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January 8, 2003

Continuous Nursing Support During Labor

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(2):175-176. doi:10.1001/jama.289.2.175-a

To the Editor: Dr Hodnett and colleagues1 reported that labor support by nurses did not affect either the rate of cesarean delivery or other medical and social outcomes. In this trial, however, the experimental group had support by a nurse only 80% of the time, which is not the same as continuous support. The 80% minimum was chosen by the authors to conform to the usual nursing practices of allowing time for meals and rest breaks. Unfortunately, this violates an essential component of continuous emotional support during labor.

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