Husband’s Support during Maternity: Voices of Couples from a Low-Income Community in Mumbai , India

Saritha Nair, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH) (ICMR)

Understanding the differences in husband-wife perspectives of male involvement is vital to reproductive health programmes aimed at encouraging male involvement in maternity. Data collected in 2005 from 500 husband-wife interviews where women were either pregnant or had delivered in the past six months have been used to assess husband’s support during maternity. Information was elicited on husband’s support and knowledge regarding maternity, autonomy of women, and gender attitudes. Both bi-variate and multivariate statistical techniques were used. Results indicate that around half of the husbands are involved in maternity care and the agreement between the responses of couples ranged from 55-80 percent. Men were more likely to support their wife if there was less spousal age difference, both husband and wife reported of planned pregnancy, were aware of pregnancy complications and husband didn’t bother the community sarcasm. Due to cultural nuances in the community, study emphasizes the need of incorporating couple’s perspective in the design of programmes on male involvement in maternity.

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Presented in Poster Session 2