Utilization of maternal healthcare among adolescent mothers in urban India: evidence from DLHS-3

Aditya Singh, Abhishek Kumar, Pragya Pranjali
PeerJ 2014, 2: e592
Background. Low use of maternal healthcare services is one of the reasons why maternal mortality is still considerably high among adolescents mothers in India. To increase the utilization of these services, it is necessary to identify factors that affect service utilization. To our knowledge, no national level study in India has yet examined the issue in the context urban adolescent mothers. The present study is an attempt to fill this gap. Data and Methods. Using information from the third wave of District Level Household Survey (2007-08), we have examined factors associated with the utilization of maternal healthcare services among urban Indian married adolescent women (aged 13-19 years) who have given live/still births during last three years preceding the survey. The three outcome variables included in the analyses are 'full antenatal care (ANC)', 'safe delivery' and 'postnatal care within 42 days of delivery'. We have used Chi-square test to determine the difference in proportion and the binary logistic regression to understand the net effect of predictor variables on the utilization of maternity care. Results. About 22.9% of mothers have received full ANC, 65.1% of mothers have had at least one postnatal check-up within 42 days of pregnancy. The proportion of mother having a safe delivery, i.e., assisted by skilled personnel, is about 70.5%. Findings indicate that there is considerable amount of variation in use of maternity care by educational attainment, household wealth, religion, parity and region of residence. Receiving full antenatal care is significantly associated with mother's education, religion, caste, household wealth, parity, exposure to healthcare messages and region of residence. Mother's education, full antenatal care, parity, household wealth, religion and region of residence are also statistically significant in case of safe delivery. The use of postnatal care is associated with household wealth, woman's education, full antenatal care, safe delivery care and region of residence. Conclusion. Several socioeconomic and demographic factors affect the utilization of maternal healthcare services among urban adolescent women in India. Promoting the use of family planning, female education and higher age at marriage, targeting vulnerable groups such as poor, illiterate, high parity women, involving media and grass root level workers and collaboration between community leaders and health care system could be some important policy level interventions to address the unmet need of maternity services among urban adolescents.

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