A group of Sydney women who participated in the She Births antenatal education workshop were less likely to have medical intervention during labour.
A new birthing program is changing the way women face the fear often associated with having a baby, leading to a reduction in medical interventions.
A small Australian study involving the She Births antenatal education program found that participants were less likely to have an epidural or caesarean.
Run by the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University, the study involved 176 couples.
Some participated in the She Births program and the control group received the standard hospital birth preparation course.
There was a 65 per cent reduction in epidural rates and a 44 per cent reduction in caesarean sections among the couples who received the She Births course.
A 53 per cent reduction in resuscitation of babies with oxygen and/or a bag and mask, was also found.
The research has been published in the British Medical Journal.
What makes She Births unique from other courses is that it just focuses on birth preparation compared to many standard hospital classes that focus on the parenting aspect of having a baby.
She Births provides birthing women and their partners with a "tool kit" of techniques to use.
These include acupressure, massage, yoga, relaxation, breathing and active birthing techniques, while also informing women and partners about the benefits of natural birth, specifically how their hormones can be utilised and enhanced.
It also focuses on fear reduction, and normalising what labour and birth is by thoroughly explaining the physiology of the labour process.