A comparative study on quality of life of mothers in two methods of normal delivery and caesarean section

B Torkan, S Parsaee, M Lamiean, A Kazemnejed, A Montazeri


Introduction: Statistics indicate that elective caesarean section is increasing at an alarming rate in Iran. Caesarean section deliveries might increase the incidence of surgical interventions and hospitalizations that affect quality of life of mothers.

Methods: This was a cohort prospective analytic study with the purpose of assessing and comparing the postnatal quality of life in normal and caesarean section deliveries. A specific questionnaire was designed. Then, its validity and reliability were confirmed. Fifty mothers with normal delivery and 50 mothers with caesarean section completed the designed questionnaire, EPDS (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) and SF-36 (Short Form 36) in 6 to 8 weeks and 12 to 14 weeks after childbirth. The data were analyzed with statistical tests.

Results: In comparison with 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth, the scores of most of the specific and generic postnatal quality of life subscales during 12 to 14 weeks after delivery improved in both normal delivery and caesarean section. Nevertheless, the normal delivery group had better status than caesarean section group. In 6-8 weeks after childbirth, postnatal depression was significantly more common in caesarean section group than in normal delivery group (P=0.04), but it was not significant in 12-14 weeks after childbirth. Results of both specific and SF-36 questionnaires analysis showed better results of postnatal quality of life after normal delivery than in caesarean section in some subscales and equal results to caesarean section in other subscales.

Conclusion: In general, the findings suggest that normal delivery leads to a better postnatal quality of life especially resulting in a superior physical and mental health. Therefore, it is better to be considered as the first priority in elective termination of pregnancy


Postnatal, quality of life, normal delivery, caesarean section


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