Methods: Data were used from two rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS- 3 and NFHS-4) conducted in 2005-06 and 2015-16 respectively. Weighted (probability weights) descriptive statistics were conducted to summarize the levels of male partner attendance in antenatal care. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the factors influencing male partner attendance.
Results: Based on the study results, in 2015, about 86% women reported that they had attended at least one antenatal care contact during their pregnancy; of these women, about 85% reported that their male partners had accompanied them to antenatal care contacts. Male respondent’s level of education, household wealth, knowledge of pregnancy-related complications, male respondent’s age at marriage, region and women’s level of autonomy emerged as significant predictors of male partner attendance in antenatal care.
Conclusions and Implications: The results of this study provide insights into the multiple influences that shape male partners’ involvement in maternal care. These results are useful to inform interventions that are focused on engaging with male partners, both as individuals as well as being situated within the family/household and community. Social workers and community health workers can be instrumental to implementing community-outreach interventions that underscore the need to view men not just as equal and responsible partners in maternal care, but also as active agents of change with the potential to transform inequitable gender norms and practices.