World Health & Population

World Health & Population May 2004 .doi:10.12927/whp.2004.17639

Analysis of Postpartum Complications in Relation to Selected Delivery Characteristics in Rural Bangladesh

Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury, M. Ataharul Islam, Halida Hanum Akhter and Nitai Chakraborty


Objective: In this paper an attempt is made to identify the possible risks of occurring postnatal complications among the rural women of Bangladesh in relation to their selected delivery characteristics.

Methods: Longitudinal data on Maternal Morbidity in rural Bangladesh, conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Research for Promotion of Essential and Reproductive Health and Technologies (BIRPERHT) were employed in this study. A total of 1020 pregnant women (pregnancy less than 6 months) were interviewed.

Results: From the bivariate analysis, it was observed that women who had assisted deliveries had a higher risk of having pelvic pain, cough or fever for more than three days, headache and other complications during postpartum period compared to those who delivered normally. Deliveries attended by trained personnel reduced risk of having cough or fever for more than three days and weight loss compared to those deliveries attended by untrained personnel. The place of delivery is significantly associated with various postpartum complications. Complications at the time of deliveries significantly increase subsequent complications during the postpartum period. Similarly, the duration of labor seems to have an association with postpartum complications as well.

Conclusions: There is limited but growing evidence suggesting that complications of delivery and postpartum period are more frequent in the rural areas of Bangladesh. Results from this study may provide information to the policy makers and health planners to target, plan, develop and deliver of maternal health services to those in greatest need.

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