The Research

Birth Practice is an evidence-based communication and mind-body training that aims to improve a woman’s satisfaction with her hospital birth experience instead of aiming for a particular type of birth. Here we share some of the research that informs and supports the core Birth Practice assertions.

Birth satisfaction really matters.

How a mother perceives her experience of giving birth is incredibly important. Research shows that this perception impacts length of labor, need for intervention, short and long-term mental health, self-perception and bonding.

  • Ayers, Susan et al. “The effects of childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder on women and their relationships: a qualitative study.” Psychology, health & medicine vol. 11,4 (2006): 389-98. doi:10.1080/13548500600708409

  • Haines, Helen M et al. “The influence of women's fear, attitudes and beliefs of childbirth on mode and experience of birth.” BMC pregnancy and childbirth vol. 12 55. 24 Jun. 2012, doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-55

  • Mariño-Narvaez, Carolina et al. “Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic: The impact on birth satisfaction and postpartum depression.” International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics vol. 153,1 (2021): 83-88. doi:10.1002/ijgo.13565

  • Reisz, Samantha et al. “Birth and motherhood: childbirth experience and mothers' perceptions of themselves and their babies.” Infant mental health journal vol. 36,2 (2015): 167-78. doi:10.1002/imhj.21500

  • Seefeld, Lara et al. “Birth Experience Mediates the Association Between Fear of Childbirth and Mother-Child-Bonding Up to 14 Months Postpartum: Findings From the Prospective Cohort Study DREAM.” Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 12 776922. 20 Jan. 2022, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.776922

  • Urbanová, Eva et al. “The Association between Birth Satisfaction and the Risk of Postpartum Depression.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 18,19 10458. 5 Oct. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijerph181910458

  • Wuitchik, M et al. “The clinical significance of pain and cognitive activity in latent labor.” Obstetrics and gynecology vol. 73,1 (1989): 35-42.

Communication and decision making have a significant impact on birth satisfaction.

Perceptions of support and personal agency increase birth satisfaction.

  • Attanasio, Laura B et al. “Factors influencing women's perceptions of shared decision making during labor and delivery: Results from a large-scale cohort study of first childbirth.” Patient education and counseling vol. 101,6 (2018): 1130-1136. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2018.01.002

  • Demirel, Gulbahtiyar et al. “The relationship between women's perception of support and control during childbirth on fear of birth and mother's satisfaction.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology vol. 42,1 (2022): 83-90. doi:10.1080/01443615.2021.1882970

  • Fair, Cynthia D, and Taylor E Morrison. “The relationship between prenatal control, expectations, experienced control, and birth satisfaction among primiparous women.” Midwifery vol. 28,1 (2012): 39-44. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2010.10.013

  • Hack, Thomas F et al. “Do patients benefit from participating in medical decision making? Longitudinal follow-up of women with breast cancer.” Psycho-oncology vol. 15,1 (2006): 9-19. doi:10.1002/pon.907

  • Howarth, Anne M et al. “Taking personal responsibility for well-being increases birth satisfaction of first time mothers.” Journal of health psychology vol. 16,8 (2011): 1221-30. doi:10.1177/1359105311403521

  • Légaré, France et al. “Barriers and facilitators to implementing shared decision-making in clinical practice: update of a systematic review of health professionals' perceptions.” Patient education and counseling vol. 73,3 (2008): 526-35. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.07.018

  • Soet, Johanna E et al. “Prevalence and predictors of women's experience of psychological trauma during childbirth.” Birth (Berkeley, Calif.) vol. 30,1 (2003): 36-46. doi:10.1046/j.1523-536x.2003.00215.x

  • Yuill, C., McCourt, C., Cheyne, H. et al. Women’s experiences of decision-making and informed choice about pregnancy and birth care: a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative research. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 20, 343 (2020).

Practicing deep relaxation with guided imagery can reduce feelings of fear, stress and pain.

Decreasing fear of childbirth can increase birth satisfaction.

  • Carpenter, Justin J et al. “Guided Imagery for Pain Management in Postoperative Orthopedic Patients: An Integrative Literature Review.” Journal of holistic nursing : official journal of the American Holistic Nurses' Association vol. 35,4 (2017): 342-351. doi:10.1177/0898010116675462

  • Chanel, O., Chichilnisky, G. The influence of fear in decisions: Experimental evidence. J Risk Uncertain 39, 271 (2009)., Magne Arve et al. “The relation of emotions to placebo responses.” Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences vol. 366,1572 (2011): 1818-27. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0407

  • Hilton, Lara et al. “Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine vol. 51,2 (2017): 199-213. doi:10.1007/s12160-016-9844-2

  • Madden, Kelly et al. “Hypnosis for pain management during labour and childbirth.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2016,5 CD009356. 19 May. 2016, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009356.pub3

  • Ochsner, Kevin N et al. “Neural correlates of individual differences in pain-related fear and anxiety.” Pain vol. 120,1-2 (2006): 69-77. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2005.10.014

  • Parizad, N., Goli, R., Faraji, N., Mam-Qaderi, M., Mirzaee, R., Gharebaghi, N., Baghaie, R., Feizipour, H., & Haghighi, M. M. (2021). Effect of guided imagery on anxiety, muscle pain, and vital signs in patients with COVID-19: A randomized controlled trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 43, 101335.

  • Smith, Caroline A et al. “Relaxation techniques for pain management in labour.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 3,3 CD009514. 28 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009514.pub2

  • Varvogli, Liza and Christina Darviri. “Stress management techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health.” Health science journal 5 (2011): 74-89.

Birth is unpredictable. Make it amazing.

Learn how to get wonderful support from your care team, make the best decisions for yourself and your baby and be present and relaxed as your birthing experience unfolds with Birth Practice.