Needs of laboring women: tools for training desired birth companion




DBC companion, Maternal satisfaction, Labour outcomes, LaQshaya guidelines


Presence of a birth companion through labour, childbirth and postpartum is one of the universal rights of child bearing women. Not only that, the choice of birth companion is also one of the components of respectful maternity care. The characteristics of the birth companion of women’s choice [desired birth (DBC)] is well spelt by WHO as well as govt, of India. In practice it is observed that most of the DBC companions (DBC) who were relative, friends of the birthing women are unaware of their roles and responsibilities and are not well prepared to render the necessary maternal support. Trained birth companions or on call birth companions (OBC/Doulas) are not available in developing countries like India and all women cannot afford the costs of OBCs and the Govt hospitals do not encourage the participation of Doulas. Hence there is a need to train the DBC with resources in the health care system. This review is intended to search literature regarding the tools for training the DBCs. The literature search showed very few studies regarding the same and the workshops in training DBC are not implemented across the health care facilities.



Health Ministry allows Birth Companions during Delivery in Public Health facilities. Press information bureau. government of India, Ministry of health and family welfare. 2016.

Kabakian-Khasholian T, Bashour H, El-Nemer A. implementation of a labour companionship model in three public hospitals in Arab middle-income countries. Acta Paediatr 2018;107(471):35-43.

Bohren MA, Berger BO, Munthe-Kaas H. Perceptions and experiences of labour companionship: a qualitative evidence synthesis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;3:CD012449.

Bohren MA, Mehrtash H, Fawole B. How women are treated during facility-based childbirth in four countries: a cross-sectional study with labour observations and community-based surveys. Lancet. 2019;394:1750-63.

Kaveri M and Kumar AIK. Perceptions of Antenatal Women, Husband and Health Service Providers on Husband being Birth Companion during Childbirth: A Qualitative Study. Public H Open Acc. 2017;1(1):000101.

Brown H, Hofmeyr GJ, Nikodem VC, Smith H, Garner P. Promoting childbirth companions in South Africa: a randomised pilot study. BMC Med. 2007;5:7.

Singh S, Goel R, Gogoi A, Caleb-Varkey L, Manoranjini M, Ravi T et al. Presence of birth companion-a deterrent to disrespectful behaviours towards women during delivery: an exploratory mixed-method study in 18 public hospitals of India. Health Policy Plan. 2021;36(10):1552-61.

Tekle Bobo F, Kebebe Kasaye H, Etana B, Woldie M, Feyissa TR. Disrespect and abuse during childbirth in Western Ethiopia: Should women continue to tolerate? PLoS one. 2019;14(6):e0217126.

Bohren MA, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Systematic Rev. 2017;7:CD003766.

Companion of choice during labour and child birth for improved quality of care. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Olza I, Leahy-Warren P, Benyamini Y, Kazmierczak M, Karlsdottir SI, Spyridou A, Crespo-Mirasol E, Takács L, Hall PJ, Murphy M, Jonsdottir SS, Downe S, Nieuwenhuijze MJ. Women's psychological experiences of physiological childbirth: a meta-synthesis. BMJ Open. 2018;8(10):e020347.

Beck CT. Birth trauma: in the eye of the beholder. Nurs Res. 2004;53:28-35.

Isaacs NZ, Andipatin MG. A systematic review regarding women’s emotional and psychological experiences of high-risk pregnancies. BMC Psychol. 2020;8:45.

Dixon L, Skinner J, Fouerer M. The emotional and hormonal pathways of labour and birth integrating mind, body and behaviour. New Zealand College of Midwives J. 2010.

Baranowska B, Pawlicka P, Kiersnowska I, Misztal A, Kajdy A, Sys D et al. Woman's Needs and Satisfaction Regarding the Communication with Doctors and Midwives during Labour, Delivery and Early Postpartum. Healthcare (Basel). 2021;9(4):382.

WHO Reproductive Health Library WHO Recommendation on Effective Communication between Maternity Care Providers and Women in Labour. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Maputle MS. Support provided by midwives to women during labour in a public hospital, Limpopo Province, South Africa: a participant observation study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018;18:1-5.

Lawrence A, Lewis L, Hofmeyr GJ, Styles C. Maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(8):CD003934.

Support during labour and Childbirth. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Maternal Nutrition. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Providing Oral Nutrition to Women in Labor. American college of Nurse-Midwives clinical bulletin. 2016;61:228-34.

Baranowska B, Kajdy A, Pawlicka P, Pokropek E, Rabijewski M, Sys D et al. What Are the Critical Elements of Satisfaction and Experience in Labor and Childbirth-A Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:9295.

Breast feeding practice tools for health professionals. American academy of Paediatrics. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Chaote P, Mwakatundu N, Dominico S. Birth companionship in a government health system: a pilot study in Kigoma, Tanzania. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021;21:304.

Birth companion/ Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Available at: Accessed on 20 February, 2023.

Teles LMR, Américo CF, Oriá MOB, Vasconcelos CTM, Brüggemann OM, Damasceno AKC. Efficacy of an educational manual for childbirth companions: pilot study of a randomized clinical trial. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem. 2017;25:e2996

Summerton JV, Mtileni TR, Moshabela ME. Experiences and perceptions of birth companions supporting women in labour at a District Hospital in Limpopo, South Africa. Curationis. 2021;44(1):e1-7.

Wanyenze EW, Byamugisha JK, Tumwesigye NM, Muwanguzi PA, Nalwadda GK. A qualitative exploratory interview study on birth companion support actions for women during childbirth. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022;22(1):63.






Review Articles