Main content

    Health Information

    Continuous Support During Childbirth

    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

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

    1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.