Labour is not for the fainthearted. It can be long, excruciating, and, well, gross – for the sake of expedient description. So mums totally get it if dads stay backstage on D-Day.
Besides being motivated by survival, a new study reveals another reason why partners should be present in the birthing room – and it’s got nothing to do with avoiding getting your eyeballs scratched out (which will probably happen anyway; sorry).
A new study published in the Early Human Development journal has revealed a connection between fathers being present at their children’s birth to fewer developmental hiccups later in life.
Analysing 6,000 infants who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, as well as a subsample of baby daddies, the researchers found a consistent link between activity, attention, speech, language and other diagnosed issues – and the absence of fathers during delivery.
Of course, the data was “quasi-experimental”, in that randomly assigning fathers to be less involved in such a monumental moment would be unethical, so researchers had to utilise propensity score matching (PSM) to create statistically equivalent groups in order to assess the relationship between paternal presence at birth and child development.
Regardless of the experimental restrictions, however, as well as the fact that this is but one study on the topic, witnessing the birth of your child is, by far, a memory you will never get another chance to live over (whether your kid is impacted or not).
So just get over the placenta already, Dad.