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Exploring the relationship between household structure and utilization of maternal health care services in India

Manas Ranjan Pradhan, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Sourav Mondal, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The role of mother-in-law (MIL) influencing daughter-in-law's maternal health care (MHC) seeking behaviour has been a continuing debate due to the former's advantageous position in the household. This study assesses the association of household structure and particularly the presence of MIL with MHC utilization in India using the National Family Health Survey-4 data (2015-16). Binary logistic regression was used to check the adjusted effects of the household structure on MHC utilization. The analyses were done with STATA (version 13) with a significance level of 5%. Adjusting the effects of socio-demographic and economic characteristics, women from non-nuclear households with MIL had significantly higher odds of full antenatal care (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.99-1.08) and institutional delivery (OR= 1.05, 95% CI=1.01- 1.10) than their counterparts from nuclear households. Women from non-nuclear households without MIL had lower chances of postnatal care (OR =0.98, 95% CI=0.96-1.00) than women from nuclear households. The study unearths the beneficial role of MIL in MHC services utilization of the daughter-in-law, a notable change from the earlier literature often portraying MIL as a barrier. Involvement of MIL in existing policies/programmes aimed at improved maternal health would be helpful in MHC utilization in India.

Keywords: Family demography, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Demographic and social surveys

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  Presented in Session 142. The Influence of Family Structure and Dynamics on Children's Health and Wellbeing