The impact of postpartum hemoglobin levels on maternal quality of life after delivery: a prospective exploratory study. Annals of hematology Miller, C. M., Ramachandran, B., Akbar, K., Carvalho, B., Butwick, A. J. 2016; 95 (12): 2049-2055


Postpartum anemia has been associated with postpartum morbidities, such as depression and poor cognition. However, it is unclear whether postpartum anemia is associated with reduced health-related quality of life. We performed a prospective study to examine the relations between postpartum Hb levels with postpartum health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We collected data from 60 women intending vaginal delivery and assessed HRQoL and maternal fatigue on admission and on the first postpartum day using the RAND 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), respectively. Maternal Hb levels were measured on admission and on the first postpartum day. We also assessed patients for postpartum depression using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). We performed unadjusted and multivariate linear regression (adjusting for maternal age, parity, mode of delivery, and race) to assess the associations between postdelivery Hb with each subscale of the SF-36 and MFI. The mean predelivery and postpartum Hb levels were 12.3 (1.2) and 10.8 (1.4) g/dl, respectively. In our unadjusted and adjusted regression analyses, we observed no statistically significant associations between postpartum Hb levels with any SF-36 or MFI subscale (P?>?0.05). Based on the EPDS, only one patient was depressed; her postpartum Hb was 11.2 g/dl. Our findings suggest that postpartum Hb levels may not influence HRQoL or fatigue. However, our findings may only apply to women without predelivery anemia, severe blood loss or moderate-to-severe anemia after delivery. Future studies are needed to determine whether postpartum Hb influences HRQoL among women with moderate or severe postpartum anemia.

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