Fathers praised for going to child’s birth

Telegraph (UK) 02 June 2008
A survey showed yesterday that 94 per cent of fathers-to-be were present in the delivery room. The study, which compared many aspects of 21st-century child care with parental attitudes in the Sixties and Seventies, has detected “a sea change” in family life and the way we bring up our children. Dr Stoppard, who has sold 20 million copies of her parenting books worldwide, says fathers have escaped “a straitjacket” imposed on them by society. She said the survey proved that, while fathers’ natural paternal instincts were stifled 40 years ago, “today, dad is free to be the father he always wanted to be”.The survey was conducted by Dorling Kindersley, the family reference book publishers, Practical Parenting magazine, and the website saga.co.uk. It showed that 94 per cent of fathers chose to be present in the delivery room. In the 1960s, that figure was 27 per cent. Nearly three quarters of mothers (72 per cent) communicate with their unborn baby, compared with 49 per cent in the Seventies, a trend that may be attributed to women now being able to “see” their babies during antenatal scans. The survey also found that attitudes had changed towards other parenting issues, such as smacking – 72 per cent of grandmothers admitting that they smacked their children, while today only four in 10 mothers said that they did the same.