Earlier this spring, Lamaze relaunched the revised, 3rd edition version of their flagship book, Giving Birth with Confidence. (You can check out a full review here.) In closing out International Doula Month, we would like to share with you an excerpt from the book about what good labor support looks like (it's not all that complicated!). Also in the book about labor support and doulas is the research supporting continuous one-on-one labor support; information about doulas; numerous tips to help a laboring person find comfort and strategies for communication with caregivers -- both of which are key for a support person to know! Consider lending or purchasing a copy of Giving Birth with Confidence for your chosen support person(s).
What Is Good Labor Support?
(Excerpted from Giving Birth with Confidence, 3rd Edition, by Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, FAAN, and Charlotte DeVries)
Good labor support is not watching the clock and checking IV lines and EFM printouts. It's making sure you're not disturbed, respecting the time that labor takes and reminding you that you know how to birth your baby. Your helpers should spin a cocoon around you while you're in labor--create a space where you feel safe and secure and can dot he hard work of labor without worry.
Good labor support can include reminding you to eat and drink, wiping your face, brushing your hair. It can mean helping you change positions, putting a blanket around your shoulders when you're cold, taking it away when you're hot, whispering words of encouragement.
Good labor support can be your mother sitting in the corner, silently praying. It can be your partner holding your hand and reminding you what a great job you're doing. It can be your caregiver focusing complete attention on you as you cope with each contraction. Good labor support tries to respond to all your physical and emotional needs throughout labor.