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Provision of supportive care

02 October 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 10
 Being fully present with women allows midwives to respond attentitively and develop a supportive responsive relationship
Being fully present with women allows midwives to respond attentitively and develop a supportive responsive relationship


Kate Nash discusses the factors that contribute to the development of the interpersonal skills required to support women during labour, which are integral to midwifery practice

The increased pace and involuntary nature of labour physiology renders it a period of maximum stress for both the fetus and the mother, particularly within the second stage of labour (McDonnell and Chandraharan, 2015). Women have described the value of compassionate supportive care during this time, which enables them to maintain a sense of control that is adjusted to their needs and wishes (Olza et al, 2018). The notion of control is consistently valued highly by women during childbirth, alongside an opportunity for active involvement in supportive, responsive care (Karlsdottir et al, 2018; Nieuwenhuijze and Low, 2013). The sense of feeling secure enough to be able to let go and become fully immersed within the process of labour has also been reported by women as an important factor, and facilitative of their sense of coping during labour (Anderson, 2010).

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