Quality of life in the mediate puerperium: a quantitative study


Quality of Life
Postpartum Period
Obstetrical Nursing


Introduction: Postpartum is a period of deep physical and emotional changes for women which may interfere in their quality of life. The objectives of this exploratory descriptive study of quantitative approach were to identify the Quality of Life Index (QLI) of women in the mediate puerperium, using an adaptation of the Ferrans & Powers instrument, and to assess the influence of the following variables on these women’s quality of life: type of delivery, breastfeeding, breast conditions and baby’s health. Method: The data were collected from April to June 2007. The sample consisted of 144 women, and the majority (70%) had Caesarean delivery. Results: The mean score of quality of life was relatively high (25.82), the maximum being 30.0. In this research, two of the variables studied indicated a statistically significant difference, and thus influenced negatively the Quality of Life of women in the mediate puerperium: nipple fissure and breast engorgement issues, or the association of both conditions, as well as problems with the baby´s health. The results allowed us to affirm that there was no statistically significant difference (in general or by domain) in the women’s quality of life concerning the different types of delivery. Moreover, there was no statistical difference in the QoL of the women who presented an unfavorable attitude toward breastfeeding. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that issues that were considered simple, such as nipple fissure and breast engorgement, may interfere in the QoL of puerperal women. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses must become aware of their role as educators in their clinical practice. The appropriate guidance and support to the mother in the beginning of the breastfeeding process consist of uncomplicated light technologies that are easy to be followed, and that can reflect in a positive way on the QoL of the women.