Pregnancy is a transitional time with important mental and emotional changes. Even in uncomplicated situations, these changes can affect the quality of life of pregnant women, affecting maternal and fetal health. This study aimed to describe QOL during uncomplicated pregnancy and assess the associated sociodemographic, physical, and psychological factors in developed countries.
A systematic review was conducted in accorded PRISMA guidelines. Searches were born in the public health database, EMBASE, BDSP and WHO. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. The level of the articles was assessed using the criteria of STROBE.
A total of thirty-seven articles were included. While the physical component of quality of life decreased during pregnancy, the psychological element was stable and even showed improvement during pregnancy. The main factors associated with better quality of life were:
- Maternal mean age.
- Early gestational age.
- Lack of social and economic problems.
- Having family and friends.
- Being physically active.
- Feeling happy.
- Being pregnant.
- Being optimistic.
Main factors associated with quality of life were medically poor living environment, complications before or during pregnancy, obesity, nausea and vomiting, epigastralgia, back pain, smoking in the months before conception, a history of alcohol dependence, sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, depression during pregnancy, and sexual or domestic violence.
Unfavourable pregnancy outcomes due to environmental factors may include congenital anomalies, increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, and stillbirth. Apart from adverse pregnancy outcomes, there may also be effects on other reproductive functions such as menstrual irregularities and infertility. Environmental factors associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes include smoking, video screens, anaesthetic gasses, antineoplastic drugs, and exposure to lead, selenium, and inorganic mercury. Among these, cigarette smoking during pregnancy is the number one environmental factor for adverse pregnancy outcome—smoking when pregnancy continues to be a significant public health problem. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to low birth weight (2500 g) baby. Air pollution, pesticides and stress are also associated with low birth weight and preterm birth. This review provides an overview of the importance of environmental factors in adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Health-related quality of life refers to patients’ subjective assessment of physical and mental well-being. Improving the status of pregnant women’s group requires better recognization of their difficulties and counselling that provides support whenever possible.
As reported by the World Health Organization, someone’s quality of life (QOL) is defined by her position in life with value systems in which she lives and concerning his or her goals, expectations, standards, and concerns. It is a very broad concept that can be influenced in the complex, comprehensive physical health of the subject, his psychological state and degree of independence, his social relationships and his relationship with the essential elements of his environment” . Therefore, it is based on several objective factors (related to the quality of the environment and living conditions) and subjective factors (associated with the personal sphere and measurable terms of satisfaction and well-being). A health indicator is an essential component of quality of life is called health-related quality of life.
In Singapore, 87% of Pregnant Mummies believe that living conditions include the place they stay in as it affects social relationships with neighbours, smoking habits of people staying in the same estate and drugs user that might influence their safety.