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J Midwifery Womens Health. 2011 Mar-Apr;56(2):141-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2010.00018.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Perineal analgesia with an ice pack after spontaneous vaginal birth: a randomized controlled trial.

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School of Nursing in Albert Einstein Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



This study evaluated the effectiveness of an ice pack applied for 20 minutes to alleviate perineal pain after spontaneous vaginal birth.


We conducted a randomized controlled trial at the Amparo Maternal Birth Center in São Paulo, Brazil. Study participants included 114 nulliparous women divided into 3 groups (n = 38 per group): experimental (ice packs on the perineum), placebo (water packs at set temperature), and control (no treatment).


A numerical scale (0 to 10) was used for pain assessment. A comparison of the average pain at the beginning and after 20 minutes showed a significant reduction of pain (P < .001) in the 3 groups, and the experimental group had a lower average score for pain compared with the control group (1.6 versus 3.3, P = .032).


The use of ice packs for 20 minutes was effective for perineal pain relief after vaginal birth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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