How effective is continuous, one-to-one intrapartum support when compared with usual care?
No conclusions could be drawn about the timing of onset of continuous support. The subgroup analyses should be interpreted with caution. Individually, each should be considered exploratory and hypothesis-generating, particularly as the sample size in one subgroup was much smaller than in the other. There remains relatively little information about the effects of continuous intrapartum support on mothers’ and babies’ health, and wellbeing in the postpartum period.
Historically, women have been attended and supported by other women during labour and birth. However, in many countries, as more women are giving birth in hospital rather than at home, continuous support during labour has become the exception rather than the norm. Modern obstetric care frequently subjects women to institutional routines, which may have adverse effects on the progress of labour. Supportive care during labour may involve emotional support, comfort measures, information and advocacy.