Infact the answer is: Nobody needs a coach. Animals dont use coaches! ... or doctors or midwives! Women can have healthy babies without any help at all.
So what does a coach do? A coach gives a laboring woman some control, security, and information. It gives the woman someone who will answer questions, give emotional support and pain support. A coach can make the difference between a wonderful birthing experience and having delivered.
The coach`s responsibility starts with meeting the couple before labor and talking about expectations and strategies for dealing with the different stages of labor. Being a major support structure during labor and delivery, the coach must be knowledgeable about hospital routines. She helps implement the prenatal teaching that the couple has learned. She helps the woman feel proud and independent, The coach, in her caring way, acknowledges the birth as something unique and special.
In many countries, it is the responsibility of the midwife to be the coach. Where staff is short, where there are many births, or depending on the personality of the midwife, the midwife may just come in at the end for the delivery. It happens often that a woman hires a coach for the first time for her 4th or 5th birth and is amazed at what a difference it makes. When you enter the hospital setting, it is understood that you give up some control over the birth. A coach gives added security and safety to the birth process.