Sexual and reproductive health

Companion of choice during labour and childbirth for improved quality of care

Evidence-to-action brief


Front page of the evidence-to-action brief

Publication details

Number of pages: 4
Publication date: 2016
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/16.10


There is evidence that continuous support during labour improves childbirth outcomes, including enhancing the physiological process of labour. Research has demonstrated that such continuous support has clinically meaningful benefits, including shorter labour with increased rates of spontaneous vaginal birth, decreased usage of intrapartum analgesia and caesarean section, and increased satisfaction with her childbirth experience. Women supported in this way have reported less fear and distress during labour, which also appeared to act as a buffer against adverse aspects of medical interventions.