chapter  19
Uncomplicated spontaneous labour
ByJoan Raphael-Leff
Pages 21

The point at which labour commences may be defined physiologically if an obstetric professional is present. Indeed, in a questionnaire filled in by several series of student midwives in a London teaching hospital, to the question about the ideal birth they would wish for themselves were they in labour, the majority replied 'spontaneous, natural childbirth'. The Regulator, who presents herself in hospital very early on in her labour to counteract her anxiety, is a familiar figure to staff. Unlike the Regulator who responds to the first contractions or show as a trigger to seek medical help, the Facilitator treats these as a fetal announcement of his/her readiness to emerge. Alternatively, and more often the case, the labour partner, whether Renouncer or Participator, may simply be lovingly there, doing the very best he can in an extremely arousing, stressful and potentially overwhelming situation, and as such deserves staff recognition and encouragement.