The Effect of Maternal Relaxation Training on Reactivity of Non-Stress Test, Basal Fetal Heart Rate, and Number of Fetal Heart Accelerations: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Infertility Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: Relaxation-training, as an anxiety-reducer intervention, plays an important role in fetal health. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of maternal relaxation on stress test (NST), basal fetal heart rate, and number of fetal heart accelerations.Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 84 pregnant women were randomly divided into two groups of teaching relaxation and control groups in 2012. In the intervention group, 60-90 minute classes were held every week lasting for 4 weeks. Besides, home practice charts were given to the mothers and researchers controlled the home practices by phone calls every week. The control group received routine prenatal care. In the 4th week, NST was performed in the intervention group 30 minutes before and after the 4th session. In the control group, NST was done in the 4th week. The quantitative variables in the two groups were compared through ANOVA and Chi-square test.Results: The results of paired t-test showed that relaxation could improve the NST results (P=0.01). Mean and standard deviation of basal fetal heart rate was 138.95±8.18 before the intervention and 133.07±6.9 after the intervention. Paired t-test also showed that relaxation reduced the basal fetal heart rate (P=0.001). Mean and standard deviation of the number of fetal heart accelerations was 1.5±0.8 before the intervention and 2.2±0.9 after it. The results of paired t-test also showed that relaxation increased the number of fetal heart accelerations (P=0.001).Conclusions: Relaxation could improve the NST results, reduce the basal fetal heart rate, and increase the number of fetal heart accelerations. Therefore, relaxation is recommended during pregnancy.Trial Registration Number: IRCT2012072810418N1

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