ObjectiveIntimate partner violence (IPV) is the most prevalent form of gender-based violence worldwide. IPV either before or during pregnancy has been documented as a risk factor for the health of the mother and her unborn child. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between maternal experience of IPV and low birth weight (LBW).
Study designA hospital-based survey was conducted among women in the postnatal wards of a large public hospital at Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Data on socio-economic characteristics, reproductive health characteristics, intimate partner violence, and antenatal, delivery and newborn care were collected from 400 women between July 2015 and April 2016.
ResultsResults of this study indicated that 43% of women reported experiencing any physical IPV in their lifetime, 35.5% of them experienced sexual IPV, and 32.5% experienced both physical and sexual IPV. Approximately one in every three (29.2%) infants was born with LBW. Physical IPV was associated with an increased risk of having a child with low birth weight (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 3.01, 95% CI: 2.35-5.81). The risk of infants born with LBW increased with women's lifetime experience of sexual IPV (AOR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.23-4.15) and both physical and sexual IPV (AOR: 4.05; 95% CI: 2.79-7.33).
ConclusionMaternal lifetime experience of IPV is positively associated with LBW children. Preventing women from the experience of IPV may help improve neonatal and child mortality in Bangladesh.
SUBMITTER: Ferdos J