Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality in Nepal: Revisiting the Role of the Mother-in-Law

Kiran Regmi, Bharatpur Hospital
Prakash Adhikari, Bharatpur Hospital

This qualitative sociological study explores mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships focusing on the mother-in-law’s views of transition and transaction through life stages as determined by patriarchal kinship principles and the influence such principles exert in decision-making process in childbirth issues. This background informs an understanding the socio-cultural barriers to quality maternity care in Nepal. The grounded theory analysis of the narratives reveals that in many rural Nepali societies, mothers-in-law are managing childbirth based on experience and knowledge, as they have a positive vested interest for the outcome. It is only because mothers-in-law are embedded in patriarchal kinship norms, that some practices that can result in adverse outcomes endure. This study proposes alternative models for maternity care, which bring harmony to the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law to reduce conflict and increase collaboration with medical personnel when needed. Word Count: 134

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Presented in Poster Session 1