Service Dog Helps Woman Giving Birth

Labor easier with dog’s support
By Karen B. London PhD, April 2012

Laura Hulsing has post-traumatic stress disorder, and her service dog Autumn is essential for her well being. By predicting anxiety attacks as well as offering security and comfort in troubling situations, Autumn helps Laura daily. The day Laura gave birth to her son Noah was not a typical day, but Autumn provided the same assistance by being there throughout labor and delivery.

Autumn visited the birthing unit of the hospital prior to Noah’s arrival so that she would be comfortable there. During the birth, in addition to the usual hospital staff, Laura had support from her husband, Autumn and Autumn’s trainer. Laura had been concerned that being in pain and stressed during labor and delivery would be tough on Autumn, but the dog handled it just fine. Autumn was really attentive throughout the process, and provided Laura the comfort she needed. Autumn continues to support Laura, which allows her to be independent and to be a mom.

;m excited about how Autumn makes life better for Laura, and also thrilled that the hospital allowed her service dog to be present during labor and delivery.

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She is the author of five books on canine training and behavior.