I just read about a study describing how loving touch can ease pain. It’s not the first study of its kind, but it’s a good reminder that laboring women who have a partner, family member, or doula with them can cope better with labor through the simple use of human touch. For women who labor with a partner and a doula, the partner can be the primary emotional support, while the doula can attend to practical needs–including taking care of the partner!
Speaking of partners, my wonderful doula partner Julie Dubrouillet has a book all about what partners can do to support women during labor: Deliver! A Concise Guide to Helping the Woman You Love Through Labor. Check it out if you’re pregnant, or pass it along to friends if you’ve already given birth.
And if you have given birth, I’d love to know what helped you cope physically and emotionally.