Natural childbirth is a painful experience that can be treated with non-pharmacological methods to reduce the pain and stress. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of massage, hot compress and normal perineal care methods on perceived stress and the severity of labor pain in first-born mothers.
The present study was a quasi-experimental study. The research population consisted of first-born pregnant women in Gonbad-e Kavous. A total of 150 samples were included in the study, which were randomly assigned to one of three groups of massage therapy, hot perineal compression, and routine perineal care. Perceived stress and McGill pain questionnaires were used to collect data. Data analysis was performed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods including independent t-test, chi-square and repeated meassure, using SPSS software version 16.
The mean stress scores were 23.78±3.4 in massage therapy group, 23.66±1.7 in hot compress group and 25.3±2.04 in normal care group. Statistically, there was a significant difference between the perceived stress scores of massage therapy (p=0.009) and hot compression groups (p=0.001) at different times, but in normal care group (p=0.162) this difference was not significant. In terms of pain intensity, the mean scores after 20 minutes intervention was 5.29 in massage group, 5.45 in hot compression group and 7.15 in normal care group (from a totall score of 10). Statistically, the mean scores of pain intensity before and after the intervention in the massage therapy (p=0.001) and warm compression (p=0.013) groups were significantly different.
Based on the results, hot compress method was more effective in reducing stress and massage therapy was more effective in relieving pain than other two methods. Therefore, these methods can be used as safe and secure ways to control the pain and stress of first-born mothers.
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