It is par for the course these days for expectant dads to do the whole antenatal class routine, and reading up about parenthood and being there for the mom when she is giving birth.
But according to Dr Jonathan Ives of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Birmingham, this may not be the best thing for dads.
It is the view of Dr Ives that the father could feel feelings of inadequacy and deflation about his passive role in the proceedings, particularly the actual birthing process; even a feeling of redundancy.
And this could in turn lead to becoming deskilled as a parent, leading to problems of bonding and having difficulty being a proactive father.
So should the dad be present for the birth or not? The question is moot. On the one hand there is the view that a life altering experience such as witnessing a new life being born can only increase bonding and can help to forge a close union between a man and a woman.
On the other hand is Dr. Ives’ view and that of obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent, who believe that it is better for the birthing process if the father is not present.