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While childbirth is a natural process, the pain that comes with it is often accompanied by pharmacological measures. This research benefits the nursing profession by raising the question: What can we do to assist in the child birthing process while also being less invasive? The significance of this research is to discover new and less invasive options for the nurse to inform the expecting mothers, who may choose to opt out of procedures that they feel might pose a risk to themselves and their child, while also relieving the discomforts that come with labor.
This was a single-blind controlled clinical trial using 156 expecting mothers of all ages and states who were at 37 weeks gestation, measured 4 cm or more in dilation, two or more contractions within 10 minutes, had skin covering the SP6 bilateral point at which was used for acupressure and had a live fetus with cephalic vertex. All of the participants were separated into three groups: the acupressure group, touch group, and the placebo and control group. The visual analog scale (VAS), which is a rising scale from 0 to 10, 0 being no pain and 10 being the most pain imaginable, was used in comparing each subject’s pain before and after treatment.
There was a substantial difference between the three groups in this research. The touch group and the control group both showed a rise in the VAS value while the SP6 group showed a reduction in the VAS value after the treatment. This study also revealed that intramuscular analgesic medications were administered on two women in the touch group and two women in the control group while the SP6 group only had one woman who requested the medication.
Although it had no direct effect on the results, one of the study’s limitations was the use of the single-blind method because of the lack of an external evaluator. Manual palpitation was used to measure contractions as an attempt to use a non-invasive approach. The third limitation was the use of a university hospital, which was known to treat high-risk pregnancies and could have contributed to other medical approaches.
This study concluded that while most childbirths use invasive approaches to treat the pain and discomforts of labor there are other options out there for expecting mothers. In today’s world with technology and information at hand more and more patients want a more homeopathic method as an alternative for treatment. While the SP6 method was useful for the majority of the patients in this study it is best to keep in mind that this may not work for all patients such as patients who are amputees or have a possible a neuropathic disease just to name a few.
As nurses and advocates we must be able to identify our patient’s wishes and accommodate them if we are able to while also educating them on the possible outcomes. Although some patient’s may still require analgesics we can also treat this as a complementary treatment in combination with the analgesic, which can perhaps reduce the analgesic use and in turn decrease side effects associated with higher doses. Approaching the patient in a holistic manner can promote patient centered care and improve overall patient outcomes.
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