Background & objectives: Childbirth is the most stressful event for the women both mentally and physically affecting their physiological and psychological indicators during labour. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of non-pharmacological methods of labor pain relief in mothers’ perceived stress conducted in Alavi hospital of Ardabil, 2013.
Methods: In this double blind randomized controlled trial, 320 mothers were allocated into two groups by stratified block randomization . The intervention group (n=158) received continuous support throughout the labour process, positioning and movement, music, aromatherapy, showering andconsumption of a light diet or water.The control group received only a routine care. The perceived stress scale (PSS) was employed to collect data in three stages at the beginning of the active phase, before the intervention, six hours after birth and then eight weeks postpartum. The two groupswere compared using General Linear Model with controlling the baseline scores.
Results: There were 14 participants loss to follow-up. The mean of perceived stress score in the intervention group was significantly lower than the control group at 6 hours [adjusted mean difference: -1.0 (95% confidence interval: -0.01 to -1.9]. However, there was no difference between two groups in terms of perceived stress score at 8 weeks postpartum (p=0.692).
Conclusion: Non-pharmacological methods of labor pain relief are an effective intervention for reducing perceived stress level in mothers during labor and therefore use of this intervention is recommended.