Abstract Background Childbirth is a life-transforming intense event to a woman and her family. Even though a variety of non-pharmacological techniques are readily available to alleviate the distress of women in labour, the majority of women are unaware of its benefits. The objective of the study was to explore the impact of a simple non-pharmacological technique i.e., antepartum breathing exercises on maternal outcomes of labour among primigravid women. Methods A single centre prospective, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial was conducted at the antenatal outpatient clinic of a secondary healthcare institution. Eligible primigravid women were randomized into intervention and standard care groups. Both groups received standard obstetrical care. In addition, the intervention group were taught antepartum breathing exercises and were advised to practise daily and also during the active stage of labour. The primary outcome of the trial was the maternal outcome of labour measured in terms of onset of labour, nature of delivery, duration of labour, and need for augmentation of labour. Data was collected using World Health Organization (WHO) partograph, structured observational record on the outcome of labour. Results A total of 98 (70%) primigravid women who practised antepartum breathing exercises had spontaneous onset of labour. The odds of spontaneous onset of labour after randomization in the intervention group was 2.192 times more when compared to standard care at a (95% confidence interval 1.31–3.36, p<.001). Also, the requirement for augmentation of labour was minimal and there was a reduction in the rate of caesarean deliveries (p <.05) based on the χ2 test. The overall mean duration of labour was less compared to standard care group F(1)= 133.800, p <.001. Conclusion Antepartum breathing exercises during labour can facilitate spontaneous vaginal birth, shorten the duration of labour, and reduce the need for operative interference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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