News day / HISTORY was created yesterday when a group of fathers, who welcomed their new babies, were celebrated at the San Fernando General Hospital.
These fathers were present to witness the birth of their children at the hospital’s labour ward.
Nikita Seepersad was the first to give birth on Father’s Day at 3.34 am to her son, Dawsyn Ramkissoon. The baby boy weighed 3.48kg.
Traditionally, the hospital has honoured mothers on Mother’s Day, but yesterday was the first time fathers were also celebrated.
The initiative was organised by the Ministry of Health and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who said he saw the need to honour fathers and encourage them to take proactive roles in their children’s lives. In his advice to the fathers, Deyalsingh told them they must commit to their children.
“The rearing of a child involves both the mother and the father working together. Being a father is more than being the genetic parent for a child. It means being involved in that child’s life from an early age.”
During his visit, the minister met with three fathers.
“We always say mothers carry the bulk of the work in the house, but I want to encourage fathers to become much more involved in their children care and looking after their families. “Be much more proactive in family life.” He said men who became fathers must understand that it was more than just being a parent.
“Being a father means being part of your child’s life.
“It is not just providing the elements of birth. It is what you do afterwards to become a better human being. It means being there to do homework, to play, to guide that child, so they become a responsible adult.” Deyalsingh also disclosed that the initiative to upgrade the maternity and labour wards to facilitate fathers was done so that fathers can witness the birth of their child, and bond with them.
He also said the fathers will also get to cut the baby’s umbilical cord.
First-time father, Dave Ramkissoon, of Williamsville, said witnessing the birth of his son was the best Father’s Day gift.
“I did not expect him to be born today. I am so happy and very appreciative to be honoured on this day. Is not something I really expected because usually mothers are honoured on Mother’s Day, but really I feel good,”he said, as he cradled his son.
“I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that. I cried seeing my son for the first time. This brought us closer together.” Fathers Junior Vallenilla and Peter Henley, whose wives gave birth on Saturday, were also honoured by the minister. They were presented with hampers.