Historically, women have been attended and supported by other women during labor. However in hospitals worldwide, continuous support during labor has become the exception rather than the routine.
Women who receive continuous support are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal. Women with one on one support report satisfaction with their birth experience. Their labors are shorter and they are less likely to have a cesarean, instrumental vaginal birth, regional analgesia, or a baby with a low 5-minute Apgar score. (Continuous support for women during childbirth. Hodnett, ED. Cochrane Review. 2013.) The American College of Obstrics and Gynecology also points out that continuous support during labor is an under utilized resource. (ACOG . Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean. 2010.)
Yet many husbands still feel uneasy about stepping into the labor room. Who better to support this woman during labor than the person who loves her most! “A ‘husband’ is one who is dedicated and supportive of this woman, willing and anxious to serve and defend her like no one else can in labor, birth, child rearing and life.” (Husband Coached Childbirth. Bradley.)
So why do men hesitate to be present at birth? Some think that it is “woman’s work,” some don’t realize they are important to the process, they are afraid they might get in the way. They don’t know they can help. They don’t realize how significant they are. (Husband Coached Childbirth. Bradley.)
There is much a coach can do for a laboring woman! Mom needs coach to: remind her to do her pregnancy exercises, help her to maintain excellent nutrition during pregnancy, help her in early labor, relax her when something disturbs her, spoon ice chips into her mouth, keep her relaxed, apply counter pressure, rub her back, help her to the bathroom, encourage her, remind her how to push, help her into pushing positions and so much more. A trained coach is indispensable. A trained coach is the person mom will say she couldn’t have done it without!