No Age Limits
Thursday, April 24, 2014
The impact of social connection is powerful at all ages.
In a review of 144 studies, Drs. Hoffman and Hatch at Columbia University concluded that intimate social support from a partner or family member is associated with improved fetal growth, regardless of a woman's level of acute stressors.26
Two studies conducted in Guatemala City found that the presence of a supportive companion during labor and delivery reduced the need for cesarean section and other interventions.
It is common in this city to go through labor alone, a situation that provides the perfect opportunity to investigate the effects of a supportive companion during labor and delivery.
One group in the study went through labor alone, while the other group had – from admission to the hospital to delivery – constant support by a friendly companion, known as a "doula," whom the pregnant woman had never met.
"The duration of labor in the group of women left alone was 19.3 hours, compared to only 8.7 hours for the women with the doula."
Also the mothers with doulas were more likely to smile, stroke, and talk to their baby than those in the control group.27
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