Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Kennell JH, Klaus MH. Continuous Nursing Support During Labor. JAMA. 2003;289(2):175-176. doi:10.1001/jama.289.2.175-a