The Effect of the Breathing Technique With and Without Aromatherapy on the Length of the Active Phase and Second Stage of Labor


1 1Midwifery Department, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR Iran

2 2Nursing Department, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, IR Iran


Background Long and hard labor is a common complication of labor, which forms an important part of emergency Caesarean deliveries. Labor duration is an influencing factor on the pregnancy outcome and the injuries involving the mother and her fetus, such as infection, hemorrhage, and fetal distress. Objectives This study was conducted intending to measure the duration of the first and the second stages of labor in mothers using the breathing techniques with lavender aroma. Materials and Methods The project was a randomized trial study that was carried out with two groups of 60 respondents, where both used the breathing technique, one with and one without lavender essence. This study was done in Fatemieh hospital in Shahroud. The laboring mothers, being participated in the study, were candidates for vaginal delivery. The duration of the first stage of labor was recorded from cervical dilatation of three centimeters. The second stage of labor also was recorded from the full cervical dilatation time until child birth. The breathing technique was such that when the contraction began, a deep breath was taken and exhaled. Then fast shallow breathings, being 1.5 times more than ordinary breathing per minute, were performed. The mothers in the experimental group were asked to put the mask on their faces and inhale the lavender essence. In the control group, only the breathing technique was used. T-Test was used to compare the mean lengths of active phase and second phase of labor and demographic variables. Chi square test was used for nominal variables such as education and job. Results The mean age in breathing technique with lavender and breathing technique alone were 25.5 ± 4.3 and 26 ± 4.9, respectively .Two groups were comparable in this regards (P = 0.6), but the length of active phase in interventional group was 7.85 ± 3.85 hours and in the control group it was 9.88 ± 6.65 hours. The decrease of the length of labor in the active phase was higher in the experimental group than that in the control group (P = 0.04). In the second stage, length of labor was 16.5 ± 5.7 and 28.9 ± 17.4 minutes in the experimental and control groups, respectively. Difference in length of labor was significant too (P = 0.001). Conclusions The research showed that aromatherapy can be used to reduce labor duration.