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Glob J Health Sci. 2013 Oct 14;6(1):61-8. doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v6n1p61.

The effect of perinatal education on Iranian mothers' stress and labor pain.

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Lack of sufficient knowledge about the unknowns of pregnancy increases stress and requires more medical interventions. This study was conducted to assess the effects of prenatal education on mothers' stress and labor. This clinical trial was conducted to study 195 women (132 in the control group and 63 in the experimental group) who had attended healthcare centers in the city of Amol after their 16th gestational week. The experimental group participated in educational classes to learn how to experience a safe childbirth for 6-8 sessions of 1.5 hours almost every three weeks. The control group received only a routine care, pain assessment scales like Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and McGill questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were employed to collect data. The data were analyzed using SPSS software through t-test and Chi Square test to compare the groups. The results of the t-test showed a meaningful difference in levels of stress felt by the experimental group compared to control group (p=0.002). The Visual Analogue Scale suggested that in the transitional stages (8-10 cm cervical dilation), the level of pain felt by the experimental group was meaningfully lower than that felt by the control group (p=0.03). However, this was not significantly different between the two groups at 3-4 cm cervical dilation and the second stage of childbirth. The McGill scale's results for measuring pain levels, proved a meaningful difference between the experimental group and the control group (p=0.018).Educational and supportive interventions increased mothers' knowledge during pregnancy and reduced their fear of unknown environment and people. These trained women learned how to effectively overcome their problems and labor pain.

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