Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Randomized Controlled Trial of Use of the Peanut Ball During Labor

Roth, Cheryl PhD, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, RNFA; Dent, Sarah A. MSN, RNC-OB; Parfitt, Sheryl E. MSN, RNC-OB; Hering, Sandra L. MSN, RNC-OB, CPHIMS; Bay, R. Curtis PhD

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: May/June 2016 - Volume 41 - Issue 3 - p 140–146
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000232
Feature: CE Connection

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of peanut ball use on duration of first stage labor and pushing time in women who were scheduled for elective induction of labor at ≥39 weeks gestation and planning an epidural.

Study Design and Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, women having labor induction and planning a labor epidural were assigned (1:1) to one of two groups: one group used a peanut ball and one group did not. Outcome variables were time spent in first stage labor and time spent pushing. Factors included group assignment (peanut ball, no peanut ball), parity (primiparous, multiparous), and race. Age and maximum oxytocin dose served as covariates.

Results: Among women having elective induction with epidural analgesia, use of a peanut ball reduced first stage labor duration for primiparous patients significantly more than multiparous patients, p = 0.018. There was no significant difference in the reduction of length of first stage labor for multiparous women, p = 0.057 with use of the peanut ball. Peanut ball use did not alter length of pushing time for either group, p > 0.05.

Clinical Implications: Use of peanut balls may reduce total labor time to a greater degree in primiparous patients than multiparous patients having elective induction at ≥39 weeks with epidural analgesia.

The peanut ball is a specific type of birthing ball used by some women in labor. It may be helpful in maternal positioning and promoting labor progress. A randomized trial of peanut ball use is reported.

Cheryl Roth is a Nurse Practitioner, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ. The author can be reached via e-mail at

Sarah A. Dent is a Clinical Director, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ.

Sheryl E. Parfitt is a Clinical Educator, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ.

Sandra L. Hering is an Informatics Support Specialist, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ.

R. Curtis Bay, is a Professor, Biostatistics, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, A. T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For 145 continuing nursing education activities on maternal child topics, go to

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved