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Docs divided over what led to Nikita's miscarriage


Nikita Mishra,CNN-IBN
Aug 15, 2008 at 12:17am IST

New Delhi: A miscarriage barely 10 days after the Bombay High Court gave its ruling on Mehta abortion case has divided the entire nation into two sides.

The Mehta couple from Mumbai had sought a permission to abort their then 26-week-old foetus because it had a congenital heart defect.

The journey of the 27-week-old foetus being carried by Niketa Mehta had everything - law, medicine, ethics, religion, and human drama.

DEBATE CONTINUES: The journey of the 27-week-old foetus being carried by Niketa Mehta had everything - law, medicine, ethics, religion, and human drama.

Though the exact cause for the miscarriage is not known but Nikita’s husband Harish Mehta has blamed excessive media scrutiny for her worsening health.

When CNN-IBN asked Head of Fetal Medicine Anita Paul that can a miscarriage be attributed to congenital heart blockage, she said, “With this particular situation the baby slowly goes into heart failure so by the time it reaches 28-30 weeks, and by the time it reaches eight months it may well go into heart failure, it may well die inside.”

But the couple is blaming the intense media pressure for the miscarriage. Several studies have shown that stress does cause an aberration in fetal development.

In a major medical breakthrough, Danish scientists studied close to 20,000 pregnancies over a span of ten years and concluded that stress triples the risk of a miscarriage and shockingly increasing the chances of a still birth by 80 per cent.

Agreeing to this study, Sr Gynecologist Max Hospital Anuradha Kapur said, “Supposing there is stress to a pregnant woman, then her blood pressure can rise, that can contract the vessels. This can decrease the blood supply to the baby and affect the growth of the foetus.”

Moreover, high levels of stress also raises the risk of the foetus developing acute asthma, allergies, severely low levels of immunity, low birth weight, and fetal growth retardation.

Niketa Mehta was already at risk of miscarriage, but experts agree the emotional stress of the last few weeks may well have aggravated the situation.

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