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Maternal health care beyond childbirth: A study of gaps in post-natal maternal care in India
Authors: Anktia Shukla
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 50, Issue Supplement 1; DOI:
Topic(s): Child health
Maternal health
Postnatal care
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Background: In recent years India has made groundbreaking progress in achieving universal institutional deliveries however the country failed to mirror this success in the postnatal period too. Method: Data is utilized from nationally representative survey National Family Health Survey (2015-16). A quantitative analysis of available information is presented here. Results: According to National family health survey (2015-16), 83% women received antenatal care (ANC) at least once, 79% had institutional delivery and only 65% had post-natal check-up. Surprisingly, postnatal-checkup was not universal even among mothers who had c-sections, around 10-15% women who had c-section did not receive post-natal check. The PNC coverage was worse in the states with high maternal mortality- Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. PNC was lowest among home deliveries followed by deliveries in sub-center health facilities. Conclusion: Though a pool of data is available on coverage and quality of care on different components of antenatal care and child-delivery very little evidence is available on the frequency of contact and quality of postnatal care. One of the major contributor of maternal deaths in India is postpartum hemorrhage. Yet it is the postpartum period when coverage and programs are at their lowest along the continuum of care. Key messages: Above mentioned evidence calls for focus on comprehensive PNC package, evidence generation on PNC care and improving linkages between deliveries at home/lower levels facilities and PNC.