Effects of Aromatherapy on Childbirth

2014-08-27 03:16:33 | BioPortfolio


Aromatherapy is a form of complementary medicine that uses scented materials known as essential oils for the purpose of affecting a person's health or mood. Although aromatherapy has been used in childbirth for centuries, there are no high-quality studies examining whether the treatment works.


We would like to see if aromatherapy affects a woman's experience of childbirth by lowering associated anxiety and pain. Consenting participants will be randomly allocated to one of these groups:

1. Aromatherapy oils (e.g. clary sage, peppermint, lavender, frankincense)

2. Non-essential oil (baby oil)

3. Standard maternity care

We will gather primary data, e.g. if she's been in labour before and her awareness of complementary medicine. We will also conduct the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with her, and provide her with the oil and swab if she is in groups 1 or 2 with instructions to keep the swab with the oil on it near to her. She can also put more oil on the swab as she requires.

Postnatally, data will be collected from her notes regarding pain relief used, duration of labour, augmentation of labour, and any other medical interventions of note. We will also complete the anxiety scale with her once more. Before her discharge we ask the mother for any comments regarding her experience of the labour. The results from all three cohorts will then be compared. There will also be opportunity for the midwife to make any comments regarding his/her perception of the participant's labour. Finally we will hold a focus group with midwives regarding the practicalities for implementation of aromatherapy in maternity care

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Health Services Research




Aromatherapy oil, None essential oil


Kings Mill Hospital
United Kingdom


Not yet recruiting


University of Nottingham

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:16:33-0400

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