Men’s Perceptions, Practices about Prenatal Care Findings from A Low Resource Hilly Forestry Region of India

Background: Prenatal care plays crucial role in maternal, neonatal health. Women need to know, and get quality antenatal care. In communities where men decide about family, pregnancy care, it is essential to understand their perceptions, practices, about prenatal care, while attempts continue to empower women. Objective: Objectives of study were to know about prenatal care related, perceptions, and practices of men from communities with extreme poverty. Materials and methods: Study was conducted in 65 villages of Melghat in Amravati district of Maharashtra, India. From every 10th house in each village married men of 20-39 years were interviewed, with predesigned questionnaire to know their perceptions, practices, about prenatal care. Study subjects wives had given birth within last 5 years. If man from, 10th house did not fit into criteria, man of next household was interviewed. Majority of men were of 25-29 years, 34.1% had primary school education 14.1% illiterate. Almost all were from low economic status. Results: Study revealed that few men accompanied wives during antenatal care, 41.42% men of 20 to 29 years, 35.36% of 30-39 years, 31.91% of illiterate, 42.71% with higher secondary education. 2 of 3 graduates of 996 from low EC, 40.06% accompanied their wives. Many said that antenatal care was important; others said that it did not matter. Majority did not like the idea of male health providers examining their wives. Educated, though few said, it did not matter, but still preferred lady doctor/ midwife. Conclusion: There was positive attitude towards antenatal care but some said antenatal care was not necessary. Less than 50% accompanied wives for prenatal care. Most did not like male health providers examining their wives. It is essential to create awareness, encourage men to be part of care for strengthening compliance to advice, complication readiness, shared responsibilities.

Author(s): Chhabra S* and Neikhoneng

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