You know that recent study that showed coaching a woman during childbirth wasn't really all that effective? Never mind.
According to the NYT interview with the lead researcher on the study, Dr. Steven L. Bloom, the study showed that it's pushing, not coaching that doesn't do anything. Or more precisely, it's coaching someone to push that doesn't.
Turns out it's not at all clear where the whole idea came from for automatically telling women should push during the final stages of labor. "(the researchers say it was not in the medical literature before 1950), Dr. Bloom said part of the goal might have been to decrease the amount of time women were in discomfort." Or maybe it was just that whole Cold War mentality, where we had to beat the Soviets at everything, including the speed with which our superior women popped out their babies.
Childbirth: Rethinking the Big Push During Contractions [nyt via dt reader helena]
Previously: New Study On Birth Coaching: Eh