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The data collected in this study tends to show that the bath has improved the experience of pregnancy and delivery, particularly for women of the pathological group, and among those mostly for primiparas. Their experience often comes fairly close to that of the normal group. We can suggest that the bath has a relaxing, a reassuring and an analgesic effect which provides favourable conditions for a satisfactory delivery even in pathological cases, where women could otherwise have been overwhelmed with anxiety. The bath may enable women to master the pain and also to relax and to find comfort in reassuring figures such as their partners and their mothers, and become more responsive to their baby. This corresponds to Michel Odent's explanation of the effect of the bath as a change in the "level of consciousness."


Homans, C, Busine, A. & Wesel, S. (1982). Analgesic and relaxing effect of warm bath during labor. Presented at 8e Congres Europeen de medecine perinatale. Bruxelles, 8-10 septembre 1982.

Melzack, R. & Wall, P. (1982). Le Defi de la douleur. Maloine, Ed. Paris.

Melzack R. et al. (1981). Labor is still painful after prepared childbirth training. Canad. Med. Assoc. 125, p. 357-363.

Odent, M. (1976). Bien naitre. Le Seuil, Ed. Paris.

JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.

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