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Dads on Phones Adding to Labor Pains

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- You've all heard of distracted driving.  In England, there's now a problem with distracted birthing.

It's a new phenomenon, according to British midwives, who charge fathers with being so involved with cellphones or iPads that they pay scant attention to moms in labor.

A woman identifying herself as Marie wrote to The Daily Telegraph to complain, "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."

Jane Munro, a professional adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, says a big part of the problem is that hospitals have relaxed policies so that once-forbidden gadgets are now allowed in maternity wards.

Although men claim phones and tablets help them get over the awkwardness of child birth, Munro maintains, "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."

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ABC News Radio