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Do partners of expectant mothers need to wear full scrubs during child birth?

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Do partners of expectant mothers need to wear full scrubs during child birth? What do you think?

Expert comment

My initial short answer would be no, what a ridiculous idea! For those of us privileged to be involved with the everyday miracle that is childbirth, whether that is in a hospital or home setting, the idea that in normal circumstances the mum and babe need to be somehow protected from the father or partner is nonsense. I would suggest he or she needs to be clean, and it’s always helpful if they are sober and not loaded with something infectious, but generally in my experience the need for full scrubs is negligible!

However, there may be circumstances when scrubs are required, e.g. where delivery is taking place in a hospital theatre environment, where scrubs are part of the routine infection control procedure, or where the mother’s immune system is at risk where all involved with the delivery may need to “scrub up”.

In these examples, scrubs would be a specific requirement for a particular situation. To suggest that as a general rule fathers should wear full scrubs during child birth suggests perhaps too much exposure to American television, with little thought as to how it may be enforced!

Having had to diplomatically suggest to a father that underwear at the least was the accepted mode of dress for him in the birthing pool, I could anticipate there may be problems getting him into full scrubs!!

B Knight, midwife

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    Ummm, as a new father, well a year ago now anyway, I can inform you that I did not need to wear scrubs until we had to go into theatre for an emergency caesarian. I also have just spoken with my best friend who is a midwife consultant who informs me that no father has ever been made to wear scrubs in her 16 years other than in the theatre environment. Fathers and mothers to be can wear what they jolly well like. Which hospital do you know that makes the fathers change into scrubs?

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