labor coachIn recent years, one-on-one childbirth care has moved from being the normal to being a rare occurrence. Laboring women are often left for lengths of time with no female support system. Researchers from the University of Toronto recently published a study in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews claiming one-on-one care proves beneficial for women in labor.

Researchers were able to find 22 studies with more than 15,000 participants that met criteria for inclusion in the review. Women who received continuous one-on-one care were more likely to have a successful vaginal birth. Dissatisfaction with the birthing process and use of intrapartum analgesia were both lower in the continuous care group. Labor in the continuous care group was shorter, there was a lower C-section rate and a lower rate of assisted birth.

Based on the study findings, women are best served during labor by continuous one-on-one care delivered by a third-party individual outside of the social or hospital network. Researchers believe all women should be provided with continuous support during labor and delivery.

Source: Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 15;7:CD003766.