Document Detail

A study of out-of-wedlock pregnancies: outcome and utilization of maternal/child health services.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6110585     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The characteristics of unwed pregnant women, their utilization of maternal and child health services and the infant mortality among these out-of-wedlock births were investigated. During the study period, 5% of all pregnancies (48 of 855) were of this nature. Utilization of antenatal services was poor among unwed pregnant women, compared to those who were married. However, they used the child care services satisfactorily, as observed by the well-baby-clinic visits and acceptance of immunization. The infant mortality was 125 per 1000 live births, more than double the rate among infants born to married women. Either immediately after child birth or within one year after delivery, 50% of the unwed mothers started living with the putative fathers.
Data from the records of the Jawaharlal Institute Urban Center of Pondicherry, India were used 1) to assess the extent of illegitimate births among the 7065 residents served by the Center's clinic; 2) to determine the degree to which unwed mothers utilized the services of the clinic in comparison to married mothers; and 3) to assess the rate of infant mortality among illegitimate infants; and 4) to identify the characteristics of unwed pregnant women. The clinic maintained records on all 1385 families served by the clinic, and clinic personnel lived in the community and knew the patients on a personal basis. Among the 855 pregnancies recorded for the clinic families during a 5 year period there were 48 out of wedlock pregnancies. Unmarried mothers utilized the prenatal services of the clinic less frequently than married mothers. 51% of the unwed mothers, compared to 22% of the married mothers, failed to visit the clinic even once during their pregnancy. The unwed mothers were also more likely to register their pregnancy at a later date than the married mothers. Only 44% of the unwed mothers, compared to 77% of the married mothers received prenatal tetanus toxoid immunizations. The unwed mothers did take advantage of the postnatal services of the clinic for their infants. All of the children of unwed mothers were vaccinated for small pox. 72% of the mothers brought their infant to the clinic 5 or more times. The infant mortality rate among the infants of unwed mothers was 125.0/1000 live births and 51.8/1000 live births for infants born to married mothers. Illegitimate births in the area were frequently hidden. 56.3% of the unwed mothers were 15-19 years of age and 59.0% were Hindu. 83% were illiterate and 67% were unemployed. About 50% of the unwed mothers moved in with the putative father within a year of delivery and an additional 7% of the fathers moved into the family home of the unwed mother.
D K Srinivasa; R Pankajam
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0020-7292     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Gynaecol Obstet     Publication Date:  1980  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1981-05-13     Completed Date:  1981-05-13     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0210174     Medline TA:  Int J Gynaecol Obstet     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  368-71     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Child Health Services / utilization*
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Health Services / utilization*

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