Effect of birth ball usage on pain in the active phase of labor: a randomized controlled trial

J Midwifery Womens Health. Mar-Apr 2011;56(2):137-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2010.00013.x. Epub 2011 Feb 28.


Introduction: Anxiety can be a contributor to labor pain, which is known to be multifactorial. Because there is little information available on the efficacy of birth ball use for labor pain management, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of use of a birth ball on labor pain, contractions, and duration of the active phase of labor.

Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 60 primiparous women aged 18 to 35 years were divided into birth ball and control groups. Pain scores were measured by a visual analogue scale.

Results: Mean pain scores in the birth ball group were significantly lower than the mean pain scores in the control group (P < .05). There were no significant differences between duration of the active phase of labor or the interval between uterine contractions in the 2 groups (P > .05).

Discussion: Although the use of a birth ball had no effect on the duration of the active phase of labor, the duration of uterine contractions, or the interval between contractions, this complementary treatment could reduce the intensity of pain during the active phase of labor.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / therapy*
  • Labor Stage, First
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Uterine Contraction
  • Young Adult