Touch in Labor: A Comparison of Cultures and Eras
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 181–186, September 1986
How to Cite
Hedstrom, L. W. and Newton, N. (1986), Touch in Labor: A Comparison of Cultures and Eras. Birth, 13: 181–186. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1986.tb01041.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
ABSTRACT: The purposes of touch in labor in past cultures as well as in many peasant cultures today are to support the woman's position, to stimulate contractions, and to relieve pain. Large areas of the woman's body are supported or given different types of massage to accomplish this. In the United States today, labor is stimulated and pain relieved with medications, whereas touch is confined to smaller areas of the body—often hand-holding alone. The purpose of touch in labor in the United States is to communicate caring and reassurance.