Labor is an intense time for a woman and her partner. This is a very emotional and physical experience. Having excellent childbirth support present to encourage and guide women in knowing their labor progress is normal, healthy, appropriate and invaluable.
Who can be supportive?
- Doula support or any other labor support companion who is present solely to provide continuous support has the most benefits
- Excellent individuals who may be important sources of support are your partner, the staff, and friends or members of either family the couple feel comfortable to invite.
A large systematic review of continuous labor support is currently available. The labor support review summarizes the experiences of over 15,000 women who participated in 21 randomized controlled trials. This review by the Cochrane Collaboration is called, Continuous support for women during childbirth, by Hodnett, Gates, Hofmeyr, Sakala and Weston (2011).
This study concludes the following:
- Continuous support during labor has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and isn’t associated with any known harm.
- The review found that, in comparison with women who had continuous support, women who labored without continuous support had longer labors and were less likely to have a “spontaneous” birth (without cesarean section, vacuum extraction, or forceps).
Women without support were more likely to:
- Have an epidural or other “regional” analgesia to manage pain
- Use other types of pain medication
- Give birth by cesarean section
- Give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
- Give birth to a baby with a low Apgar score rating of well being 5 minutes after birth
- Give their childbirth experience a negative rating or remember it as a dissatisfying experience
Childbirth support can also help to ensure the mother has a strong voice standing up for her throughout labor and delivery. Contact Women’s Excellence today to find out more about these types of support and important prenatal care options.