chapter  20
Managed childbirth
ByJoan Raphael-Leff
Pages 14

Psychological factors can be useful predictors of complications during birth. Ongoing access to a psychotherapist or counsellor during pregnancy can help to alleviate some of the longer-term psychological disturbances which possibly contribute to complications during labour, and good childbirth education can reduce anxiety about labour. There are variations in the degree of obstetric intervention in normal births cross culturally, and birth complications are dealt with differently, both within and between more and less technologically sophisticated societies. In addition, research findings suggest that the woman's mental state and particularly her anxiety level during pregnancy and labour may contribute to complications of labour and the degree of intervention. In some cases, a Regulator may actually choose to have a caesar hoping to avoid the pain of labour, feeling it offers her more control, decreases the risk of her 'doing the wrong thing' and seems to entail a lesser degree of emotional involvement.