A Study of Father and Nurse Support During Labor


  • Robert P. Klein Ph.D.,

  • Nancy Fohrell Gist M.A.,

  • Joanne Nicholson Ph.D.,

  • Kay Standley Ph.D.


ABSTRACT: Support behaviors directed to the woman during childbirth are documented, along with the identity of the providers in this study of 40 primiparous women. A time-sampling method was used during labor observations to record kinds and frequencies of support behaviors provided by different individuals. In addition, a postpartum interview with mother and father included maternal recall of the support behaviors and her evaluation of the helpfulness of these activities. The data show husbands were an important source of support. Of special interest was amount of touching. Fathers were 5 times as likely to touch their wives as were nurses to touch their patients. Mothers’postpartum reports centered on the husbands’behavior, indicating that the most helpful thing was the husbands’presence. Other postpartum maternal reports are discussed.