The Value of a Positive Birth Experience
It is recognised that the women who report negative experiences during the birth event, and their babies, are at increased risk of ill health in both the short and long term (Scott, Klaus & Klaus, 1999; Odent, 1984). Despite the fact that interventions during labour are known to lead to negative feelings, the use of interventions in childbirth continues to increase dramatically (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2002; Gilliland, 2002). It has long been known that reducing fear by supporting the birthing event in as natural manner as possible reduces the need for interventions and enhances the outcomes (Kofinas, 1985; Lederman, et al., 1978: Levinson, Gershon & Shnider, 1979; Odent, 1984; Balaskas, 1992; Sauls, 2002). It therefore stands to reason that supporting the birth event in a way that reduces fear can only assist the woman in achieving a positive birth experience.