The effects of ice pack application on pain intensity in the active phase of labor and on birth satisfaction among primiparous women
Fatemeh Rahimi-Kian, Shirin Shahbazi, Shelir Mohammadi, Shima Haghani
Background &Aim: Labor pain is an unpleasant experience for most women and can affect their birth satisfaction. This study investigated the effects of ice pack application on pain intensity in the active phase of labor and on birth satisfaction among primiparous women.
Methods & Materials: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on ninety primiparous women. Participants were randomly allocated to either an intervention or a control group. In the intervention group, an ice pack was placed on the sacral area of each participant in the active phase of labor for ten minutes. This intervention was repeated every thirty minutes up to the beginning of the second stage of labor. In both groups, labor pain intensity was assessed before and every one hour after intervention onset and birth satisfaction was assessed 24 hours after delivery. Data were analyzed through the SPSS software (v. 22.0).
Results: Groups did not significantly differ from each other respecting participants’ demographic and clinical characteristics. Throughout the study intervention, labor pain intensity increased in both groups; however, the increase in the control group was significantly greater than the intervention group (P < 0.001). Moreover, the mean score of birth satisfaction in the intervention group was slightly greater than the control group, though this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.24).
Conclusion: Without any significant side effects, ice pack application can significantly reduce pain intensity during the active phase of labor. Thus, this intervention is recommended for labor pain alleviation.
Key words: ice pack, birth satisfaction, labor pain, pain management, active phase