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Keywords:

  • labor support during childbirth;
  • close female relative;
  • primiparous Thai women

ABSTRACT

Objective

To evaluate the efficacy of a close female relative providing emotional and physical support during active labor and birth.

Design

Randomized, two-group controlled clinical trial.

Setting

Regional teaching hospital in the eastern part of Thailand with 782 beds.

Participants

Primiparous women (N = 120) whose gestational ages were ≥ 36 weeks and who had uncomplicated pregnancies.

Methods

Participants were randomly assigned to receive usual care and support from a chosen close female relative from admission until 2 hours after birth or usual care only. Within 24 hours of birth, labor outcomes (length of labor & type of birth) and levels of maternal satisfaction were assessed.

Results

Those in the experimental group had a significantly shorter duration of active labor and were more satisfied with their childbirth experiences than those in the control group. Differences between groups with respect to incidence of spontaneous delivery were not found.

Conclusions

A close female relative was effective in providing supportive care during labor and delivery. The integration of this nursing intervention for women and their families at public hospitals in Thailand is supported.