Aim: Perinatal negative emotions are common in parturient women, but the problems are often ignored. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effectiveness of aromatherapy for intrapartum anxiety (IPA) and postpartum emotional symptoms (PES). Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library, and ClinicalTrials.gov to identify suitable RCTs for analysis, and the study was reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Results: Nine RCTs were included. The meta-analysis showed aromatherapy reduced IPA during the early to active phase (standardized mean difference [SMD]: −1.56 [−2.55, −0.61]) and during the transition phase (SMD: −3.30 [−4.97, −1.63]) when compared with controls. For the postpartum period, the meta-analyses showed a reduction of postpartum depression (PPD) at week 2 (SMD: −0.43 [−0.82, −0.03]), and a non-significant trend toward the reduction of PPD at weeks 4–6 (SMD: −0.70 [−1.40, 0.01]). Conclusion: Our study found some evidence supporting the effectiveness of aromatherapy in reducing intrapartum anxiety and PES. We recommend the optional use of aromatherapy for intrapartum and postpartum care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Research and Theory