Childbirth can be traumatic, but it’s also a beautiful moment when you welcome a new addition to your family.
But would you let your children watch you give birth to their future brother or sister?
One mum has defended her decision to let her four-year-old daughter be present in the room when she gave birth.
Vivien Pettitt appeared on This Morning to discuss whether children should be allowed to watch a baby being born, and said her daughter ‘loved’ the experience.
During Vivien’s pregnancy, she asked her daughter Jessica and her eldest son if they wanted to watch their new baby brother, Luke, being born.
Jessica, who was four at the time, wanted to be present, so Vivien prepared her for the moment by showing her daughter videos of childbirth.
Speaking to hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, she said: ‘All through the pregnancy Jessica was very involved, she wanted to see the scans and hear the heartbeat.
‘When she said she wanted to be present at the birth, I prepared her for by watching videos.
Image: ITV/This Morning
Vivien admitted that she was very honest about the graphic nature of childbirth: ‘I didn’t lie, I told her there would be blood and shouting so it wasn’t a shock because of that’.
While Vivien’s sister and husband were also present and were ready to take Jessica out of the room if anything went wrong, Vivien said it was a very quick birth and Jessica loved the experience.
The mum then went on to defend her decision, explaining that Jessica, who is now 10, has an amazing bond with her brother and was not traumatised at all by the event.
However, Martin Daubney argued that he would never let his children watch their mum in labour, after his wife went through a traumatic birth with their first child.
Martin explained his wife was in labour for three days and had a caesarean section and a seizure.
He said: ‘You’re never ever prepared for in real life.
‘When you’re faced with this field surgery this thing that you’d never planned for. It’s deeply traumatic for the wife, obviously, she’s the one going through it and for me.’
Image: ITV/This Morning
Martin also admitted to waiting five years to have another child, because it was such a harrowing experience.
While he agreed that not every experience is that traumatic, Martin argued: ‘But you never know what you’re going to get. That’s the whole point. It could be [traumatic]. The whole point is it could be.’
Martin added that his second child was still very much involved in the pregnancy, including hearing and going to scans, but the parents did not let him in watch the birth itself.
‘He got the gift at the end, but we didn’t want to see him unwrap the gift’, Martin explained.
The debate split opinion on social media, with many arguing that it’s irresponsible to risk letting a young child witness such a traumatic event.
One Twitter user said: ‘Never. Complications could arise, baby could need help at birth. Not worth risking distressing your child’.
However, others agreed with Vivien, saying that childbirth is a completely natural process. One person said: ‘YES. As a psychologist and a mother of 2 I would say we need to leave the old views on childbirth in history. Birth is natural’.
This Morning asked viewers for their opinion in a poll, which revealed that 58 per cent of parents did not think their child should witness childbirth, while 42 per cent said it was just an aspect of life.
Would you let your child watch you give birth? Let us know in the comments below!