Labor is an intense physical and emotional experience; it can make a big difference to have someone present to help with labor comfort and progress. They can also remind expectant mothers that what is happening is normal and healthy, and can provide additional information about their care. Labor support is an important aspect of childbirth and provides peace of mind and individualized care to the woman giving birth.
What does labor support mean?
Labor support is a type of support system for mothers who are in the process of giving birth. Labor can be the hardest and most difficult time of a pregnancy, so support from healthcare professionals is highly beneficial for the patient’s physical, mental and emotional health. Some women may want a comforting touch—such as holding their hand—or gentle assistance moving and changing positions in labor. They may also appreciate encouragement (reassuring them that they are doing great) and help communicating their wishes to their clinical care providers. At this time, partners or spouses may welcome guidance in supporting the woman giving birth.
Research shows that the availability of this type of support in labor can reduce the chance of having a forceps birth, vacuum extraction, or cesarean section; the likelihood of using pain medications; and the risks or complications associated with these interventions. Therefore, planning for excellent support in labor is a way to make birth safer and healthier for both the mother and her baby.
What is continuous Labor support?
Continuous labor support is the presence of a trained professional and/or family members at the bedside of a parturient woman (about to give birth/in active labor), to empathize with, coach, provide practical aid, and/or educate the expectant mother about childbirth. It helps alleviate pain, feelings of isolation, and anxiety.
Since the use of epidurals and fetal monitors has increased and become common practice for labor and birth, the technical aspects of care have become a focus for nurses. Research reinforces the need to have a continuous labor support person as part of the birth team; physical and emotional support of the laboring woman are vital aspects of care and nurses also need to be competent in the technology of childbirth.
What is a professional support person for labor and delivery?
A professional support person for labor and delivery is a medical professional, commonly a nurse-midwife, who provides support to the woman giving birth throughout the labor process. This is essential because labor can be an intense and frightening experience for women, especially if it is their first birth. During labor, women’s bodies are pushed to the extreme and they will experience physical sensations ranging from discomfort to severe pain. To help minimize the physical pain and emotional distress of labor and birth, the professional support person helps the woman to be as relaxed as possible and aware of her situation. Women can be helped with this by receiving comfort, support, timely information, adequate care, and reassurance during labour and birth. It is imperative to maintain respect and courtesy whenever possible; this can be achieved through explaining what the support person is going to do and why, and by being courteous to the woman and her family. By keeping the woman covered as much as possible for all procedures, or by providing curtains, it is equally important to maintain respect for privacy throughout the birth.
Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced at providing labor support and can help you increase your comfort and reassurance throughout labor. We have two Illinois locations to serve you better: one in Mokena and one in Evergreen Park. We look forward to serving you!
ADDITIONAL SERVICES YOU MAY LIKE
- Prenatal Care (Routine and High risk)
- Ultrasound 3D and 4D
- Nuchal Translucency
- Non-Stress Testing
- Antenatal Testing
- Preparation for Glucose Tolerance Test
- Prenatal Genetic Counseling & Testing
- High Risk Pregnancy Assessment
- Early Pregnancy Assessment Program
- Family Planning
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- Well Woman Care (annual exams)
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- Preventative Care
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