Should dad be present in the delivery room?

The New York Times recently addressed the issue last year in a blog post entitled, "Dad's in the Delivery Room." According to the post, a French obstetrician named Dr. Michael Odent told fathers to stay away from the delivery room. As the blog states, "they [fathers] are probably only making the mothers stressed, slowing their production of the hormone oxytocin, which results in a prolonged labor and an increased risk of Cesarean section." Although the writer does not deem such argument as fact, she does bring a fresh concept to the debate.

If women knew that the mere presence of the baby's father increased their chances of having a Cesarean section, would they still want him in the room? Most women would answer this question with a confident "yes," but others may reconsider. It seems that the "Father's in the delivery room" debate really comes down to personal opinions about a dad's role in the pregnancy.

Whereas mothers who require a lot of paternal involvement during the prenatal process would want dads in the delivery room, moms who are disinterested in the father's presence during pregnancy may not require his presence in the room.

What is your opinion? Should dads be present in the delivery room?

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