Do Not Disturb: The Importance of Privacy in Labor

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Abstract:

In nature, when a laboring animal feels threatened or disturbed, the stress hormone catecholamine shuts down labor. Similarly, when a laboring woman does not feel safe or protected or when the progress of her normal labor is altered, catecholamine levels rise and labor slows down or stops. This column discusses the importance of providing labor support that respects the woman's privacy, protects her from unnecessary interventions, insures her safety, and allows her to trust her inherent ability to give birth normally.

Keywords: catecholamine; labor; normal birth; privacy

Document Type: Questions and Answers

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812404X1707

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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