Background: appropriate utilization of antenatal and postnatal care can prevent complications and ensures
better maternal and child health care. Although under-five mortality in South Asia, including Bangladesh, has
reduced substantially, the rate of neonatal mortality is still high. The study aims to identify factors associated
with the practice of antenatal and/or postnatal care amongst mothers of newborns from a healthcare facility in a
selected area of rural Bangladesh.
Research design/Setting: a community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 360 postnatal
mothers, who were within 42 days of delivery. The study was conducted at Madhupur Upazila (sub-district)
in Tangail district of Bangladesh from January 2012 to June 2012. A structured questionnaire was used to
collect relevant information from the study subjects.
Findings: only one in seven (14.2%) of the mothers visited health care facility for 4 or more times to receive
antenatal care. A higher proportion of mothers delivered at home, thirty-five percent of the respondents
experienced post-delivery complications. About 18% of mothers received postnatal care from the health care
facility. Several variables revealed significant associations in bivariate analyses; few variables remained
significant for antenatal care and post-natal care categories in the multinomial logistic regression analysis.
The likelihood of receiving either antenatal care or post-natal care (OR =0.30, 95% CI =0.10–0.96) was
significantly lower among mothers who had either no education or less education (1–5 years of schooling); and
was found significantly higher for women who watched TV (OR = 2.79; 95% CI = 1.45–5.37); family income
showed significant association for receiving both antenatal care and postnatal care services as well.
Conclusion: mother's education appears to have a strong and significant association with antenatal care and
postnatal care practices in rural Bangladesh. Community based intervention and regular home visits by health
care providers could enhance care for women and newborns including delivery of specific health messages.
Counseling could be integrated during antenatal care visits to increase the postnatal care service further.