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D. Experience Speaks Louder Than Training

Narrator: Sometimes, experience speaks louder than training. This is Science Today. Psychologist Robin DiMatteo of the University of California, Riverside did a study of women who had just given birth for the first time. She found that some of the women thought their husbands hadn't been the best possible labor coaches. In many cases, in spite of birthing classes, the husbands were scared by hospitals and by the birth process itself.

DiMatteo: I think a lot depends on experience in the hospital, comfort with the hospital situation, etcetera.

Narrator: But DiMatteo has a possible solution.

DiMatteo: A woman who has been through labor and delivery herself tends to be a better labor coach than someone who has never done this activity. And so one of the things we suggested is that if a husband is not comfortable with being the labor coach or doesn't feel that he's going to be able to do an adequate job, why not have another person there, specifically a woman, perhaps a sister or a friend, who could be a supplement to that coaching?

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.