Pregnant women modify the labor progress when use warm bath and Swiss ball

By Angelita José Henrique, Professor, Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

A randomized controlled clinical trial study was conducted by researchers at the School of Nursing – Federal University of São Paulo showed pregnant women who used warm shower and perineal exercises with swiss ball had many benefits resulting in greater progression of labor. These non-pharmacological interventions have excellent cost-effectiveness, since they are easy-access and low-cost techniques. They are used as auxiliary therapies during labor and have relation whith international policy strategies for women’s care during pregnancy, labor and delivery. This use to increase pain tolerance, stress reduction (Benfield, et al., 2010, Barbieri, et al., 2013), promotes greater satisfaction and woman autonomy, supports active companion participation, regulates the uterine contractions, increase cervical dilatation and reduces first stage of labor, helping to reduce cesarean delivery rates (Gau, et al., 2011).

Data published in the article “Hydrotherapy and the Swiss ball in labor: randomized clinical trial” in the journal Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, indicated the importance of non-pharmacological methods during parturition, since the progression of the parameters is directly related to its use.

The research was carried out from 2013 to 2014, in two hospitals of the public health network located in the eastern zone of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. We evaluated 128 parturients over 18 years of age, term, habitual obstetric risk, active phase of labor and who did not receive analgesic medication or anesthesia during labor.

When we evaluated the frequency of uterine contractions and fetal heart rate before and after interventions, we observed a statistically significant increase in these variables. The other results showed clinical relevance to the parturition process, with an increase in the progress of delivery and outcome in normal delivery, corroborating the studies that advocate the use of these methods.

Our results indicated that the use of hot and perineal bath exercises with Swiss ball should be encouraged because they are safe practices, low costs and are directly related to the modification of labor progress, demonstrating importance for obstetric practice, especially when Combination of these interventions.

This research received financial support from the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo – FAPESP.


BARBIERI, M, et al. Warm shower aspersion, perineal exercises with Swiss ball and pain in labor. Acta Paul Enferm. [Online]. 2013, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 478-84, ISSN 1982-0194 [viewed 27 March 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/S0103-21002013000500012. Available from:

BENFIELD, R.D., et al. The effects of hydrotherapy on anxiety, pain, neuroendocrine responses, and contraction dynamics during labor. Biol Res Nurs. [Online]. 2010, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 28-36 [viewed 27 March 2017]. DOI: 10.1177/1099800410361535

GAU, M.L., et al. Effects of birth ball exercise on pain and self-efficacy during childbirth: a randomised controlled trial in Taiwan. Midwifery. [Online]. 2011, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. e293-300 [viewed 27 March 2017]. DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2011.02.004

To read the article, access it:

JOSÉ HENRIQUE, A., et al. Hydrotherapy and the Swiss ball in labor: randomized clinical trial. Acta paul. enferm. [online]. 2016, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 686-692, ISSN 1982-0194 [viewed 27 March 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/1982-0194201600096. Available from:

External link

Acta Paulista de Enfermagem – <>


How to cite this post [ISO 690/2010]:

JOSÉ HENRIQUE, A. Pregnant women modify the labor progress when use warm bath and Swiss ball [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2017 [viewed ]. Available from:


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