In this position paper—one of six care practice papers published by Lamaze International and reprinted here with permission—the benefit of continuous labor support is discussed and presented as an evidence-based practice that helps promote, protect, and support normal birth. The
paper is written for childbearing women and their families. Women with continuous support are less likely to have a cesarean, an instrument delivery, and regional anesthesia. They are also less likely to report dissatisfaction with or negatively rate their childbirth experience. The value of the
doula for both the laboring woman and her labor partner is discussed. The accompanying commentary—written by a leading proponent of maternity care practices—supports evidence that promotes continuous labor support. Lamaze International encourages women to plan for a supportive birth
environment that includes continuous support.
The Journal of Perinatal Education is the official journal of Lamaze International, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.