A third of American women want their mother in the delivery room - but only 7% want their mother-in-law
The rituals and cultural presentation of giving birth have been transformed over recent decades, and long gone are the days of a beaming doctor entering a waiting room to tell the new dad and accompanying family members that 'its a boy' or 'its a girl'. As expectant fathers, and increasingly mothers of the pregnant woman, are in the room when children are born a new social dilemma has emerged: who, exactly, should be invited to the hospital, or even the delivery room, when children are born?
The latest research from YouGov shows that the vast majority of American women (80%) want the father of their child to be in the room when they are giving birth. A third (33%) also would want their own mother in the room. Only 7%, however, say that they would want their mother-in-law in the room. In general, younger women tend to say that they would want more people in the room. Under-30s are the most likely to say they want the father-to-be (89%) in the room, most also want their mother (51%) and 21% of under-30s would want a sibling in the room when they give birth.
For a long time it was traditional for men to wait outside, distributing congratulatory cigars, when their partners gave birth to their children. This can be seen in the dramatic age divide when people are asked if their fathers were in the room when they were born. Only 6% of over-65s say that their fathers were present at their birth, compared to 43% of under-30s.