Background: Oxytocin infusion is used for induction or augmentation of labor to prevent prolonged labor. A cheap and nonaggressive alternative which is effectively used for contraction stress test is nipple stimulation. However research regarding its efficacy and safety is still limited. This study aims to compare the effectiveness of nipple stimulation and oxytocin infusion on the duration of phases of labor.
Methods: This randomized clinical trial included 132 low-risk pregnant women admitted to Asali hospital in 2006 -2007. Those having poor contractions in active phase of labor were randomly assigned into two groups of nipple stimulation and oxytocin infusion. Women in the nipple stimulation group had their nipples messaged by hands moving in circle and using lubricant gel. The oxytocin infusion was started at 0.25 mIU/min for the oxytocin infusion group. Data collection was carried out through observation, examination and interviews. Data were analyzed using statistical tests, repeated measure test, independent T test, and spss software SPSS.
Results: The mean duration active phase of labor for the nipple stimulation group was 203.48±104.90 compared to 191.75±79.01 of the oxytocin infusion group, indicating no statistically significant difference (p=0.470) on this. The same thing applied to the second and the third stage of labor between the two groups (p=0.092, p=0.872).
Conclusion: Our findings showed that nipple stimulation is a safe effective technique to induce or augment labor. Future studies are recommended for further investigations.
duration of phases of labor
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