Companionship during Labour Promotes Vaginal Delivery and Enhances Maternal Satisfaction Abstract

Vivian WH CHUNG, Jessie WK CHIU, Daniel LW CHAN, William WK TO
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong
Objective: To compare women in labour with or without a companion in terms of obstetric and neonatal outcomes and maternal satisfaction.
Methods: A total of 450 Hong Kong Chinese women carrying a singleton pregnancy in cephalic presentation at term were prospectively recruited from February to July 2013. Their wish for companionship was verified upon active labour, and the companion was invited to the delivery suite. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes, breastfeeding practice, and maternal satisfaction were evaluated.
Results: Of the recruited women, 416 (92%) delivered at our hospital, and 269 of them opted for companionship. More nulliparous than multiparous women opted for companionship (p<0.001). Among multiparous women, those with a companion resulted in more vaginal and instrumental deliveries and fewer Caesarean sections than those without (p=0.05). Women with or without a companion were comparable in terms of the duration of first or second stage of labour, time from analgesics to birth, need for analgesics, volume of syntocinon infusion, maternal complications, and fetal outcome. 315 (76%) women completed the postnatal questionnaire on maternal satisfaction; the companion group was more satisfied with the compassionate care and emotional support during their childbirth experience (p=0.04).
Conclusion: A companion of choice during labour had a positive influence on the vaginal delivery rate and maternal satisfaction. Women should be informed about the benefits and offered the option of companion support during labour.
Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2017; 17(1):12–7
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