Intimate Partner Violence and Location of Birth: The Case of Bangladeshedit
Maternal and infant mortality is a serious problem in the developing world, and addressing morbidity and mortality at birth is key to meeting the Millennium Development Goals set out by the United Nations. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is correlated with the health of mothers and babies, but its association in the developing world with location of birth, whether in a health facility or a home setting, is unknown. This study explored an association between IPV and home versus institutional delivery location among married Bangladeshi women who had given birth in the past five years, using a nationally representative sample of women of reproductive age (15 to 49) from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Approximately one in two women experienced IPV and 86% gave birth at home. Experiencing IPV was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of home birth. The predicted odds of giving birth at home were 49% higher (odds ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval = 1.1, 2.1) for women who had experienced IPV, after controlling for sociodemographic, autonomy, and behavioral factors. Factors that increased institutional delivery included women’s education, age at marriage, urban living, and use of antenatal care. Based on the results of the study, authors concluded that health and social work professionals engaged in interventions aimed at promoting use of antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care should also focus on IPV screening and intervention.