PARENTS

Crowdbirthing Trend Sees Mums Invite Average Of Eight People To Delivery Room Suite

28/07/2015 11:02 BST | Updated 28/07/2015 11:59 BST

Births may have been intimate occasions with only the father-to-be present, but now they are start to resemble something of a small house party.

Some young mothers have an average of eight people present in the delivery room when giving birth in a phenomenon dubbed 'crowdbirthing', a new study has revealed.

Mothers also want to encourage people to their baby's birth to created a shared social event, and popular birthing partners include the expectant mother's friends, her siblings, mother-in-law, and her father.

The study, by Channel Mum which interviewed 2,000 mothers, revealed the number of people in the delivery room is doubling with each generation.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum said: "The younger generation share are used to sharing every aspect of their lives, so why not birth? Many women feel it is their biggest achievement and so want to share the moment with all of those closest too them."

labour

The study found women in their 60s typically had just one person - usually their partner - alongside the midwife present while they gave birth.

For women in their 50s, this had doubled to two people, usually their partner and own mother.

Mums now aged in their 30s and 40s opted for four birth partners, normally their partner, mother, best friend and a close female relative such as a sister or aunt.

But current young mums – in their teens and 20s – are now taking an average of eight people to hospital - with some admitting their ‘birth entourage’ contained as many as 15 helpers.

Freergard added: "The crowdbirthing phenomenon may not suit everyone but being part of the birth is an honour and privilege which unites friends and family like nothing else."

Channel Mum found young mums are opting for more men in the delivery suite, as one in 25 mums interviewed said they would choose their own dad to be present in the delivery room.

But friends are important, too, as 17% of young mums said they opted to have their friends present during the birth because having more people there makes them have "constant, fresh encouragement".

These large birth entourages aren't always practical in hospital rooms, and many hospitals may limit the amount of people in the room during birth.

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The study also found 61% of mums - and 79% of young mums under 25 - believe birth that as birth becomes more social, it is also becoming more competitive.

A third complained knowing others would be judging their birth put them under pressure not to use any pain relief, and one in five also agreed opting for a caesarean would make them feel as though they had "failed" giving birth.

But despite the need for comparison, 86% of mums-to-be admitted they seek out other women’s birth stories to compare to their own experiences - the most popular source being ‘One Born Every Minute’.

And 31% of mums now believe birth stories are more informative and helpful than professional parenting guides and books, with 18% claiming they felt "empowered" after reading them.

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