A Comparison of Mothers’ Quality of Life after Normal Vaginal, Cesarean, and Water Birth Deliveries

Document Type : Original article


1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Management and Medical Information, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

3 Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran;

4 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Assessment of quality of life (QOL) is of paramount importance for improving postpartum QOL which will in turn enhance QOL of mothers, children, individuals, and the community. The present study aimed to evaluate and compare postpartum QOL after Cesarean Section (CS), Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), and water birth delivery. Methods: This descriptive analytical, cross-sectional study was conducted on postpartum women referred to urban health centers and two public hospitals in 2012-13 in Shiraz, Iran. Overall, 59 women with NVD, 39 with CS, and 39 with water birth, all at 2 months postpartum, were recruited into the study through multi-stage sampling. Postpartum QOL was measured using Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) which hadbeen adapted previously in Iran. Then, the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) in SPSS, version 18.Results: The results showed that the NVD group had the highest mean score in physical health domains; the women with water birth had the highest mean score in mental health domains and total QOL. Regarding postpartum QOL the results of one-way ANOVA showed no statistically significant differences between the three modes of delivery.Conclusion: Women with water birth and NVD had the highest and second highest total QOL mean scores, respectively; women with NVD and water birth experienced better physical health. Thus, providing more information to pregnant women to encourage them to use NVD and water birth is suggested.