Is Unwanted Birth Associated with Child Malnutrition in Bangladesh?

By Rahman, Mosfequr | International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, June 2015 | Go to article overview

Is Unwanted Birth Associated with Child Malnutrition in Bangladesh?


Rahman, Mosfequr, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health


Despite the substantial progress made during the past decade in reducing its prevalence, child malnutrition is still a major public health problem, especially in resource-poor countries. Malnutrition is related to macronutrient deficiency and is characterized by stunting, wasting and underweight. Stunting, defined as insufficient height for age, is an indicator of chronic undernutrition, and is the result of prolonged food deprivation or of disease or illness; wasting, or insufficient mass for height, is an indicator of acute undernutrition, and is the result of relatively recent food deprivation or illness; and underweight, or insufficient weight for age, is a composite indicator that reflects both acute and chronic undernutrition, although it cannot distinguish between them. (1) Globally, an estimated 165 million children younger than five (26%) are stunted, 52 million (8%) are wasted and 100 million (16%) are underweight. (2) Malnutrition is responsible for 35% of the burden of disease in children younger than five, and 11% of the disability-adjusted life years (healthy years of life) lost worldwide. (3)

Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world, (4) and malnutrition is the country's leading cause of child morbidity and mortality. (5) Two of every five children in Bangladesh suffer from moderate-to-severe underweight, (6) and roughly two-thirds of deaths among children younger than five are attributable to un dernutrition. (7) Despite the importance of early child nutrition for survival and long-term development, the international nutrition community has had difficulty reaching a consensus on how to combat child undernutrition. (8,9)

An ample body of research has examined the biological, (10,11) environmental, (12,13) and socioeconomic (14,15) correlates of child malnutrition, but researchers have only begun to investigate many aspects of the social environment. Moreover, research indicates that maternal education, (16) maternal autonomy, (17) maternal body mass index (BMI), (18) maternal height, (19) household wealth, (20) urban residence, (21) and having a safe source of drinking water and hygienic toilet facilities (22) are positively associated with child nutrition. A psychological factor that might influence a child's risk of malnutrition is whether the pregnancy was unintended--either unwanted (the parent did not desire any, or any more, children) or mistimed (the pregnancy occurred earlier than desired). (23) A parent's feelings toward a child born as a result of unwanted pregnancy may adversely affect the child's health if these feelings contribute to conscious or unconscious neglect of the child, resulting in inadequate provision of nutrition, lack of parent-child bonding and inattention to the child's health care needs. (24) Researchers have attempted to model the associations between maternal pregnancy intendedness and child survival and health outcomes. Barber and colleagues hypothesized that various pathways link unwanted childbearing, child health and mother-child relationships, and suggested that children who had been unwanted at the time of conception may suffer more neglect and abuse than those who had been wanted. (25) Women whose pregnancies are unwanted tend to initiate antenatal care later than do women whose pregnancies are wanted. (26,27) In a study of postnatal outcomes, rates of infant mortality (death during the first 28 days of life) were higher following unwanted pregnancies than following other pregnancies. (28) In an analysis of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from five developing countries, Montgomery and colleagues found that unwantedness was linked to child malnutrition in the Dominican Republic, but not in the other four countries. (29) Unwanted pregnancies have also been linked to adverse outcomes and behaviors--including low birth weight, neonatal mortality, absence of breast-feeding and poor parental care--in several U.S. studies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Is Unwanted Birth Associated with Child Malnutrition in Bangladesh?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.