Pregnant women have long had the difficult decision of choosing who to have with them when they give birth, whether it’s their partner, mother, friends or siblings.
But an expectant mum in Bristol has thrown tradition out of the window by choosing to bring her pet Labrador along with her to watch her give birth.
The pregnant woman – who had no underlying medical conditions – asked for the family dog Barney to be with her while she was in labour.
Barney was allowed onto the maternity ward as he’s a working ‘therapy dog’ who often visits patients in the hospital.
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"Barney is a certified Pets As Therapy dog and with his owner regularly attends to patients in hospital,” said Sarah Windfeld, Head of Midwifery at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol, where Barney visited.
"His owner made the request to us for Barney to be present when she gave birth as a therapy dog, not as a pet."
But hospital staff are said to be furious that a dog was allowed into the delivery room at the Bristol hospital.
It’s claimed no additional cleaning was carried out after the un-named woman’s two-hour labour.
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"Nurses and doctors were appalled but someone at the hospital had given the woman permission so the dog stayed with her in the labour ward," said a source.
"This is the first time any of the hospital's maternity staff can remember such a thing happening.
"They’re now worried that other women will be allowed to do the same because a precedent has been set.
"Like it or not, dogs are dirty animals - and hygiene is the main concern of staff."
What do you think? Would you bring your pet into the labour ward with you? Let us know over on Twitter now.