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Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol. 2005 Aug;209(4):144-50.

[The analgesic effect of exercise during labor].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Institut für Kreislaufforschung und Sportmedizin, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln. sabi.hartmann@t-online.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to test for an analgesic effect of exercise during labor.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

50 women in labor exercised continuously with moderate intensity on a bicycle ergometer for 20 minutes. During rest and exercise, they rated their pain on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Venous blood was sampled for beta-endorphin, cortisol and catecholamines during rest and directly after exercise.

RESULTS:

84 percent of the women perceived uterine contractions during exercise as less painful than at rest. 76.2 percent objectified the pain relief by a reduction in VAS units 1.67 +/- 1.01. Beta-endorphin levels were much higher after exercise than at rest (P < 0.001). During exercise the fetal heart rate rose slightly within the reference range. Uterine contractions were more frequent during and after exercise than at rest (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Exercising on a bicycle ergometer during labor seems to be safe for the fetus, a stimulus to uterine contractions, and a source of analgesia, possibly due to the release of beta-endorphin.

PMID:
16138272
DOI:
10.1055/s-2005-871307
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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