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Early marriage, poor reproductive health status of mother and child well-being in India.
Authors: Prakash, Ravi ; Singh, Abhishek ; Pathak
Source: Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2011 Jul; 37(3): 136-45 (40 ref)
Topic(s): Child health
Marriage
Reproductive health
Women's health
Country: Asia
  India
Published: JUL 2011
Abstract: Abstract: BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY: Early marriage, women's poor reproductive health and child well-being are important areas of concern, especially in developing countries like India. Data from the third wave of National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2005-2006) was used to examine the effects of early marriage on the reproductive health status of women and on the well-being of their children. Bivariate analyses, multiple linear regression and logistic regression were used for analyses. RESULTS: The results show that early age at marriage had detrimental effects on the reproductive health status of women. Women married at an early age were exposed to frequent childbearing, unplanned motherhood and abortions, which negatively affected their nutritional status. Children born to mothers with poor reproductive health had lower chances of survival and a higher likelihood of anthropometric failure (i.e. stunting, wasting and underweight). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Programmes should focus on delaying entry of adolescents into wedlock and motherhood through information, education and communication. More emphasis needs to be put on meeting the reproductive needs of poor adolescent mothers, and improving the nutritional status of their children, to break the vicious circle of poor reproductive health and poverty.