Antepartum morbidities and health seeking behaviour among women in an urban slum of Delhi.
ABSTRACT A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the pattern of antepartum morbidities and its relationship with socio-economic, demographic characteristics and the health seeking behaviour among 214 women in an urban slum community of Delhi. Interviews were conducted in the households using a pretested semi-structured schedule. The age at marriage, age at co-habitation, and age at child-birth were below 18 years in 36.4%, 32.7%, and 5.1% respectively. The average number of antepartum morbidities per woman was 1.7. Commonest morbidities were: Urinary problems (11.2%), swelling over hands and feet (9.3%), fever > 3 days duration (7.5%), antepartum bleeding (7.0%), etc. The antepartum morbidities were found to be significantly higher among wives of illiterate (p = 0.01) husbands and of unskilled workers (p = 0.01). Out of 144 morbidities, consultation was sought for 101 morbidities (70.1%), mostly in a government hospital (78.2%). Main reasons for non-consultation among 43 women were: Non-availability of persons to accompany (32.6%), or to look after the children (23.3%) and feeling unnecessary to consult (23.3%). Study findings revealed the need for family support, sensitising men about women's health problems during pregnancy and education regarding identification of danger signs during pregnancy for reducing maternal morbidity and related mortality.