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J Perinat Educ. 2015;24(1):16-24. doi: 10.1891/1058-1243.24.1.16.

Reducing Length of Labor and Cesarean Surgery Rate Using a Peanut Ball for Women Laboring With an Epidural.


One strategy for reducing the primary cesarean surgery rate and length of labor is using a peanut-shaped exercise ball for women laboring under epidural analgesia. A randomized, controlled study was conducted to determine whether use of a "peanut ball" decreased length of labor and increased the rate of vaginal birth. Women who used the peanut ball (n = 107) versus those who did not (n = 91) demonstrated shorter first stage labor by 29 min (p = .053) and second stage labor by 11 min (p < .001). The intervention was associated with a significantly lower incidence of cesarean surgery (OR = 0.41, p = .04). The peanut ball is potentially a successful nursing intervention to help progress labor and support vaginal birth for women laboring under epidural analgesia.


cesarean birth; epidural; first stage labor; peanut ball; second stage labor

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