Background: Generally 50 to 70 percent of women suffer from a severe and unbearable pain during their childbirth. Abnormal fetal heart patterns, an increase of caesarian delivery rate, prolonged labor and low APGAR score in newborn are some of adverse effects of labor pain. Disagreement between different studies regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of acupuncture on labor pain led us to do this study.
Materials and Methods: This is a clinical trial study. Sampling was done randomly in Esfahan, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, based on the subjects' characteristics. Patients were classified into three groups of control, Pethidine and acupuncture (27-30 women in each group). All women with a first and second pregnancy.VAS pain ruler was used as data collection tool. Data were analyzed in SPSS software, and using ANOVA and kruskal-Wallis tests.
Results: The average pain score in control group 30 min after intervention was 7.80, while in Pethidine and acupuncture groups respectively were 6.87 and 5.77. Kruskal-Walis test showed that three groups in pain severity had significant difference at this time. The average length of the active phase of labor in Pethidine and acupuncture groups was 175 min while this time in control group was 243 min that ANOVA test showed a significant difference (P = 0.000).
Conclusion: Results showed that acupuncture can significantly reduce labor pain in 30 min after intervention, while it had no effect on labor pain at full dilatation. However, both in Pethidine and acupuncture groups, the length of the active phase has been considerably shortened.