Mode of birth and postnatal health- related quality of life after one previous cesarean in three European countries

Maaike Fobelets, Katrien Beeckamn, Ronald Buyl, Deirdre Daly, Marlene . Sinclair, Patricia Healy, Susanne Grylka-Bawschlin, Jane Nicoletti, Mechthild Gross, Sandra Morano, Koen Putman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: How a woman gives birth can affect her health- related quality of life (HRQoL). This study explored HRQoL at 3 months postpartum in women with a history of one previous cesarean in three European countries. Methods: A prospective longitudinal survey, embedded within a cluster randomized trial in three countries, exploring women’s postnatal HRQoL up to 3 months postpartum. The Short- Form Six- Dimensions (SF- 6D) was used to measure HRQoL, and multivariate analyses were used to examine the relationship with mode of birth. Results: Complete data were available from 880 women. Women with a spontaneous vaginal birth had the highest HRQoL scores, whereas women with an emergency repeat cesarean (P = .01) had the lowest. Postnatal readmission of the mother (P = .03), having public health insurance (P = .04) and a low antenatal HRQoL score (P <.01), contributes to poorer HRQoL scores. More specifically, women with a spontaneous vaginal birth had significantly higher HRQoL scores on the vitality dimension compared with women with an emergency repeat cesarean (P = .04). Conclusions: In women with low- risk factors, repeat cesareans result in a poorer HRQoL compared with vaginal birth. When there are no contraindications for vaginal birth, women with a history of one previous cesarean should be encouraged to give birth vaginally rather than have an elective repeat cesarean.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalBIRTH Issues in Perintal Care
Early online date5 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Compliant in UIR; evidence uploaded to 'Other files'

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  • Europe (MeSH)
  • obstetric (MeSH)
  • perinatal care (MeSH)
  • pregnancy (MeSH)
  • quality of Life (MeSH)


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