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Using a birth ball to reduce pain perception in the latent phase of labour: a randomised controlled trial.

Mylod, D. C. M., Hundley, V., Way, S. and Clark, C., 2024. Using a birth ball to reduce pain perception in the latent phase of labour: a randomised controlled trial. Women and Birth, 37 (2), 379-386.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2023.11.008


BACKGROUND: Admission in the latent phase of labour is associated with higher rates of obstetric intervention. Women are frequently admitted due to pain. This study aimed to determine whether using a birth ball at home in the latent phase of labour reduces pain perception on admission. METHOD: A prospective, pragmatic randomised controlled trial of 294 low risk pregnant women aged 18 and over planning a hospital birth. An animated educational video was offered at 36 weeks' gestation along with a birth ball. The primary outcome was pain on a Visual Analogue Scale on admission in labour. Participants who experienced a spontaneous labour were invited to respond to an online questionnaire 6 weeks' postpartum. RESULTS: There were no differences in the mean pain scores; (6.3 versus 6.5; 90%CI -0.72 to 0.37 p = 0.6) or mean cervical dilatation on admission (4.7 cm versus 5.0 cm; 95% CI -1.1 to 0.5 p = 0.58). More Intervention participants were admitted in active labour (63.6% versus 55.7%; p = 0.28) and experienced an unassisted vaginal birth (70.3% v. 65.8%; p = 0.07) with fewer intrapartum caesarean sections (7.5% v. 17.9%; p = 0.07) although the trial was not powered to detect these differences in secondary outcomes. Most participants found the birth ball helpful (89.2%) and would use it in a future labour (92.5%). CONCLUSION: Using the birth ball at home in the latent phase is a safe and acceptable strategy for labouring women to manage their labour, potentially postpone admission and reduce caesarean section. Further research is warranted.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Birth ball; Childbirth; Labour onset; Labour pain; Latent labour
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:39289
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:20 Dec 2023 12:31
Last Modified:30 May 2024 09:34


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