Objective Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is an alternative medical practise that focuses on body health by treating the musculoskeletal framework. Its aim is to affect positively the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems .
To date, the use of OMT during labour has been limited [2,3], although its effects are known during pregnancy [4,5].
Aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the effect of OMT in a group of women during labour.
Methods Of N = 119 women enrolled and in addition to ordinary care, N = 57 received OMT. Endpoints were differences in vaginal tears, Apgar scores and umbilical artery pH levels.
Statistical analysis was based on multivariate regressions, focusing on the independent effect of OMT on primary outcomes.
Results Baseline characteristics were balanced in both groups. OMT (β –0.589; 95% CI –0.841 to –0.337; p < 0.0001) and episiotomy (β –1.053; 95% CI –1.334 to –0.773; p < 0.0001) were significantly associated with a reduction in vaginal tears.
Only OMT was significantly associated to higher Apgar 1 min (β 0.572; 95% CI 0.240 to 0.903; p < 0.001) and 5 min scores (β 0.465; 95% CI 0.240 to 0.689; p < 0.0001).
Risks factors for umbilical pH levels <7.35 were OMT (OR 0.363; 95% CI 0.149 to 0.848; p = 0.02) and women at second delivery (OR 0.346; 95% CI 0.129 to 0.918; p = 0.03).
Conclusions OMT during delivery was found to affect positively vaginal tears, Apgar scores and umbilical pH levels.
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