Supported motherhood? An examination of the cultural context of male participation in maternal health care among tribal communities in India

Journal of Biosocial Science
Suresh Jungari, Balram Paswan


In many cultural settings worldwide, within families, men tend to be responsible for important choices relating to the allocation of household resources and care-seeking behaviour that directly impact on the health of women and newborns. This study examines the extent of male participation in antenatal care (ANC), delivery, postnatal care (PNC), household chores and providing food to wives among tribal communities in India. In addition, health care providers' views on male participation in maternal health were examined. Primary data were collected from 385 men aged 15-49 from rural Gadchiroli District in Maharashtra, India. Interviews of 385 men whose wives had delivered a child within the previous 2 years were conducted between November 2014 and March 2015. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were done. The results showed that the tribal men's participation in maternal health care was minimal. Around 22% of the men reported accompanying their wives to ANC, 25% were present at the time of delivery of their children and 25% accompanied their wives to PNC. Participation in household work, and support for wives in other ways, were slightly better. The main reason given by men for not participating in maternal health care was that ...Continue Reading


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