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Now 97pc of dads witness birth of baby

TIMES have changed – the modern Irish daddy wouldn't dream of missing the birth of his baby.

Decades ago, men never darkened the threshold of the labour ward – but now they are there to offer support to their partners.

Celebrity dads like rugby star Brian O'Driscoll and presenter Brian Ormond were both on hand to welcome their babies into the world in recent months.

And they are not alone: new research has shown that over 97pc of dads were there for the birth at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin.

A study of 1,000 fathers found that, when it comes to antenatal visits, 80pc of fathers were likely to be present.

As for the first glimpse of the baby, nearly 90pc were there for the ultrasound scans. Of the dads who attended the delivery, the vast majority (88pc) felt comfortable or were delighted (82pc) to witness the birth.

The study was released just three days before Fathers' Day.

Fathers surveyed said they experienced a broad range of emotions as a new life entered their world.

GUILT

Experienced fathers felt more guilt about what their partner was going through – nearly 18pc compared with first-time fathers (4.7pc), who were more frightened by the delivery (20pc).

Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, was one of the doctors who carried out the survey.

It was carried out within the first three days after the birth of the child.

Meanwhile, presenter Brian Ormond (32) has spoken about his joy at being present for the birth of son Ollie, who was born to wife Pippa O'Connor (28) at Mount Carmel Hospital in April.

"I was there every step of the way. It's incredible to be there and to witness the whole thing," he said.

"It's such a special time for the two of you as well, myself and Pippa. It's something you can't explain and was a really special occasion and special day."

Ollie marked his nine-week birthday yesterday.

"He's doing brilliantly and he's letting us know that he's here," said Brian.

Brian O'Driscoll's actress wife Amy Huberman (34) gave birth to their baby daughter, Sadie, in February.

fdillon@herald.ie


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