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.
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- Europe (MeSH)
- obstetric (MeSH)
- perinatal care (MeSH)
- pregnancy (MeSH)
- quality of Life (MeSH)