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a person who assists a woman in labor and delivery by closely attending to her emotional needs and encouraging her to use properly the breathing patterns, concentration techniques, body positions, and massage techniques that were taught in a program of psychophysical preparation for childbirth. The task of a labor coach is to minimize the need for pharmacological pain relief and to decrease or eliminate the use of analgesia or anesthesia. Usually the coach is the father of the baby or a close friend of the mother, but a professional labor coach, often a registered nurse specially trained in a method, may fill the role. Also called doula, labor support person. See also monitrice.
la·bor coach(lā'bŏr kōch)
A layperson who assists a mother in giving birth, generally a friend or relative who has attended classes with the gravid patient to learn methods of breathing and body positioning.