Pregnant women can reduce pain and improve the birth experience by taking warm showers during early labor, suggests a new study published in JOGNN. The findings, conclude the authors, point to warm showers as a cost-effective, convenient and easy alternative to pain medication and epidurals -- without the potential side effects. The study involved 80 women delivering at a Taipei hospital who were randomly assigned to receive 20-minute warm (37º C) showers as frequently as desired, provided labor progressed normally, or to standard childbirth care. Labor pain was monitored using standardized scales at 4-centimeters and 7-cm dilation, and birth experience was similarly measured following delivery. Women in the warm-shower group reported significantly lower pain scores at each period. At 10 and 20 minutes after the intervention, mean pain scores for the experimental group dropped significantly, while increasing significantly for the control group. Women who took warm showers also had higher mean scores assessing birth experience. Read the article.
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