Clinical Edge

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Cochrane on Continuous Support During Childbirth

Cochrane; ePub 2017 Jul 6; Bohren, et al

Continuous support during labor may improve outcomes for both women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labor, and decreased cesarean birth, according to a recent Cochrane review. The review included 26 trials conducted in 17 countries and involving 15,858 women. 13 trials were conducted in high-income settings; 13 in middle-income settings; and no studies in low-income settings. Researchers found:

  • Women allocated to continuous support were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and less likely to report negative ratings of or feelings about their childbirth experience, and to use any intrapartum analgesia.
  • Other benefits for women who received continuous support included shorter labors, less likely to have a cesarean birth or instrumental vaginal birth, regional analgesia, or having a baby with a low 5-minute Apgar score.
  • No adverse outcomes of continuous labor support were found.

Citation:

Bohren MA, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6.