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Enfermería Global

versão On-line ISSN 1695-6141


VIVANCOS-MARIN, Noelia et al. Complementary techniques of relaxation and non-pharmacological analgesia during childbirth: systematic review. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2024, vol.23, n.73, pp.458-490.  Epub 23-Fev-2024. ISSN 1695-6141.


There is a need to provide analgesia strategies that encourage and promote women's participation in decision-making at the time of delivery and relaxation techniques could be a complementary and/or alternative non-pharmacological analgesic method to the widely used epidural anaesthesia in standard labour care.


The objective of this study is to analyze the obstetric effects of relaxation techniques on pain management during labour.


A systematic review is performed with critical reading of included studies. The search for studies was carried out in the main databases MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Cuiden, LILACS and SciELO. Studies published in English or Spanish between 2015 and February 2021 were included. Eleven studies were included, six of which are systematic reviews and five are randomised clinical trials. The interventions analysed were relaxation techniques such as hypnosis, intradermal injection of sterile water, warm water immersion, massage, acupuncture, music therapy, aromatherapy, continuous support and mind-body practices like relaxing breathing, yoga and meditation, among others.


The main conclusion of this study is that relaxation techniques may decrease the level of pain during labour, although the current scientific evidence is limited and the methodological quality varies from low to moderate. More randomised controlled trials are needed to support this research.

Palavras-chave : Analgesia; Pain; Labour; Relaxation techniques; Complementary therapies.

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