Up until recently, the likelihood of finding a father in a birthing room at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)’s Maternity Ward, holding his wife’s hand through the final stages of labour was pretty slim.
This is not because Guyanese men are particularly squeamish or take the hands-off in their approach to labour, but because most public hospitals do not permit them into the maternity wards.
And, officials at the country’s main hospital were not fully prepared to take that step. However, with continuous plans being made to upgrade the hospital and its services, officials are now looking to accommodate fathers in the birthing rooms.
So, in a couple of months, mothers will not have to be alone while delivering their infants, but will in fact have the support of their spouses during that memorable moment.
Senior Departmental Supervisor, Sister June Cato in a recent interview with this newspaper said that the birthing room was recently updated and there are now six individual cubicles to facilitate the mothers.
She added too that the mothers, while delivering, will have the privacy and company of their partners.
“This baby didn’t come by mommy alone so during this year we can have our fathers accompanying our mothers to the birthing room,” the Senior Supervisor explained.
At present, both partners are being counseled when they visit the hospital’s ante-natal clinic located in the ground flat at the Maternity Unit. At the clinic, health care professionals offer care to the mothers during pregnancy and up until delivery.
The workers also educate parents on what to expect during pregnancy. Asked the reason for the hospital making arrangements to have the presence of fathers in the birthing room, Cato said that the health institution is focusing on maternal health care.
“We want a more family oriented center so that is why we are trying to get fathers more involved and very soon they will actually be involved in the delivery of the baby,” Cato said with a smile.
She revealed that in the past there have been fathers who have asked to be with their spouses in the delivery room but their requests were denied since the health facility wasn’t equipped to offer such services.
Meanwhile, some fathers can’t seem to stop smiling upon hearing Sister Cato’s disclosure.
A father of five, who opted not to give his name, said that although the time for him to have another baby has expired, he would love to see the presence of fathers in the birthing room.
He explained that it will make husbands appreciate their wives more because they will see what women go through to bring their children into this world.
One prospective father, Omkar Rambharose also known as “Blackboy” said that he will definitely be by his wife’s side to support her during the birth of their child.
He explained that a child is precious to both parents and should be welcomed by both parties into the world.
The young man applauded the hospital for making such a move.
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