As we gushed over the adorable new addition to the clan of Jamie and Jools Oliver there was one small detail that was overlooked while delighting in the adorable chef and his baby son.
It was the revelation that, according to Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools, there alongside Jools as she expelled bodily fluids and screamed blue murder was not just Jamie and a midwife or two but the entire Oliver clan.
Yes, their four older children, Poppy Honey, 14, Daisy Boo, 13, Petal Blossom, 7 and Buddy Bear, 5, were all present at the birth.
Daisy and Poppy even cut the umbilical cord.
The very family affair has prompted a debate about whether or not kids really belong in the delivery room.
After all, as one online commentor put it “the delivery suite isn’t a playground.”
Many though claim there are ‘benefits’ in letting siblings be present. They say it promotes bonding with the baby, allows them to be involved and helps them understand the birthing process – blood, membranes, delivery room faeces and all.
Oliver's older children even cut the cord. Image via Stock.
Personally I’m not sure my young children need to understand that much about the birthing process and I can’t see the harm in them bonding shortly afterward in a different room - but I respect those who make this decision for their family.
Birth, to me, is about the mother – if the mother could relax with her older children in the delivery room and not be preoccupied with how they were faring then turning a birth into family time may be a wonderful experience.
As far as research into how common the practise is, there's not a lot around. An American survey of 69 hospitals in the United States, published in the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing in 2009, found that just 22 percent allowed siblings to observe vaginal births.
There has however been a study on how siblings coped with the experience. A paper published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry evaluated families who wanted their children to attend the birth of a sibling.
A child psychiatrist found that mothers were more enthusiastic about sibling attendance than other family members, and that children reported more anxiety about the experience than was recognised by their parents.
Here is a nice place for siblings to wait. Right? Image via IStock.
Child and family psychologist Dr Mair Edwards told the BBC what it mainly depends upon is what kind of delivery it is.