Judge Rules Women Can Kick Fathers Out of The Delivery Room
What would you think if I told you that a judge recently ruled that women can kick fathers out of the delivery room if they so choose?
And what would you say if I told you I agreed with her?
Earlier this month, a New Jersey judge released a first-of-its-kind opinion when he ruled that a woman had every right to deny the father of her baby entry into the delivery room.
The couple in question had been engaged when she got pregnant, but then they later broke up. When she told him that she didn't want him present at the birth, he (reasonably?) sued for the right to be there.
And the verdict?
And although at first glance, the ruling may sound unfair—I mean, after all, isn't the baby as much his at it is hers?—I think it's a fair ruling and, honestly, something that more women should realize they have the right to do.
I can't even name the number of births I have seen hindered – and maybe even harmed – by the presence of, at the very least, a hapless father, and at the worst, an abusive father.
I've seen men belittle their partners during birth—men who joked with their friends and ordered a pizza to the delivery room while the mother labored on, trying hard not to make too much of a fuss through her increasingly painful contractions. In one horrible case, my fellow nurses even related the story of a father who had raped a new mother while she was still in the hospital.
As much as I would like to imagine that every new mother comes into the labor and delivery ward with the accompaniment of a supportive partner, the fact of the matter is that, sadly, that's not always the case.
And while there will be time—a lifetime of time, in fact—for a couple to work out parenting, or co-parenting, or heck, even determine custody at all, labor is not the time to hash out disagreements and argue over parental rights.
Labor and delivery is the time, first and foremost, to ensure the health of mother and baby. Birth is serious business, and I've seen women who had severe complications because of undue stress during labor—complications like increased blood pressure, emergency c-sections, or unnecessary interventions that can't, of course, be directly linked to the presence of one person in the room, but yet are there.
It might sound crazy, and while I am in other ways a full supporter of paternal rights and getting the world to wake up and recognize that babies are a part of a man's world too, in this case, I have to say:
Mama knows best.
What do you think? Should women have the right to keep their baby's fathers out of the delivery room?