‘My baby’s smile gives me a heavenly feeling,’ says India’s first test tube baby

Harsha Chawda Shah with her baby when he was born

India’s first documented test tube baby, Harsha Chawda Shah, who delivered a boy, says her husband has been her pillar of strength. After birth, the baby has been receiving the same attention that his mother had got when she was born 30 years ago.

“My husband Divapal Shah has supported me through thick and thin, be it before pregnancy or after as it was caesarean baby which requires a lot of care. He was never worried about my pregnancy; we had left it on God. Our baby gives a beautiful smile on our face which gives us heavenly feeling” says Harsha said.

Divapal Shah with his son

The Shahs have named their new born Jinang Divaypal and he is seven-months-old now. “He is extremely charming, healthy and smart” says Harsha. Being the country’s first test tube baby herself, Harsha said she is overwhelmed to experience the feeling of motherhood.  After delivering the baby, Harsha said she was overjoyed. “The feeling of being a test tube baby myself and delivering a normal baby has made my life so wonderful.”

This is not the only joyous moment for Harsha as her baby was delivered by a team of doctors at Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital, gynaecologists Dr Indira Hinduja and Dr Kusum Zaveri. Harsha’s baby’s delivery, too, has been done by the same team, which made history in the country 30 years ago delivering India’s first test tube baby.

“Dr Hinduja is my second mother and Angel in my life. She had been concerned in all regular sonogarphy, as me being a test tube baby, convincing and delivering normal baby was a big thing,” the mother said.

What is IVF?

IVF is an abbreviation of In Vitro Fertilisation. IFV babies are often termed test tube babies in non-medical language because IVF translates to “fertilisation inside glass” while technically it does not happen inside a test tube.

In IVF, the egg is fertilised outside the body by a sperm to develop an embryo which is then planted in the uterus of the mother. This could then turn into a pregnancy.

A history of IVF babies

  • Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first successful test-tube baby, was born in UK on July 25, 1978
  • India’s first test-tube baby Kanupriya Agarwal (Durga) was born in Kolkata on Oct 3, 1978.
  • However her doctor, Dr Subhash Mukhopadhyay later committed suicide in 1981. It is reported that the then government failed to recognise his achievement, it, instead insulted him and he suffered social ostracisation.
  • Harsha Chawda was considered a medical marvel when the team headed by Dr. Indira Hinduja of KEM hospital in Mumbai brought her into this world.