Alternative and complimentary therapies to manage labor pain
Women who incorporate alternative and complimentary therapies to manage labor pain will find limited options in the traditional hospital setting. There is a need for evidence based practice in the area of complimentary or alterative methods of pain management during labor. Benefits of the use of acupressure have been documented for labor pain relief. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of LI4 and BL67 acupressure on labor pain and uterine contractions during the first stage of labor. The study will be an approximate replication of the study completed by Chung, Hung, Kuo, & Huang (2003). The conceptual framework is the Gate Control Theory (Melzack & Wall, 1965). The sample will include 150 primaparous women admitted to the Labor and Delivery area at Home Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana who desire to have a non-medicated birth. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) will be utilized to measure the sensation of pain and uterine contractions will be evaluated from fetal monitor strips via the use of an external tocodynamometer monitor. To evaluate the subject’s overall satisfaction with labor experience an open-ended questionnaire will be used. Permission will be obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Ball State University and the participating agency. Findings will support the use of LI4 and BL67 acupressure as an alternative method of pain management during the first stage of labor that promotes regular uterine contractions.