Research has found that some dads are so shocked by their partner's birth experiences that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
A new study has revealed that when faced with life-threatening complications in childbirth, fathers are mentally scarred as well as mothers.
In one case, a dad was so affected by his partner's delivery, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and unable to work. The man is unable to return to employment seven years after his wife almost died giving birth to their daughter by emergency C-section.
Dads who spoke to the researchers for the Oxford University study are reported to have told 'common' tales of being left alone in hospital corridors with no idea of what was happening to their partner or baby, and fearing for their lives.
The Daily Mail reports that experts now want hospitals to pay more attention to the effects of difficult births on fathers.
Professor Marian Knight, who led the research, said that some men suffer very vivid memories of their children's birth because they are fully aware of what is going on and witnessing the situation.
"Many of these emergencies happen during labour or immediately after," Professor Knight said. "And while everyone is running around looking after mum, it can affect dads too. For the dads, it's extremely vivid because they are fully aware of what's going on."