LONDON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- British midwives say fathers need to provide support while mothers are in labor, and should not be playing with their cellphones.
Many women have been complaining the fathers of their children are glued to their smartphones or iPads during labor instead of being supportive, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
"My husband ...was looking at his phone through most of my labor and the midwife had to ask him several times to help me in basic ways, like getting me a glass of water or a towel," a woman named Marie wrote to the newspaper.
Jane Munro, professional adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, said because mobile phones have been allowed in maternity wards in recent years, the occurrence is becoming more common.
"You used not to be able to take mobile phones in, but that's changed," Munro said. "These technologies are everywhere now. But the purpose of the man in being there is to provide support and most men would be going, you would hope, with the intention of supporting the woman."
Munro said some men may use electronic devices to overcome feeling awkward in the delivery room.
"Sometimes men are very anxious at the birth, but I still don't see, however anxious they are, that the phone would be helpful in this context," she said. "It's not very caring to the woman and I think most women would be upset by it."