Ziya Paval and Zahhad Fazil, the Kerala transgender couple whose pregnancy photoshoot went viral recently, announced the birth of their baby on February 8, nearly a month before the scheduled delivery date.
Ziya, who was declared male at birth and now identifies as female, announced that her lifelong dream of becoming a mother has been fulfilled.
The gender of the baby — who was born at the Institute of Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Kozhikode, Kerala — has not been revealed.
Pregnancy and the transgender couple
“Although the couple were given a scheduled date of delivery in March, due to a spike in blood sugar levels faced by Zahhad, due to gestational diabetes, the baby was delivered early via Caesarean section on Wednesday,” Dr Sreekumar C, superintendent, IMCH, one of the first people to be consulted by the couple when they planned to get pregnant, tells Happiest Health.
He adds that both the baby and Zahhad are now doing okay. “We have a milk bank here at the hospital through which the baby is being provided breast milk,” Dr Sreekumar says. Zahhad, who was born as female and now identifies as male, had undergone breast removal procedure earlier.
The transgender couple, who were both undergoing hormone therapy, had to put the process on hold when they decided to get pregnant.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Ziya said that as per her understanding Zahhad is the first trans man in India to get pregnant and deliver a baby. “Our dreams have now taken shape in the form of baby,” she said.
Hope for LGBTQIA+ community
The news of a transgender couple delivering a baby has been welcomed by the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and more) community in India.
“It’s very exciting news for the community, and LGBTQIA+ is now being recognised in our country,” says Mumbai-based Dr Nandita Palshetkar, president, Indian Society For Assisted Reproduction. “It’s a harbinger of hope for many prospective transgender couples.
“The couple conceived naturally, and Zahhad had halted the sex-change surgery after his breast removal. When a person who is declared female at birth undergoes a sex-change surgery, the uterus, vagina and ovaries are kept intact considering that the person may want to conceive in future despite change in gender orientation.”
Dr Palshetkar, who is a former president of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, adds, “With the advent of science and technology, there is hope for transgender couples to have their own baby, and assisted reproductive procedures such as in vitro fertilisation can also aid them. If the breasts are removed during the sex-change surgery, human milk banks can help the newborn.”