A preterm child, because the body is not fully mature so the baby is very vulnerable to many threats such as respiratory depression, prone to infection, patent ductus arteriosus in the heart, food intolerance, inflammatory bowel, retinopathy, hearing problems, poor mental development, etc.”
The consequences of a multiple pregnancy are not only for the children, but also for the family, especially the mother, and the whole society. Dr. Tri said that the mother often suffers from severe stress because they have to take care of many children at the same time. These cases may require the assistance of a psychologist. The babies, who were born unhealthy, may face problems in future development, even lifelong diseases.
According to many infertility experts, the current trend in the world is that women should be pregnant with up to twins, to have babies of good health.
Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong, from the Hung Vuong Hospital’s Infertility Ward, said: “In carrying out the method of reproductive assistance, if women are pregnant multiply, we usually advise them to keep only one or two fetus.”
For the quintuplets at the Tu Du Hospital, the doctors advised the mother to not maintain all fetuses but the family did not agree. The question is whether it is time to have provisions on the specified number of babies maintained when reproductive assistance methods are applied, which many countries in the world have applied for a long time – for the safety of mothers and children and for the benefit of society.
Speaking to a newspaper, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that “Medical progress is successfully implementing measures to support reproduction, help infertile couples to have children, but it is more progress to control multiple pregnancies.”
It is an entirely true idea, but it is much better if the responsible people quickly put this idea into regulations.
So, on this standpoint, the quintuplets should be seen as a “failure” of medicine, not “achievement.” It is similar to the removal of giant tumors conducted at some hospitals recently. Once the health sector cannot detect and treat promptly to those bearing the tumors when they are small, cutting them through the long and complex surgeries could be seen as “failure” instead of “success.”