Purpose: This study was designed to verify the effect of aromatherapy on a postpartum mother's perineal healing.
Method: The research design was a clinical trial. The methods of aromatherapy were applied sitz bath or soap application using essential oils with Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Rose, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Orange, and Roman Chamomile. The subjects of this experiment were postpartum mothers who delivered vaginally with an episiotomy. They were allocated to one of three groups; the aroma-sitz bath group, aroma-soap application group or control group. To evaluate the effect of aromatherapy, the perineal healing status was measured using the REEDA scale and smears of episiotomy wound were obtained. The data were analyzed by repeated measures of ANOVA, ANCOVA, chi2-test, and multiple response analysis via SPSS program.
Result: The REEDA scale was significantly low in the experimental group at postpartum 5th and 7th days (P=.009, P=.003), respectively. Most were observed 'few'(5-10 bacteria per field) bacteria in the smears of episiotomy wound. The one bacteria was identified in the 50.8% of subjects in pretest and two bacteria in the 60.3% in posttest. Most frequently identified bacteria were Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis.
Conclusion: In conclusion, these findings indicate that postpartum aromatherapy for perineal care could be effective in healing the perineum perineal care could be effective in healing the perineum.