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A couple of days ago, I was listening to my local radio station in the morning at the bus stop with my kids.  The DJs were talking about a news story out of New Jersey.  Basically a New Jersey Judge ruled that a woman in New Jersey has a right to keep the father out of the delivery room when she’s giving birth.  I was all, wait what?  This is a law and a thing?

To me, it seems so clear cut.  Of course it should be a woman’s medical right to decide who is in the delivery room with her.  How is that even a law?  I was even more shocked when I heard the FEMALE DJs response.  She did not agree with the judge.  Now I don’t know much about this DJ and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t yet have kids but I was surprised to think anyone, especially any woman, would think that a woman doesn’t have a right to delivery room privacy.

In the specific New Jersey case, it was an ex-fiancee who was asking to be in a delivery room and the woman not wanting him there.  Who knows what the story is there but the bottom line is that birthing a baby, whether it’s vaginally or via c-section, is seriously mucky business that involves a lot of pain, pushing, blood and other bodily fluid goodies.  There’s nakedness and you pretty much don’t get more exposed in a more raw and intense way than you do when giving birth.

In my opinion, the woman absolutely should be able to decide who is in there with her.  Medical personal are needed for the safety of the mother and baby but beyond that?  HER CHOICE.

Apparently I’m in the minority in my opinion.  The story really sat with me so I Googled it today to read more about it and clicked on this story from CBS Philly.  They have a poll at the end of the story which I took – 63% of responders said that the father should be allowed in the delivery room no matter what.  The rest, that it’s a woman’s right to choose.  I am still really shocked at this.

Of course I think it is ideal for Dad should be in the delivery room.  Seeing your baby for the first time is an experience that is truly amazing for both parents.  Not to mention that most women want the emotional support of the baby’s Dad.  But I don’t care if it’s a one-night-stand Dad, an ex-boyfriend or a loving father, in that moment when a woman is delivering, it should be her choice regarding her own privacy END. OF. STORY.

I will note that I think the law went a bit too far in saying that the father doesn’t even have a right to be notified when the child is born.  I cry BS on that.  I do think the father has a right to know where and when.  Dads are awesome and they should have a lot of rights when it comes to their children. But at the end of the day, the woman is the one on the table with all sorts of body parts exposed to the world and she alone should have a say in who gets to be a part of that moment.

What do you think?  Are you with me in the minority or are you with the 63% of the rest of the world that thinks the Dad should be allowed in the delivery room regardless of the birth mother’s wishes?


  1. Ugh. YOU’RE KIDDING. I mean. That is crazy. Her EX has to be in the delivery room? What the what? I’m totally on your side.

    • Well the judge ruled in her favor so she doesn’t have to now but I think it was the guy who was suing for the right. Just the fact that that’s a THING and a law is what blew my mind about it!

  2. Dad in BOS says

    I am a Dad of two and I completely agree with your comments and opinions on this matter.

  3. wow I hadn’t heard this story before Whit! crazy — thanks for sharing!!

  4. While I think the dad should have almost immediate access to the baby, I think the woman definitely should be able to choose who is or isn’t in the delivery room with her.

  5. This is a tough one. I TOTALLY agree with your perspective of how intense, exhausting and, possibly, medically difficult a birth can be and that a woman should have a chance for that to be private. But I also get that the father will be missing the “moment” when his child tumbles into the world (assuming his intentions are honorable, which may be a question). That said, there was a time and day (like when I was born), when they didn’t let dads ANYWHERE near the delivery room. Judging by my dad, he was super ok with that. (He passed out when the doctor came out in bloody scrubs to congratulate him!) I’m not saying dads today are “lucky,” but I think a little perspective is needed on both sides,

    • Thanks for the comment Gina! You are right, gosh being in the delivery room is a new thing for sure, right? I definitely would love to hear some perspective from someone on the other side. Especially a Dad.
      It is a special moment and in an ideal relationship, the Dad is there. But not every situation is the same…

      • Speaking from an earlier generation, I totally agree with you Whitney. Also, isn’t this the EX-fiancee we are talking about? He can have a relationship with his child once born but she has every right to keep him out of the delivery room!!!

  6. Wow, I think it should be up to the woman – you are going through a lot bringing a baby into the world, whatever makes the woman most comfortable.

  7. I am unsure of how I feel about this. I agree that a woman has the right to keep the experience as unstressful as possible, but I also think that banning dad from the delivery room devalues the role of dad in the conception and life of the child.

  8. I’m so with you on this one. It’s HER BODY and HER CHOICE.

  9. totally mother’s choice! I’m so confused??

  10. Oh my GOSH! I can’t even imagine being FORCED to have someone in the delivery room with you. Thank the Lord that the judge had some good sense! I am sick to my stomach imagining her having to have her EX in the room!!!!

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