Increased requests from parents in the US to have siblings present during birth has lead to hospitals relaxing their policies
A increasing number of hospitals in the US say they're facing requests to have children present at the birth of siblings, with some families feeling it makes older siblings less jealous, reports The Daily Mail.
American hospitals, which are competing for pregnant women who want a less medical birth experience, are having to become more flexible with delivery room policies, claims The Boston Globe.
Researchers asked parents, in several studies, about the impact on siblings present at the birth. Their findings were mixed.
Some believed that young children could be scared by the blood, but others thought the experience could create a bond with the baby that made siblings, especially only-children, less jealous.
Although the practice is not new, the presence of children is not that widespread and very young children's attendance is rare. In a survey of 69 hospitals in the Southeastern United States, researchers found that only 22% allowed siblings to observe during labour.
Dr Jeffery Riley, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts, USA, said that he has seen children "thrilled" at being present at the birth of a sibling.
However, Dr Jeffery, also went on to say: "children were very confused about what was going on. They see their mother in distress and it's concerning to them if they don't understand it's part of the birthing process."
Would you want your children present while you give birth? Have you had your kids present with you during labour? We'd love to know your thoughts...
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk