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Continuous Support During Childbirth

Topic Overview

Having a support person from early labor until after childbirth (such as a doula, nurse, midwife, or childbirth educator) has a proven, positive effect on childbirth.

Women who have continuous one-on-one support through labor may be more likely to:1

  • Give birth without pain medicine
  • Describe their birth experience positively.
  • Give birth without certain interventions, such as cesarean or vacuum delivery.
  • Have slightly shorter labors.

Although there is not a proven direct connection between continuous support and less labor pain, having a support person does help you feel more control and less fear, which are strong elements of mental pain control.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Hodnett ED, et al. (2011). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2).

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised November 2, 2011

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