Comparative Study on the Influence of Three Delivery Positions on Pain Intensity During the Second Stage of Labor

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. Jul-Aug 2016;21(4):372-8. doi: 10.4103/1735-9066.185578.


Background: Labor is a physiologic process, and consideration of labor pain and relieving that is among the major components of maternal care. Application of some labor position can lay the fetus better in pelvic canal direction. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of laying the mother in three labor positions on the pain severity in the second, third, and fourth stages of labor.

Materials and methods: This is a clinical trial conducted on 96 primiparous pregnant women randomly selected through convenient sampling from those who were hospitalized in the hospitals of Isfahan and Jahrom. Women with a gestational age of 37-42 weeks, singleton pregnancy, who had passed the first labor stage through physiologic process, and with cephalic presentation were selected. The subjects were randomly allocated to be in the groups of lithotomy, sitting, and squatting positions. Pain severity in the second, third, and fourth labor stages was measured with visual analog scale (VAS) as well as McGill present pain intensity (PPI). The data were collected through interviews and observations with the help of VAS. The data were analyzed by Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis statistical tests.

Results: In the latent phase of the second labor stage, mean pain severity in lithotomy (2.27) and squatting positions (2.48) was significantly less than the mean pain severity in sitting (5.33) position (P = 0.001). Pain severity in the active phase of the second and third labor stages was significantly less in squatting position (6.14) group compared to the other two groups (7.59 and 7.41 in sitting and lithotomy positions, respectively) (P = 0.024). Pain severity in the fourth labor stage showed no significant difference in all three groups.

Conclusions: Application of various labor positions as one of the non-medicational methods to reduce pain in the second and third stages of labor leads to labor pain reduction.

Keywords: Childbirth pain; McGill numerical scale and verbal scale; delivery position; labor positions; pain delivery; second labor stage; the second stage of delivery.