Maternal health care service utilization among young married women in India, 1992-2016: trends and determinants.


Singh P(1), Singh KK(2), Singh P(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Statistics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, 221005, India. [Email]
(2)Department of Statistics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, 221005, India.


BACKGROUND: Maternal deaths among young women (15-24 years) shares 38% of total maternal mortality in India. Utilizing maternal health care services can reduce a substantial proportion of maternal mortality. However, there is a paucity of studies focusing on young women in this context. This paper, therefore, aimed to examine the trends and determinants of full antenatal care (ANC) and skilled birth attendance (SBA) utilization among young married women in India. METHODS: The study analysed data from the four rounds of National Family Health Surveys conducted in India during the years 1992-93, 1998-99, 2005-06 and 2015-16. Young married women aged 15-24 years with at least one live birth in the 3 years preceding the survey were considered for analysis in each survey round. We used descriptive statistics to assess the prevalence and trends in full ANC and SBA use. Pooled multivariate logistic regression was conducted to identify the demographic and socioeconomic determinants of the selected maternity care services. The significance level for all analyses was set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: The use of full ANC among young mothers increased from 27 to 46% in India, and from 9 to 28% in EAG (Empowered Action Group) states during 1992-2016. SBA utilization was 88 and 83% during 2015-16 by showing an increment of 20 and 50% since 1992 in India and EAG states, respectively. Findings from multivariate analysis revealed a significant difference in the use of selected maternal health care services by maternal age, residence, education, birth order and wealth quintile. Additionally, Muslim women, women belonging to scheduled caste (SC)/ scheduled tribe (ST) social group, and women unexposed to mass media were less likely to utilize both the maternal health care services. Concerning the time effect, the odds of the utilization of full ANC and SBA among young women was found to increase over time. CONCLUSIONS: In India coverage of full ANC among young mothers remained unacceptably low, with a wide and persistent gap in utilization between EAG and non-EAG states since 1992. Targeted health policies should be designed to address low coverage of ANC and SBA among underprivileged young mothers and increased efforts should be made to ensure effective implementation of ongoing programs, especially in EAG states.