Nervous fathers-to-be are pushing their partners into hospital at the first sign of labor even when they would be better off at home, according to a new study.
Midwives recommend women relax at home in the early stages after research found they are more likely to suffer complications if they are admitted to hospital too soon.
But a small study has found that jumpy fathers-to-be and even nervous mothers-in-law are pushing women to go to hospital too soon.
Mary Nolan, professor of perinatal education at the University of Worcester, questioned more than 2,400 first-time mothers about their experience of support from midwives during early labor.
She then carried out in-depth interviews with eight women in Worcester and found they had common views on their partner's influence.
While many of the women talked about how supportive their partners had been, they believed their partner's stress had led them to hospital early, echoing comments from many of those surveyed.
Prof Nolan said: "We are talking about the early stages of labor when women are advised by midwives that the best place to be is at home. It may be a few hours or even days until the contractions are strong enough and women need to go to hospital.
"Men are completely wonderful but they do not have an intuitive understanding of birth like women have - even those women who have not given birth before. Men - obviously because they are so concerned for their partner and their baby - are on edge."
Prof Nolan said midwives were keen for women to stay at home in early labor because research has shown they are more likely to need interventions - such as forceps or an epidural - if admitted too soon.Source