Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action


Understanding the beliefs and practices of women and their families during pregnancy and childbirth is fundamental to the creation of successful public health interventions that target maternal and infant mortality. This study explores the childbearing practices of women in rural Jamkhed, as well as the social and economic factors that influence family planning, reproductive health-seeking, and delivery. Interviews and quantitative surveys were conducted with women in villages that have partnered with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) to examine how and why women access prenatal care during pregnancy. The influence of CRHP’s “Jamkhed Model” on healthcare access is considered in conjunction with other socio-economic determinants of health through the lens of women’s experiences during their childbearing years. Findings suggest that prenatal care is valued and utilized by the majority of childbearing women in the project villages, but that family hierarchies and social dynamics are important in determining the attitudes and practices of new mothers. The present study provides insight into reproductive health practices and motivations with the hope of understanding maternal health outcomes in the Jamkhed area.


Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Maternal and Child Health | Medicine and Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Studies


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