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Have a Positive Birth: Tip #5

You need support
Support at Birth

This isn't optional. Just like in a marathon, they have sidelines. It ain't for folks to enjoy the entertainment of the marathon (it is quite boring to watch runners go by for 26.2 miles). It is for the runners to see all the people that believe in them and are there to see them cross the finish line. These folks don't even have to say anything or be connected to the person running. It is just the visual suggestion that the folks on the sidelines are supportive of the marathon and what the runner is doing and that they believe that each person will finish the marathon.

Again... labor is the same. You need folks around you who support you, believe in you, and are going to help you when you ask for help. A 2013 peer review* that studied 23 research trials from 16 countries, involving more than 15,000 women in a wide range of settings and circumstances found that:

"Women who received continuous labour support were more likely to give birth 'spontaneously', i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps. In addition, women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied, and had slightly shorter labours. Their babies were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores. No adverse effects were identified."

The evidence is clear. You need support. Commonly hospitals cannot provide continuous support to a laboring woman because they are supporting multiple patients. It will be important for you to have someone dedicated to you that you invite into your birth room. If not a partner, consider a family member, friend, or a doula!


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