One in five dads have missed the birth of their child – and one in ten have missed the arrival of TWO or more of their newborns, it has emerged.
Researchers who carried out a detailed study found traffic delays, work commitments and the father being out of the country at the time were common excuses.
Other dads were in hospital with injury or illness as the pitter-patter of tiny feet arrived. The most outrageous excuse was ‘there was a big match on the telly’ which was used by around one in 100 failing fathers.
An unfortunate 12 per cent who missed a birth did so because they didn’t receive the telephone call informing them their partner’s waters had broken.
And around one in ten absentees occurred because the mum-to-be didn’t want the baby’s father in the room for one reason or another.
However, four in 10 mums admitted they would forgive their for partner missing the birth due to unforeseen circumstances – and three in 10 even supported stay-away dads – if it’s their choice.
For the dads who were there for the momentus event one third had to adhere to strict rules laid down by mum to stay away from ‘the business end’ and wait by their ‘top end’ until baby is born.
Siobhan Freegard, spokeswoman for parenting site ChannelMum.com, which carried out the study among 2,000 parents, said: “Most mums are encouraged to make birth plans – but as this study shows, not all births stick to the plan.
”While most dads are desperate to see their child born, some admit they don’t cope well and opt to stay away – while in other cases mums prefer the support of other family members like their own mum, sister or even a best friend.
“Deciding who is with you when you give birth is one of the most personal decisions you’ll ever make and there’s no right or wrong answer.
Go with what feels right for you as a family.” The OnePoll study found one in 10 dads were resigned to sitting outside the delivery suite as their partner didn’t want them inside.
Sadly, 42 per cent of dads who were rushing to be at their partners’ side missed the baby’s entrance by a matter of minutes.
A quarter of fellas who didn’t make it went on to receive a proper grilling from their other half. But for those who did make it into the room on time, many admitted it was a tricky time for them – with 43 per cent feeling utterly useless and 24 per cent feeling terrified.
Pacing the room, going out for a cigarette and trying the gas and air are among the ways men try to keep themselves entertained in the delivery suite – in addition to assisting with the labour.
While others have tried to make their partner laugh, chat up staff and play with the medical equipment to pass away the time.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a third of couple got annoyed with each other during the delivery – with one in 10 ended up arguing.
Siobhan added: “Birth is a life-changing experience for everyone involved and none of us know how we’ll react until we’re in the situation.
”It can be tough for some partners who admit they feel like sidelined or harrowing for them to watch their partner in pain.
”But if you do miss the birth, remember it’s only the start of a lifetime with your child, so the most important thing is the love you build going forward.”
TOP REASONS A FIFTH OF DADS HAVE MISSED A BIRTH:
1. I chose not to be there
2. I got stuck in traffic on the way
3. I didn’t get the telephone call to say labour had started
4. There was an unmissable football match I had to attend
5. I was in the hospital
6. I didn’t know the labour was happening
7. My partner didn’t want me to be there in the room
8. There was an unmissable football match I needed to watch on the telly
9. I was abroad
10. My car broke down on the way
11. I was away on a business trip
12. I got stuck in a really important client meeting
13. I chose to go to the pub instead
14. I didn’t want to see my partner suffer so opted to sit outside instead
15. I wanted to watch the rugby
16. I was in the middle of sports training
17. The train / bus was delayed
18. Our parents insisted I shouldn’t be present in the room
19. I had no phone signal
20. My phone battery had died