When husbands are better informed, wives use maternal health services more (Myanmar)

husband in Myanmar

A survey of 426 fathers in Yangon, Myanmar, explored factors associated with husbands’ high involvement in antenatal care and his wife’s high utilisation of antenatal and postnatal services.

Husbands were more likely to be involved when they were better informed about pregnancy and more aware of the risks. Involvement was measured by his attendance at antenatal and postnatal clinics, having a birth plan and providing financial support

Other factors linked with higher involvement were:

  • first baby
  • better educated
  • monogamy
  • more involved in family decision making

Women were more likely to visit an antenatal clinic more than four times and to attend postnatal care when their husbands accompanied them to clinics more than once and when their husband had a birthplan.

Overall in the sample, a large majority of husbands provided financial support antenatally (96%). 69% provided financial help postnatally. 70% were involved in decision-making. A large majority, 91%, prepared for skilled birth attendance, 84% planned the place of delivery and 82% saved money.

The study concludes “maternal health interventions should target husbands as consumers of maternal health services”.


Wai KM, Shibanuma A, Oo NN, Fillman TJ, Saw YM &Jimba M (2015), Are husbands involving in their spouses’ utilization of maternal care services? A cross-sectional study in Yangon, Myanmar, PLoS ONE 10(12)

Photo: KX Studio. Creative Commons.