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    Questions? Ask Henci!

    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User

    Hi, the question I have is that my niece hasn't taken any lamaze classes! This is her first baby, first of all she didn't think she was going to need it because two things she has a heart shape uterus, and the baby was breech. Well good news is that the baby is no longer breech, but she is due any day. Im worried, because im going to be one of her coaches while she is in labor. I have 3 children of my own, but youngest is 17 its been awhile, so what im asking is what should she do or I do?

    Henci Goer

    Good labor support amounts to "mothering the mother," and since you have children of your own, you certainly have the experience you need to be with your niece. To give you some specific  ideas, I'm going to paste in the four domains of supportive care used in the research together with examples. This is an excerpt from the manuscript for my forthcoming book Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach (in press).

    The Elements of Supportive Labor Care
    The labor support research has identified four domains of hospital-based supportive care:22, 23, 33, 40
    ·         Physical support, including assisting with bathing or shower, position change for comfort, and walking; using a cold face cloth; applying warm compresses; supplying a warmed blanket; massage; reassuring touch; giving ice chips or fluids; reducing environmental stimuli such as dimming lights; and changing linen or gowns for comfort.
    ·         Emotional support, including reassurance, encouragement, and praise; keeping company with the woman; joking and social chit chat; encouraging verbalization of fears or concerns.
    ·         Instruction/information, including coaching, suggesting techniques to promote relaxation or increase comfort, providing information about progress or fetal status, explaining procedures, and interpreting clinical findings.
    ·         Advocacy, including soliciting the woman’s requests, interpreting her needs to other staff members, acting on her behalf, and supporting her decisions.

    Here, too, is a link to Lamaze's set of "Healthy Birth" videos that should prove helpful as well. I recommend that both you and your niece watch them.

    ~ Henci 


    All Times America/New_York

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