Cultural Theories of Postpartum Bleeding in Matlab, Bangladesh: Implications for Community Health Intervention

Authors

  • Lynn M Sibley Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Daniel Hruschka Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Nahid Kalim Reproductive Health Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Dhaka
  • Jasmin Khan Reproductive Health Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Dhaka
  • Moni Paul Reproductive Health Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Dhaka
  • Joyce K Edmonds Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Marjorie A Koblinsky Reproductive Health Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Dhaka

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v27i3.3380

Keywords:

Anthropometry, Cultural, Maternal mortality, Morbidity, Postpartum haemorrhage, Bangladesh

Abstract

Early recognition can reduce maternal disability and deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage. This study identified cultural theories of postpartum bleeding that may lead to inappropriate recognition and de­layed care-seeking. Qualitative and quantitative data obtained through structured interviews with 149 participants living in Matlab, Bangladesh, including women aged 18-49 years, women aged 50+ years, traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and skilled birth attendants (SBAs), were subjected to cultural do­main. General consensus existed among the TBAs and lay women regarding signs, causes, and treat­ments of postpartum bleeding (eigenvalue ratio 5.9, mean competence 0.59, and standard deviation 0.15). Excessive bleeding appeared to be distinguished by flow characteristics, not colour or quantity. Yet, the TBAs and lay women differed significantly from the SBAs in beliefs about normalcy of blood loss, causal role of the retained placenta and malevolent spirits, and care practices critical to survival. Cultural domain analysis captures variation in theories with specificity and representativeness necessary to inform community health intervention.

Key words: Anthropometry, Cultural; Maternal mortality; Morbidity; Postpartum haemorrhage; Bangladesh

doi: 10.3329/jhpn.v27i3.3380

J Health Popul Nutr 2009 Jun;27(3):379-390

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Author Biographies

Lynn M Sibley, Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Dr. Lynn M. Sibley
Associate Professor
Director, Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Emory University
1520 Clifton Road NE, Suite 436
Atlanta, Georgia 30322
USA
Email: lsibley@emory.edu
Fax: +1-404-727-9676

Marjorie A Koblinsky, Reproductive Health Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, Dhaka

(*Present address: John Snow Inc., 1616 Ft Myer Drive, Arlington, VA 22205, USA)

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How to Cite

Sibley, L. M., Hruschka, D., Kalim, N., Khan, J., Paul, M., Edmonds, J. K., & Koblinsky, M. A. (2009). Cultural Theories of Postpartum Bleeding in Matlab, Bangladesh: Implications for Community Health Intervention. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 27(3), 379–390. https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v27i3.3380

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Section

Original Papers