The Effects of Pregnancy and Childbirth on Women's Health-Related Quality of Life: A Scoping Review
The Effects of Pregnancy and Childbirth on Women's Health-Related Quality of Life: A Scoping Review


Pregnancy, childbirth, women's health-related quality of life

How to Cite

The Effects of Pregnancy and Childbirth on Women’s Health-Related Quality of Life: A Scoping Review. (2024). Evidence-Based Nursing Research, 6(1), 39-52.


Context: Although pregnancy and childbearing are the most natural processes for women, it is accompanied by significant life changes for the mother, who needs to adjust to parenting. Hormonal variables cause these changes, resulting in physiological and emotional consequences. Although the changes that pregnant women experience are only transitory, they might affect their quality of life.

Aim: This scoping review highlight the effect of pregnancy and childbearing on women’s health-related quality of life.

Methods: A scoping review was completed by searching data converging about pregnancy and childbirth's effects on women's health-related quality of life utilizing databases from 2015-2022 papers. The review was done via different database engines. The research selection procedure uses Mesh keywords to find the most relevant papers, and the PRISMA flowchart helped pick research papers. The search engines were picked from the Saudi digital library and Google Scholar. Three main themes and three subthemes were created in this scoping review. A total of 82 articles were initially retrieved. Twenty-four duplications were removed. Thirty-four articles that did not meet the aim were excluded. The remaining 26 were screened; the non-English, outdated articles, text articles, and more reasons were counted, so another ten articles were removed. So, 14 studies met the criteria and were eligible to be included in this review.

Results: revealed a correlation between delayed first birth and better health-related quality of life. It is highlighted that physical quality of life-related to maternal age, gestational age, BMI before 12 weeks of pregnancy, mother's education and work, and spouse's education (p<0.05). Psychological quality of life-related to gestational age, mother's education and occupation, and spouse's education. The main characteristics related to greater quality of life were mean maternal age, primiparity, early gestational age, the lack of social and economic issues, having family and friends, exercising, being happy to be pregnant, and being hopeful. Early second-trimester pregnant women had the best health-related quality of life drops in the third trimester. More than half of the participants in the reviewed studies had urinary incontinence as a main pelvic floor disorder. Mothers showed lower gray matter (GM) volumes and higher white matter (WM) volumes in empathy and reward networks. Those who gave birth vaginally reported the highest HRQoL, whereas those who underwent cesareans reported the lowest.

Conclusion: The study elucidates the fluctuations in quality of life throughout pregnancy, showing its dependence on various demographic and health-related aspects. The nuanced variations and pathological features emerging during pregnancy encompass the impact of morning sickness, sleep patterns, and pelvic floor disorders. The influence of the mode of delivery on women's health-related quality of life emphasizes differences in pain, physical functioning, and mental health between those who undergo cesarean sections and those who have vaginal births. Collectively, these findings underscore the complexity of the maternal experience, calling for a holistic approach to healthcare that addresses the diverse challenges women face during this pivotal life stage.

The Effects of Pregnancy and Childbirth on Women's Health-Related Quality of Life: A Scoping Review
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