Moms Now Have Legal Right to Ban Dads From Delivery Room

Rant 46

delivery roomIt is a big week for pregnant women in America. A BIG week. A court in one of the nation's biggest states (by population anyway) has ruled that moms can now ban dad from the delivery room!

Got that? No matter what he says; if you don't want him in there watching you push his baby into the world, he doesn't get in.

Greatest court ruling ever? Not so fast.

The first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation ruling comes out of New Jersey where a mom named Rebecca DeLuccia got pregnant and engaged only to split with fiance Steven Plotnick before the baby was born. Plotnick felt he was being kept out of the loop on the happenings with his baby, so he sued for access, and the feces hit the fan. Things went down to the wire -- with a court hearing on the very day the mom-to-be went into labor!

She won. She got to keep her ex out of the delivery room.

The judge called the dad's desire to be there for baby's first moments "laudable" but sided with mom's right to privacy.

A part of me feels for the mom here. Would you want your ex around on one of the most stressful days of your life? You're in pain; you're worried about what's going to happen. The last thing you want is the guy you can't stand sitting there annoying the pants out of you.

And yet ... I feel for the dad here too, and for every dad who will be affected by this ruling -- and those like it that are sure to come down the pike in other states.

I remember my husband in the delivery room. I don't think I've ever seen an expression of such love and devotion on his face. I know he loves me, but the moment he saw his little girl? I'll waltz over into cornytown and admit it was magical.

I can't imagine denying a father that moment, no matter how mad I was at him ... not if he really wanted to be there, not if he was really devoted to his child.

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Are there circumstances where a guy shouldn't be allowed in? Of course. A rapist shouldn't get to further victimize his victim by forcing his way into the delivery room. A domestic abuser shouldn't get to barge in on the birth. But those are far and away the exceptions as men, not the rule.

Oftentimes there are men who, for whatever reason, are not good boyfriend or husband material but can be perfectly good, committed dads. Isn't that what we all want for our kids? A committed, involved father? A man who loves his children so much he WANTS to hear their first cry of life? Who wants to be there the moment they enter this world?

I'm all for a mom's right to privacy, and I can see forcing your ex to stand at your head so he doesn't get another look-see at your private parts. I'm even for setting up a rule that if he can't just shut up and be respectful, then he's outta there.

But I fear a ruling like this will be used less by moms who are truly trying to protect themselves and more by women who are shortsighted, women who are thinking more about themselves than about the person they are bringing into this world. Because that's the thing about labor and delivery ... suddenly life isn't all about you anymore, honey. It becomes what's best for your child.

What do you think of the new rule? What would it take for you to ban a guy from watching his own child be born?

 

Image via David J LaPorte/Flickr

labor & delivery

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NatAndCo NatAndCo

I'm surprised there even had to be a ruling. I assumed most hospitals would side with the mother because technically until that birth certificate is signed the dads don't have guaranteed access to the child and the mother is the patient.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

I completely agree with this ruling. The simple fact that stress or fear in a mother can cause labor to slow if not halt completely. I see absolutely no reason anyone not welcome should have the right to be in the room. It would only lead to fear, fathers not knowing she is in labor, etc. I do think fathers should be permitted in the room after 15 minutes or as soon as mom is done and covered up. Mom needs a minute to hold her baby and bond, but then it's dad's turn too. If he's not welcome in the room, baby should leave for a half hour to meet dad before returning.

the4m... the4mutts

Yeah I also assumed that most hospitals would respect a woman's right to privacy and boot out anyone that the woman didn't want in there.

Just because you conceive a child with someone, doesn't give them unfettered access to your body, your money, or your medical procedures. Hell, it wasn't until, what? 1983? That they outlawed MARITAL RAPE? Everyone deserves dignity, respect and privacy.

Most married women aren't going to keep their husbands out if he wants to be there. So if she doesn't want him in, it's probably for a damn good reason!

CNPL2 CNPL2

I couldn't imagine banning my so from the room if we broke up but I support a woman's right to do so. I don't think she should be forced to have someone there that she doesn't want but I do feel bad for a dad that wants to be there and misses it.

can_c... can_can21

Men are now nothing more than sperm donors.

Coles... Coles_mom

I don't understand this...I worked as a labor and delivery nurse for ages and if the mom didn't want dad in the room, he was told to leave. Period. I thought moms always had that right.

Einyn Einyn

Whoa. Read the actual article. The father sued to be able to see the baby right after delivery and be informed of when she was in labor. Not to be there. He clearly states that. And she let him see the baby girl the day she was born. I think he was just worried that he would miss knowing his kid had even been born. But if he had sued to be there I'd understand why the judge said no anyway.

nonmember avatar Alexandra

Another blow to the men! Guess having a Y chromosome is now a bad thing.
Although, I'm betting when good ole mom says get this sperm donor, oh wait, male, oh wait, errr husband..no no dad out of here but make sure he leaves me his wallet, he is the baby's father after all, there will be something said then. Of course it might just be yeah woman go!!!

TheSi... TheSilence

If for some reason dh and I split before I have birth he wouldn't be in the delivery room.

I want my birth experience to be stress free and having someone I have issues with there would ensure it was anything but stress free.

The fact is that moms should get all say in who gets to be in the delivery room. They're the ones going through labor and delivery.

First... FirstTimeMama21

My hospital went as far as admitting my son and I under false names to protect our security from my deranged "sperms donor" who felt the need to stalk me. Needless to say, he is not on the birth certificate and we quietly moved out of state.

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