Birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR) among pregnant women in hard-to-reach areas in Bangladesh

Md Moinuddin, Aliki Christou, Dewan Md Emdadul Hoque, Tazeen Tahsina, Shumona Sharmin Salam, Sk Masum Billah, Lianne Kuppens, Md Ziaul Matin, Shams El Arifeen

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Birth preparedness and complication readiness aims to reduce delays in care seeking, promote skilled birth attendance, and facility deliveries. Little is known about birth preparedness practices among populations living in hard-to-reach areas in Bangladesh.

OBJECTIVES: To describe levels of birth preparedness and complication readiness among recently delivered women, identify determinants of being better prepared for birth, and assess the impact of greater birth preparedness on maternal and neonatal health practices.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey with 2,897 recently delivered women was undertaken in 2012 as part of an evaluation trial done in five hard-to-reach districts in rural Bangladesh. Mothers were considered well prepared for birth if they adopted two or more of the four birth preparedness components. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were used for analysis.

RESULTS: Less than a quarter (24.5%) of women were considered well prepared for birth. Predictors of being well-prepared included: husband's education (OR = 1.3; CI: 1.1-1.7), district of residence, exposure to media in the form of reading a newspaper (OR = 2.2; CI: 1.2-3.9), receiving home visit by a health worker during pregnancy (OR = 1.5; CI: 1.2-1.8), and receiving at least 3 antenatal care visits from a qualified provider (OR = 1.4; CI: 1.0-1.9). Well-prepared women were more likely to deliver at a health facility (OR = 2.4; CI: 1.9-3.1), use a skilled birth attendant (OR = 2.4, CI: 1.9-3.1), practice clean cord care (OR = 1.3, CI: 1.0-1.5), receive post-natal care from a trained provider within two days of birth for themselves (OR = 2.6, CI: 2.0-3.2) or their newborn (OR = 2.6, CI: 2.1-3.3), and seek care for delivery complications (OR = 1.8, CI: 1.3-2.6).

CONCLUSION: Greater emphasis on BPCR interventions tailored for hard to reach areas is needed to improve skilled birth attendance, care seeking for complications and essential newborn care and facilitate reductions in maternal and neonatal mortality in low performing districts in Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189365
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obstetric Labor Complications/psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Rural Population
  • Young Adult


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