Opting for home birth in rural Bangladesh: An assessment of the current status and reasons

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BackgroundIn Bangladesh, over half of women give birth at home, generally without the support of a skilled birth attendant. In this article, we examined the decision-making around birthplace and explored the reported reasons of preferring home birth over facility birth in a rural district of Bangladesh.MethodsA cross-sectional household survey with 1367 women was conducted in Brahmanbaria district. Choice of birthplace and actual place of birth were the main outcomes of interest. Associations between the outcomes of interest and background characteristics were analyzed through binary logistic regression. Effects of the covariates and confounders were adjusted through multiple logistic regression.ResultsSixty-four percent of women planned to give birth at home, and 62% gave birth at home. Planning to give birth at home was significantly associated with eventually giving birth at home (AOR [CI]: 4.93 [3.79-6.43]). Multiparous women and women from larger households were significantly more likely to give birth at home, whereas more educated and wealthier women and those attending antenatal care were significantly less likely to give birth at home. The main reported reasons for home birth were perceived lack of importance of facility birth, financial reasons, fear of cesarean section, and not being permitted by a husband of other family member to seek facility birth.ConclusionsHome is the preferred birthplace and main actual place of birth in rural Bangladesh. The maternal health program of Bangladesh should look critically at the preferences of women and reasons for those preferences for further promotion of skilled attendance at birth in rural settings.

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