RESEARCH ON DOULA SUPPORT

A review by Cochrane (a prestigious international organization that prepares and keeps up-to-date systematic reviews in many areas of health and medicine) on the effect of "Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth" has drawn astonishing conclusions. 

The primary objective of this review was to assess the effects, on mothers and their babies, of continuous, one-to-one intrapartum support as compared to usual care. 

Sixteen trials involving over 13,000 women were included.  After review and analysis of the data, the researchers offered the following synopsis:  Continuous labor support reduces a woman's likelihood of having pain medications, increases her satisfaction and chances for 'spontaneous ' birth, and has no known risks. 

Labour support appeared to be more effective when it was provided by women who were not part of the hospital staff. It also appeared to be more effective when commenced early in labour.

Supportive care during labor may involve emotional support, information and comfort measures.  Such care may enhance normal labor processes and thus reduce need for obstetric intervention. 

Reference: Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003766. Copy located in: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008

 

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