|The effectiveness and safety of complementary health approaches to managing postpartum pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis.|
Smith CA, Hill E, Denejkina A, Thornton C, Dahlen HG.
Integrative medicine research. 2022; 11(1): 100758
Background: Women experience pain from a number of causes during the postpartum period. Although pharmacological pain relief has shown to be effective, the efficacy of non-pharmacological methods of pain relief will be of interest to breastfeeding women. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the efficacy and safety of complementary approaches to manage postpartum pain. METHODS: A search of English language databases from their inception to 2020 was undertaken for randomised controlled trials and included primiparous and multiparous women who experienced postpartum pain up to two weeks post birth. The primary outcome was pain. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. RESULTS: Thirty trials were included in the review, 25 trials (2,413 women) were included in the meta-analysis. Two trials of massage found a reduction in pain following caesarean birth within the first 24 h post birth (MD -2.64, 95-2.82 to -2.46, 184 women, I(2) 0%), and at seven days postpartum (MD -1.91, 95%CI -2.42 to -1.40, 2 trials, 120 women I(2) 37%). Two trials conducted with women receiving an episiotomy found reduction in perineal pain from herbal ointments within 24 h (MD -1.33, 95% CI -.96 to -0.70, 221 women) and at 14 days postpartum (MD -0.74, 95% CI -1.02 to -0.47, 4 trials). Few trials reported on safety, few trials were at an overall low risk of bias, and overall the quality of evidence was very low. Conclusion: Further high quality trials are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of herbal ointment and massage during the early postpartum period. CI - (c) 2021 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V.