1Debra Pascali-Bonaro, BEd, LCCE, CD(DONA), CPPD(DONA), is the president of MotherLove, Inc., a DONA-approved labor support and postpartum doula training and consulting agency in River Vale, New Jersey. She is a member of the Leadership Council Coalition for Improving Maternity Services and of the Adjunct Faculty for Continuing Education, School of Nursing, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York.
Continuous Female Companionship During Childbirth: A Crucial Resource in Times of Stress or Calm
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2004 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 49, Issue S1, pages 19–27, July-August 2004
How to Cite
Pascali-Bonaro, D. and Kroeger, M. (2004), Continuous Female Companionship During Childbirth: A Crucial Resource in Times of Stress or Calm. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 49: 19–27. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2004.04.017
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- obstetric labor;
- developing countries;
- continuous support;
- labor support
Continuous support by a lay woman during labor and delivery facilitates birth, enhances the mother's memory of the experience, strengthens mother-infant bonding, increases breastfeeding success, and significantly reduces many forms of medical intervention, including cesarean delivery and the use of analgesia, anesthesia, vacuum extraction, and forceps. The contribution of doula care has become increasingly available in industrial countries and is beginning to be adopted in hospitals in underdeveloped countries. Research continues to demonstrate the far-reaching value of supportive companionship as a corollary to professional health care during birth. Mothers who are at risk because of medical or social factors and those delivering in situations of stress, including disasters, can benefit greatly from labor support.