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Once, no man would have dreamed of being present in the room as his wife was giving birth.

Then opinions changed and the father was expected to be there to share in all the pain and joy.

But now it seems that so many people are crowding into the delivery suite you could almost sell tickets.

A survey of 2,000 mothers has found that those in their twenties or teens are taking an average of eight people into the birthing room with them – and that doesn’t include the midwife or other medical staff.

The survey, conducted by the website Channel Mum, said that women now aged in their sixties typically had only had their partner alongside the midwife present while they gave birth.
这项由Channel Mum网站进行的调查显示,现年60多岁的女性当年生孩子的时候,通常只有助产士和伴侣在场。

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

Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum, said: ‘The younger generation are used to sharing every aspect of their lives, so why not birth?
Channel Mum网站的创始人西沃恩·弗里加德(Siobhan Freegard)说:“年轻一代习惯分享他们生活的方方面面,连生孩子也不例外。”

‘Many women feel it is their biggest achievement and so want to share the moment with all of those closest to them.

‘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.’

Mothers-in-law are now the most popular birthing supporter after the mum’s partner and mother, the survey suggests. One in 25 even chose their own father to be present in the delivery room.

But the research also shows there is a downside to giving birth in front of an audience.

Mothers are increasingly refusing to take pain relief because they fear they will be judged. One third of the women surveyed cited social pressure as a reason to have a birth without painkillers, complaining that others would regard them unfavourably if they did otherwise.

One in five said they felt that opting for a caesarean section would make them feel as though they had ‘failed at giving birth’.

Adding to the stresses of new mothers are women who write about their births on social media and talk airily of bringing new life into the world, and celebrities who make giving birth seem effortless.

Some 15 per cent of mothers said they felt under pressure from stars who have apparently sailed through labour, such as supermodel Gisele Bundchen, 35, who said her eight-hour labour ‘didn’t hurt in the slightest’ and claimed her newborn son didn’t even cry.
大约15%的母亲说她们因为那些明星看似轻轻松松就把孩子生了下来而感到很有压力,比如说35岁的超模吉赛尔·邦辰(Gisele Bundchen )。邦辰在谈到她8个小时的分娩时表示“一点也不疼”,并声称她的儿子刚生出来时甚至都没哭。

The rise of social media means that the moment of giving birth, once an intensely private event, is now being shared all around the world. Many mothers take ‘selfies’ with their baby just moments after delivery and post the picture on Facebook and Twitter.

Some are even hiring ‘birthing photographers’ to capture every intimate moment. Already a popular practice in the US, more and more British mothers are paying to have their labour recorded.

Starting from around £500, many photographers will agree to be on call 24 hours a day from 36 weeks in the pregnancy.