Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
February 2018, Vol. 7(2), pp. 048-058
Copyright © 2018 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Perception of and Awareness about Medicalisation of Pregnancy and Childbirth in Bangladesh: A Case of Rajshahi Metropolitan City

Dr. Bijoy Krishna Banik

Professor of Sociology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Accepted 18 February, 2018 


The development of different interventions (antibiotics, Caesarean section and blood transfusion) and shortcomings of these interventions have created mistrust and confusion about the introduction of highly bio-medical measures at the country or community level. Exploring this debate about the medicalisation of pregnancy and childbirth (MoP&C) at local level of Bangladesh is a time-demanding attempt. The main objective of this paper was therefore to search the effectiveness of all these interventions in the urban context of Bangladesh. One hundred reproductive aged women delivering baby one year prior to the study from two slum areas of Rajshahi Metropolitan City (50 from each area)—Zianagar and Baze Kazla—were  interviewed  using ‘multistage sampling’ method during September and October 2013. Getting married at earlier ages, facing no pregnancy-related complications, hardly using any methods for being pregnant, readily availability of ante-natal care services, having knowledge about dangerous signs of pregnancy and giving preference for delivering baby at facility centres with the assistance of skilled attendants were the main findings of this study.  All these findings suggest that mothers are rather influenced by bio-medical (pregnancy and childbirth is a medical issue that needs certain interventions) than by traditional (no need any interventions for pregnancy and childbirth) approach of pregnancy and child delivery. It concluded that medicalisation process starts just after marriage to avoid unwanted pregnancy but is acute between pregnancy and childbirth. Lastly, it suggests for giving due attention to social causes of high maternal deaths in order to reach the 5th MDG at the proper time (2015).

Keywords: Medicalisation, Bangladesh, Pregnancy and Childbirth 



Ahmed ABS (1981). Popular Beliefs, Rituals and Religious Practices in a Bangadesh Village. The J. the Instit. Bangladesh Stud. V: 141-147.

Ahmed S, Khan M (2011). A maternal health voucher scheme: What have we learned from the demand-side financing scheme in Bangladesh. Health Policy and Planning. 26 (1): 25-32.

Anderson P (2012). After Nehru. London Review of Books, 34: 21-36.

Anspach RR (2010). Gender and Health Care. In C. E. Bird, P. Conrad, A. M. Fremont & S. Timmermans (Eds.), Handbook of  Medical  Sociology  (Sixth ed., pp. 229-248). Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Baer HA, Singer M, Susser I (1997). Medical Anthropology and the World System: A Critical Perspective. London: Bergin & Garvey.

Barnum H, Kutzin J (1993). Public hospitals in developing countries: resource use, cost, financing. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Begum B, Zaman R, Rahman A, Rahman M, Uddin M, Hafiz R, Abedin F (2009). Comparison of risks and benefits of normal vaginal and caesarian section deliveries in public tertiary hospital in Bangladesh. Mymensingh Med. J. 18 (Supple 1): 12-14.

Bhuiya A (2009). High Prevalence of Caesarian Sections at a Referral Hospital in Bangladesh. Ibrahim Med. Coll. J. 3(1): 21-23.          

BIDS (2003). Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic and Adjustment Policies in Bangladesh (MIMAP). Technical Paper no 8. Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka. Retrieved 5th November, 2009, from

Chamberlain G (2006). British Maternal Mortality in the 19th and 20th centuries. J. the Royal Soc. Med. 99 (11): 559-563.

Chong YS, kwek KYC (2010). Safe childbirth: avoiding medical interventions for non-medical reasons. Lancet, 375:440-442. De Brouwere V (2007). The comparative study of maternal mortality over time: The role of the    professionalisation of childbirth. Social history of med. 20(3): 541-562.

De Brouwere V, Tonglet R, Van Lerberghe W (1998). Strategies for reducing maternal mortality in developing countries: what can we learn from the history of Western countries? Trop. Med. Int.  Health. 3 (10): 771-782.

Filmer D, Hammer JS, Pritchett L (1998). Health policy in poor countries: weak links in the chain (No. 1874). World Bank Publications.

Gayen K, Raeside R (2007). Social networks, normative influence and health delivery in rural Bangladesh. Soc. Sci. Med. 65 (5): 900-914.

Hogan MC, Foreman KJ, Naghavi M, Ahn SY,  Wang M, Makela SM, Lopez AD, Lozano R, Murray CJL (2010). Maternal mortality for 181 countries, 1980- 2008: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5. Published online April 12, 2010 DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60518-1 in www.

Leone T, Padmadas SS, Matthews Z (2008). Community factors affecting rising caesarean section rates in developing countries: An analysis of six countries. Soc. Sci. Med. 67(8): 1236-1246.

Lorber J, Moore LJ (Eds.) (2002). Gender and the Social Construction of Illness (2nd ed.). New York: Altamira Press.

Loudon I (2000). Maternal mortality in the past and its relevance to developing countries today. The Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 72(Suppl):241S-246S.

Lozano R, Wang H, Foreman KJ, Rajaratnam Jk, Naghavi M, Marcus JR, Dwyer-Lindgren L, Lofgren KT, Phillips D, Atkinson C, Lopez AD, Murray CJL (2011). Progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on maternal and child mortality: an updated systematic analysis. Lancet. 378 (9797): 1139-1165.

Lumbiganon P, Laopaiboon M, Gülmezoglu AM, Souza JP, Taneepanichskul S, Ruyan P, Attygalle DE, Shrestha N, Mori R, Nguyen DH, Hoang TB, Rathavy T, Chuyun K, Cheang K, Festin M, Udomprasertgul V, Germar MJ, Yanqiu G, Roy M, Carroli G, Ba-Thike K, Filatova E, Villar J (2010). Method of delivery and pregnancy outcomes in Asia: the WHO global survey on maternal and perinatal health 2007-08. The Lancet. 375(9713): 490-499.

Makinen M, Waters H, Rauch M, Almagambetova N, Bitran R, Gilson L, McIntyre D, Pannarunothai, S, Prieto AL, Ubilla G, Ram S (2000). Inequalities in health care use and expenditures: empirical data from eight developing countries and countries in transition. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 78(1): 55-65.

Marshall AA, McKeon JK (1996). Reaching the "Unreachables": Educating and Motivating Women Living in Poverty. In E. B. Ray (Ed.), Communication and Disenfranchisement: Social Health Issues and Implications (pp. 137-158). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Mia S (2003). Rajshahi Vibag (Rajshahi Division). In S. Islam (Ed), Banglapedia (p. 34) Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

NIPORT, Associates MA, International M (2005). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, (2004). Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, and Macro International.

NIPORT, Associates MA, International M (2009). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, (2007). Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, and Macro International.

NIPORT, Associates MA, International M (2012). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, 2011: Preliminay Report. Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton, Maryland, USA: National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, and Macro International.

NIPORT (2001). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 1999-2000. National Institute of Population Research and Training, Dhaka. Retrieved 5th November, 2009, from

Parkhurst J, Rahman S (2007). Life saving or money wasting? Perceptions of caesarean sections among users of services in rural Bangladesh. Health Policy, 80(3): 392-401.

Pathmanathan I, Liljestrand J, Martins JM, Rajapaksa LC, Lissner C, de Silva A, Selvaraju S, Singh PJ (2003). Investing in Maternal Mortality: Learning from Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Wagner M (2000). Choosing caesarean section. Lancet, 356 (November 11): 1677-1680.

Wagstaff A (2002). Poverty and health sector inequalities. Bulletin of the world health organization. 80(2): 97-105.

WDR (2012). Gender Equality and Development. World Development Report (WDR). The World Bank.

WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, WB (2012). Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank estimates. World Health Organization, Geneva.  

Related Articles

Original Research Articles
Sheikh Maniruzzaman, Tahmina Akter, Md. Azizur Rahman, Md. Hasibur Rahaman Hera and , Md. Maksudul Haque
Effect of Level of Phosphorus and Mulching on Growth and Yield of Tomato Lycopersicon lycopersicum L
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. November 2018 Vol: 7(11): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (268 KB)
Rehema T. Mdendemi, Susan R. Gwelema, Tiberio Mdendemi and Basil Msuha
Environmental Effects of Urban Livestock Keeping: Which Types of Livestock Pose more Serious Problems?
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. January 2019 Vol: 8(1): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (485 KB)
Hakeem A. Ajeigbe, Folorunso M. Akinseye, Jerome Jonah and Ayuba Kunihya
Sorghum yield and water use under Phosphorus fertilization applications in the Sudan savanna of Nigeria
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. August 2018 Vol: 7(8): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (605 KB)
Roy Bikram Jit, Nripendra Kumar Singha, S.M. Hasan Ali And Md. Gaziur Rhaman.
Exploitation of marine swimming crabs as by-catch in artisanal fishery of the Bay of Bengal.
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. November 2013 Vol: 2(11): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (295 KB)
Mahbubar Rahman and Shaikh Enayet Ullah
Constrained interpretation of aeromagnetic data using tilt angle derivatives from north western part of Bangladesh
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. August 2013 Vol: 2(7): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (1,621 KB)
Cyrille Bilé Ehounoud, Alpha Kabinet Keita, Abdoul Habib Béavogui, Ansoumane Cissé, Nadia Amanzougaghene, Jean David N’Guessan, Didier Raoult, Oleg Mediannikov, Florence Fenollar
Molecular identification of microorganisms in chronic wounds, Republic of Guinea (Conakry)
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Med. Med. Sci. February 2018 Vol: 7(1): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (1,118 KB)

Current Issue

Viewing Options

View Full Article - PDF
Download Full Article - PDF

Search for Articles

Bijoy Krishna Banik on Google Scholar
Bijoy Krishna Banik on Pubmed


Viewed 2161
Printed 311
Downloaded 1207
Powered By iPortal Works