A meta-analysis of 11 clinical trials showed that having a labor doula present continuously throughout labor significantly shortened labor, and decreased the need for analgesia, Pitocin, cesarean sections, and forceps. (Scott, Berkowitz, Klaus, 2000) Another meta-analysis again showed shortened labors and decreased use of cesarean births, forceps, and vacuum extraction, Pitocin administration, and analgesia. Mothers who used labor doulas for their births also rated childbirth as less difficult and painful than those mothers not supported by a labor doula. (Scott, Klaus, Klaus (1999) – Langer, Campero, Garcia, Reynoso (1998) and Zhang, Bernasko, Leybovich (1996))
During Chinas long revolutionary years the state both promoted and negated new roles for women. The most severe reaction against female activism was the Guomindangs counter revolution, called the White Terror (1927 - 1928), when female activists were accused of being instigators of societal chaos. During Chiang Kai-sheks relentless hunt for Communists, thousand of women were murdered and raped, including those who had simply bobbed their hair. The Communists, for their part, turned away from what they saw as bourgeois feminist reforms to attack the socioeconomic conditions they perceived as the source of all female oppressions. The idea was that once gender difference was erased, women would be freed to help spearhead the new society. Mao Zedong coined the phrase Women Hold Up Half the Sky, and set in motion a campaign to get women out of the home and into the work force. Selections from oral histories collected during the period illustrate his attempts to mobilize the lowest in society, the female peasant, so she could confront feudal fathers, husbands or landlords.