Research: KEENAN, Potomac Massag

Listed in Issue 52


KEENAN, Potomac Massage Training Institute USA, reviews (40 references) the most recent literature regarding touch support and one-to-one support during labour and childbirth. The author presents the positive and negative aspects of the traditional birth attendant, examine research about one-to-one care and touch support during labour with respect to husband/partner, nurses, nurse-midwives and doulas (trained labour attendants).




According to recent studies, women supported by doulas or midwives benefit by experiencing shorter labours and lower rates of epidural anaesthesia and caesarean section deliveries. Additionally, a smaller percentage of their newborns experience foetal distress and/or are admitted to neonatal intensive care units. Women whose husbands or partners massage them during labour experience shorter labours. Nursing one-to-one support resulted in no significant obstetric outcomes. Antenatal perineal massage reduced the rate of tears, caesarean section and instrumental deliveries; however, perineal massage during labour has not shown any benefit.



Keenan P. Benefits of massage therapy and use of a doula during labor and childbirth. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 6(1): 66-74. Jan 2000.

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